Column: Gardening good for the soul and a healthy distraction

Communities in bloom by Deb Heap

By Deb Heap

Contributor

As I write this, I am reflecting on what is going on around us and how it has changed what I planned to cover this month.

Beyond the fear of the pandemic, I am seeing a genuine generosity of spirit that gives me hope for a positive outcome.

There are also the instances of greed in social media that have gone viral, but most of it is likely rooted in fear and should not be judged too harshly, as everyone handles the fear of the unknown differently.

The column I had planned was about preparing for spring and dividing and sharing plants with your neighbours and the community. This theme coincides well with the sense of community, sharing and generosity that will ultimately get us through the health and economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus.

Read more: Exploring the benefits of compost teas for gardening

Read more: UBC Okanagan scientist offers gardening tips

We all must behave responsibly until the worst of this passes, but I encourage everyone to get out in their yards as the snow melts and enjoy the longer sunny days and spring weather. Divide plants in anticipation of being able to share them with others. Plant a garden that makes you more self-sufficient, but also plant extra rows for those that may need help. Plant some fast growing spinach and radishes that will be ready quickly to enjoy fresh garden produce to lift your spirits and improve your health.

Gardening is good for the soul. I have always found getting out, digging in the dirt and seeing the signs of new growth on the trees and vegetation coming out of the earth to be therapeutic.

COVID-19 may be a new disease with no known cure at this time, but fresh air, sunshine and connecting with mother earth is always good for whatever ails you.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out. We are all in this together and maybe, just maybe, we will all come out the other end better for having survived this crisis.

Deb Heap is the chair of the Sicamous Communities in Bloom committee.

debheap@hotmail.com

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