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How gardens teach us
Picture of By Claire
By Claire

How Gardens Help Us

How Gardens Help Us

One of the most amazing trends that developed from these last 3 months of isolation is gardening with the family. 

Suddenly, the family found themselves spending 24/7 in the company of each other with no outside interference, (excluding technology). The lockdown gave us a fantastic gift, that of time. Previously, the constant refrain was lack of time to do anything. Now, we could truly concentrate on our children, listening to their fears, hopes and dreams and helping them understand this crazy time. Many of us survived by gardening.

Amazingly, one of the trendy family activities that took root was, growing our own vegetables. Parents took time to investigate the tiny, wriggly worms in the soil with their children, allowing them to get dirty (without complaint).  Gardening takes time and patience.  There is no quick fix to it.  Constant maintenance is required to keep the plants alive and growing.  Truly, there is no better teacher than the garden and having the time to tend it.

Apart from the dopamine effect of working with your loved ones in the garden, you will also be boosting their immune systems with healthy doses of Vitamin D. The immune cells have Vitamin D receptors that allow them to metabolise vitamin D.  A deficiency of Vitamin D increases autoimmune diseases and infections (reference: Vitamin D and the Immune System)

How Gardens Help Us - an illustration of a Metal Leaf Rake - sized for the Child.

Who would have thought that children living in the Southern Hemisphere could have deficient levels of Vitamin D? In fact, according to Scielo, the SA Medical Journal, “Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are common across these regions, with studies in South Africa (SA) reporting insufficiency in 19% of 10-year-old children and deficiency in 7%.” (read more…) One of the unintended consequences of protecting our children from skin cancers is insufficient Vitamin D. Less than 10% of Vitamin D comes from food.  This can be overcome with supplements, but the high levels of poverty in SA makes it is doubtful if parents can afford either the requisite diet or supplements.

Not only is gardening fun, but it also helps keep us fit and gets our body moving. To be immunologically fit, you need to be physically fit. “White blood cells can be quite sedentary,” says Prof Arne Akbar, the president of the British Society for Immunology and a professor at University College, London. “Exercise mobilises them by increasing your blood flow, so they can do their surveillance jobs and seek and destroy (bacteria and germs) in other parts of the body.” (read more..)  Obviously, a strong immune system is the No. 1 barrier to surviving the Corona Virus attacks.

We bring you 3 perfectly sized garden tools to help you and your children prepare your Gardens of Hope for Spring.

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