Ep #19 – Connection Between Gardening and Wellbeing

I know for many gardeners that their garden is their sanctuary, their happy place. It is the space they go to when they feel out of kilter or when they need to not people any more. 

If you are a more rationalist type person who doesn’t believe in anything woo woo then this episode may be a bit challenging for you. I want to share with you that I am all about the woo woo and anyone who knows me understands that I make decisions and take actions based on my intuition. If it doesn’t feel right I won’t do it. 

If you are thinking what the hell is woo-woo and what the F does it have to do with growing your own food and being self-sufficient let me share.

Woo woo as I see it is just energy. The energy we have in our bodies, the energy we feel when we see someone we love or the opposite, that feeling when you know there is tension between people. Energy comes from the vibration that everything on this earth has, especially living things and this vibration occurs at various frequencies. 

When we are at a higher frequency we are able to gain clarity, find inspiration,  turn on all the feel-good emotions, we experience things in a positive way and are open to possibilities. 

When we’re in the opposite state and our frequency and vibrations are low, it may feel like you don’t want to get out of bed and in fact, staying in bed with the cover over our heads seems a totally acceptable way to live life. We have all been there. 

Take a moment to feel what state you might be in right now? Are you feeling loved and warm all over and are giving off vibes that say to those around you ‘hey, I am an open person who loves life’ or are you currently feeling pissed off or just ‘meh’ and giving off vibes that say to the world ‘stay away’?

Think about how you feel in these situations and what energetic message you are sending out into the world…

  • When you receive an acknowledgement from someone
  • When things aren’t going right
  • When your dog comes over to you for a pat
  • When watching the news
  • When your friend or partner gives you a hug
  • When you’re tired
  • When you are in your garden

Being in nature can help to increase your happiness and help you feel more at peace than you may think. 

There have been various studies done that show being in nature for even a short amount of time can improve your mood and overall feeling of well-being. Something that gardeners have known forever. Why do you think we all get out there as much as we can?

Even this week in the ‘rain event’ as it is apparently now called, side note, I still call it several days of very heavy rain, I got out there in my gumboots and raincoat and sowed carrot seeds next to my newly sprouted garlic (garlic helps keep carrot flies away) harvested some veggies and talked to my plants. 

Yes, I talk to my plants, but more on that in a minute. 

You see, for me being outside in my garden, with my animals and connecting with nature on any level is a must. My body and soul feel like they wither away, kinda like that bit of ginger in the back of your fridge crisper that has been there for several months. I feel drained of all goodness. 

While outside this morning in the rain I just watched the droplets running down along the branches of the big gum tree in my garden. I noticed how they all formed uniformly and even though they were all individual droplets that they are all part of the water on earth. 

Being in my garden, even the overgrown totally overtaken by weeds section fills my energy levels back up again. I observe the bugs, I talk to the frogs, listen to the birds, I even ask the red-bellied black snake we named Cecil if he is feeling good today, even if I can’t see him or her.

Taking time to connect ourselves to our environment and what we are growing, to water our garden, to touch a plant or to just be with our thoughts in this space allows perspective to enter our consciousness and when we have a perspective that thing that’s ‘big & scary’ doesn’t seem so big or scary anymore, and we allow the possibilities to open up. 

I mentioned earlier that I talk to my plants, and I totally do. It makes me feel good and I am sure it makes them happier too. 

There have been experiments done where people have spoken to plants in different ways and have seen marked differences in how they grew. 

I am generalising here but the studies had 3 groups of the same plants. Group A, B and C. All plants had the same soil, the same amount of light and the same watering regime.

Group A was exposed to positive words/thoughts/feelings throughout the day. They were told they are loved, beautiful, appreciated, wanted, valued etc 

Group B was exposed to negative words/thoughts/feelings at the same rate throughout the day. They were told they were stupid, useless, ugly, waste of space, hated, disgusting etc.

Group C was the control so had all the same growing conditions but were left alone and not acknowledged except to water it.

Many of the studies showed that plant A grew taller, faster and looked more healthy overall than the control and that plant B looked stunted, had less growth and looked a little worse for wear. 

Can I say that I feel sorry for plant B… No one wants that kind of negativity thrown their way on a daily basis. 

There are 100’s of these experiments out there but you can check out a few of the ones I found

I am sure there are a heap of scientists out there who would have a counter-argument to this finding, but for me, it was no surprise that these plants reacted the way they did. 

I have started to run my hands over my rose geranium plants whenever I walk by and tell them they are lovely and they have responded in kind by being even more lovely than before. Plus I then smell like rose geranium which I absolutely lurve. 

I planted a loofa next to the chicken coop late in the season and I started to tell it that I loved it no matter if it had time to produce fruit or not. It is valued and looks amazing and just a week later I have fruit. Could be my impeccable timing but I feel that my kind words and thoughts helped just a little.

And, even if they didn’t, it makes me feel good. 

When I feel good I want to do more good. That means I want to grow more yummy food and try things that I haven’t tried before.

So my message for this week is to get out of your head, get into your garden or if you don’t have a garden, start one. Or, just go and be in nature. Visit a park or go for a walk down a trail whatever you can do where you are to connect with nature. 

I know this will help to boost your happy vibes and lift your mood just a bit more and we can all use a little more of the good stuff in our world. 

Do you have a question? Ask on the Facebook Page or why not ask via Insta stories! Let’s all share in the learning. 

 

More information

Full show notes at www.sohfarmlet.com.au/podcast

Blogs – www.sohfarmlet.com.au/blog

Download Free – Chicken Keepers ‘Chicklist’ For Beginners

Download Free Guide Getting Started With Composting

Newsletter sign up 

This Episode Sponsored by

This episode is sponsored by my soon to be released Self-Sufficiency Made Simple Composting Masterclass. This masterclass will help you go from wasting food and money to creating your own gold star garden soil system without mess, cost or hard work. The masterclass will show you how to choose, create and get started with your own simple system, all in your backyard.

Register your interest via email jo@sohfarmlet.com.au

 

Reach me

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/sohfarmlet/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sohfarmlet

jo@sohfarmlet.com.au

 

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Review

I would be eternally grateful if you could give me a review as this will push the podcast out to more people, and it would make my heart sing, I’d love to hear what you have to say and what’s your favourite bit (and I will be giving a few shout outs each week).

For apple listeners, you can review HERE.

For other players follow the review link (if available) and leave a review on FaceBook or Instagram.  

 

Share

I would also love it if you could share this podcast with anyone you feel would enjoy conversations about growing food, keeping chickens, bees, rescue animals, making homemade products and all things self-sufficiency related.

I am so pleased and feel very privileged that you chose to join me this week. Thank you!

 

Let’s do it again next Wednesday. xx

Ep #18 – 8 Common Herbs with Medicinal Properties

Medical herbs have been used for eons. Some now see it as outdated and others swear and even rely on the power of healing herbs. Wherever you sit on this scale there’s no denying that some plants, especially herbs have properties that can aid in the all-round treatment of ailments and injuries. 

Many of the common herbs that we use for flavours in teas and food have medicinal qualities that many of us aren’t aware of. 

Herbal medicine is used worldwide and forms part of many systems of medicine including Chinese, Ayurvedic aka Indian, Native American, Folk Medicine across Europe and Indigenous Australian. Many of our common pharmaceuticals started their life as plants before becoming the primarily synthetic versions we have today. 

Medicinal herbs can be taken as tea, extracts and powders. They can be made into compresses, poultices, ointments, soaks and wraps. Some are for external use only and others need to be used in minimal quantities. 

I wanted to share with you 8 common and easy to grow herbs with medicinal properties. It’s likely you already grow a few of these versatile beauties. 

Before I do, I want to add a disclaimer. I am not a medical professional, nor an educated herbalist or am I particularly skilled in using herbs outside of cooking and basic teas so if you plan to use these or any herbs as a replacement or in addition to conventional medicine you should consult a suitable and qualified professional. This goes 10 fold if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, elderly, ill or have any preexisting conditions.

 

1. Rosemary

Rosemary is a staple of any edible garden. It is a Mediterranean plant that likes it warm and sunny. Once established it’s hardy and super low maintenance. There are many varieties of rosemary with white, purple, blue and pink flowers. This perennial herb is best grown from cuttings from new wood.

Medicinal properties of rosemary are said to include increased memory, decreased inflammation, appetite stimulant, circulation and calm upset stomach. 

How I have used my rosemary in the past, is as a hair tonic. I boiled water and turned it off then chucked in a handful of rosemary cuttings. Left it to cool and rinsed my hair in it. It made it feel soft, looked shiny and I smelt very floral all day. 

 

2. Garlic

While not technically a herb, garlic is known for its beneficial qualities. Garlic is great at boosting immunity, as an antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal. Lets us not forget it is also the go-to herb for repelling vampires. Just sayin’

It has also been linked to lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and boost circulation. 

Plant garlic cloves in autumn for a late spring/summer harvest. I have just put in my early crop. This year is White Crookneck, Monaro Purple, Glenlarge and El Camino. There are varieties that can be grown in most places but they do need some cold weather and transition in the days’ short daylight to long daylight hours to produce good-sized bulbs.

I wouldn’t recommend a nice hot cup of garlic tea unless that’s your thing, not judging, but if you cook with garlic as we do then you will already be reaping the benefits of this wonder food. 

 

3. Dandelion

Dandelions are so underrated in my opinion. Most gardeners consider this amazing herb as a weed because it is so hardy it will literally grow nearly anywhere there is a sniff of a nutrient or drop of moisture. 

This herb has so many proclaimed benefits that it can’t be overlooked. Plus they are actually amazing to have in your garden. They have a super strong taproot that helps break up heavy soil and help neighbouring plants access deeper nutrients. 

Dandelion leaves and roots are what is primarily used in medicine but all parts can be eaten including the flower. 

Leaves are used in reducing water retention hence the name I knew them by as a child. Wet-the-beds. They can help in digestion and can sometimes cause gas as part of the process. They are high in antioxidants and may aid the liver and are said to suppress appetite. 

If you are planning on running out to find yourself some dandelion in the local park be sure you check it hasn’t been exposed to chemicals or dog urine. 

 

4. Chamomile

Pretty yellow and white daisy flowers are used to make the popular chamomile tea. If you have ever wondered down the tea aisle of your local supermarket you would see that there seem to be 100 different variations of chamomile tea that proclaim to help insomnia and send you off to the land of nod. 

What you may not know is that it can also assist in nausea, inflammation and when made into a balm or salve can be rubbed onto muscles and used as a muscle relaxant. 

Great for after a big day in the garden or calming muscle spasms caused by menstrual cramps. 

It prefers a cooler climate and is great for those part shade spots you don’t know what to plant in. Once it’s established, neglect it. I have killed several chamomile shrubs with too much love. Seriously walk past it once a week and give it the stink eye, it will love you for it. 

Chamomile is relatively safe however anyone who is sensitive to daisies, aster or ragweed should check their tolerances first.

 

5. Aloe Vera

Mostly known for the beautiful cooling sticky gel that is used to calm angry sunburn Aloe vera is so much more. 

There is An edible and non-edible variety. apparently way back when there was a cock-up with naming these different varieties and now there’s much confusion over the correct name for the correct variety. A really good way to tell the difference between edible and non-edible is that edible aloe vera has a grey tinged leaf with very few markings and they’re really fat and juicy. Non-edible varieties are usually more vibrant green with thinner leaves and have prominent whitish flecks.

Edible aloe is said to aid digestion, blood sugar stabilization and treating stomach ulcers. 

Non-edible is best used for burns. Use fresh as the potency decreases the longer it exposed to air. 

I have the edible variety in my garden and I add it to fresh juices but mainly as skincare. I peel back the outer leaf and rub the gel into my skin. When using it as face cream it feels pretty bloody yuck and has an odd smell but this only last about 20 mins then my skin feels lovely and hydrated. 

6. Echinacea

Also called purple coneflower is a member of the sunflower family and is used as an immunity booster. It has proved effective in helping fight minor viral and bacterial infections such as cold and flu by stimulating white blood cells.

It is said that you need to take enough for it to be effective, taking a smaller dose won’t have the beneficial effect of the full dose. Saying that, if you are sensitive to plants in the aster family then you may be allergic to this herb. People with autoimmune diseases should speak with their health care practitioner before taking.

These pretty flowers grow easily from seed and are perennials that will die back and grow again year after year. 

 

7. Turmeric

Most of us use turmeric in our cooking but not many of us are using raw turmeric. Some have found that consuming raw turmeric has better results than powdered supplements. Turmeric is said to be a powerful anti-inflammatory especially for those with chronic joint conditions such as arthritis and those with chronic dermatitis. 

Use grated in a curry, salad, soup or in eggs. Make a turmeric latte or add to your choice of milk for a golden tea.  

Turmeric is a root similar to ginger and grows well in tropical and subtropical climates. We grow it here in our temperate climate but our yield is much smaller and we must protect it from frost or allow it to die back and reshoot when the weather warms up. 

 

8. Lavender

If you are having a hard day go and stick your face in a lavender bush and all will be ok. Just make sure there are no bees there first or your day will go from bad to total crap. 

Lavender isn’t just pretty and smells nice it has been proven to decrease stress and anxiety levels through it’s soothing and sedative properties. Putting a bunch of fresh lavender in a mesh bag under your pillow will help you drift off feeling wonderful. Bruise the leaves to stimulate the oil to release and when it’s spent, chuck it in the compost and pick yourself a fresh bunch. 

It also has potential anti-inflammatory benefits when used as an oil on the skin, and can keep flies and mosquitoes away when planted near doors. We have tried this and our flies clearly didn’t get the memo. I think we would have to plant it so thick the flies wouldn’t be able to find their way in. 

Easy to grow in warm temperate climates. They can handle a bit of cold but long humid periods will knock them around. Plant in full sun out of strong winds and go mad on all the different varieties out there. 

As mentioned earlier do your own homework and speak to your health care professional before embarking on trying new herbs. Never ever consume a herb that you aren’t 1000% sure of what it is and don’t ask Facebook communities… you don’t know how much someone actually knows. Get yourself a good guide book that is specific for your area and speak to local people who have been using the herbs you are thinking about using first. 

 

  

More information

Full show notes at www.sohfarmlet.com.au/podcast

Blogs – www.sohfarmlet.com.au/blog

Download Free – Chicken Keepers ‘Chicklist’ For Beginners

Download Free Guide Getting Started With Composting

Newsletter sign up 

This Episode Sponsored by

This episode is sponsored by my soon to be released Self-Sufficiency Made Simple Composting Masterclass. This masterclass will help you go from wasting food and money to creating your own gold star garden soil system without mess, cost or hard work. The masterclass will show you how to choose, create and get started with your own simple system, all in your backyard.

Register your interest via email jo@sohfarmlet.com.au

 

Reach me

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/sohfarmlet/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sohfarmlet

jo@sohfarmlet.com.au

 

Subscribe

Have you hit the subscribe button yet? If not click subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

Review

I would be eternally grateful if you could give me a review as this will push the podcast out to more people, and it would make my heart sing, I’d love to hear what you have to say and what’s your favourite bit (and I will be giving a few shout outs each week).

For apple listeners, you can review HERE.

For other players follow the review link (if available) and leave a review on FaceBook or Instagram.  

 

Share

I would also love it if you could share this podcast with anyone you feel would enjoy conversations about growing food, keeping chickens, bees, rescue animals, making homemade products and all things self-sufficiency related.

I am so pleased and feel very privileged that you chose to join me this week. Thank you!

 

Let’s do it again next Wednesday. xx

Keeping chickens is so much easier than you think!

Download my simple beginners 'chicklist' to get you started.

Keeping chickens is so much easier than you think!

Download my simple beginners 'chicklist' to get you started.

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