A healthy mind, body, and heart is vital in keeping our bodies healthy so that we may grow. A balanced amount of exercise and sleep enables us to generate and sustain energy. While constantly striving to grow and learn is vital to well-being, equally important is our ability to rest, to embrace the ‘art’ of relaxation, and to allow our minds to be at peace. Accumulating strength, knowledge, and calm within ourselves is beneficial, increasing the potential for more lush and diverse gardens, which in turn, provide us with peace of mind and valuable nutrients for the body.
Understanding the beneficial nature of all plants in the garden allows you to reap their benefits. Edible plants like bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower along with grapefruit, oranges, and strawberries produce high levels of vitamin C. While vegetables aren’t the greatest source of protein, the FDA lists high percentages of protein in broccoli, mushrooms, potatoes, and corn. While the Edible Garden at Bernheim is teeming with many varieties of lush vegetables that provide nutrition to the body, many plants can also contribute to overall health in other ways. For example, three of my favorite plants help boost immune system function: Echinacea purpurea (coneflower), Monarda fistulosa (bee balm), and Allium sativum (garlic), all of which are currently growing in the Edible Garden and will be ready to harvest soon.
Nature has an abundance of tools to help keep our bodies and minds healthy and strong, enabling us to sustain life and reach our potential. A garden of any size is a great source for these tools, from the vitamins and minerals found in plants to the peace of mind that can be found by interacting with nature.