I advocate and teach gardening as a means of promoting spiritual health. The American Nurses Association states that it is the role of the registered nurse to adopt strategies and interventions that address and promote spiritual health. I recall an article I read once in a nursing journal. The article discussed how some patients view their time in the garden as their church time with God. Working in the garden made them feel closer to God. Have you ever considered promoting your own spiritual health while simultaneously helping others? That is exactly what I have done with the help of my sons. We are volunteering at a local church garden, helping them grow vegetables to feed the homeless.
For the last year, my work has been in the virtual world, advocating and teaching on my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. I am expanding into the real world. My first step is helping a local church garden grow vegetables which they will be donating to a community organization that feeds the homeless. I started some hybrid tomato seeds indoors for them about a month ago. Starting some seeds indoors will help get an early start, resulting in higher yields. I chose hybrid tomatoes over heirlooms. Heirlooms are generally nutritionally superior. I often advocate and recommend heirloom tomatoes over hybrid tomatoes. However, heirlooms tend to be more delicate and may spoil quickly if not picked and used right away. Since this garden is run by volunteers, picking may be sporadic. No point in wasting good tomatoes, so hybrids would be a better choice for this garden.
Involving children in growing fruits and vegetables is good for them. Did you know that growing fruits and vegetables is an intervention for getting children to consume more fruits and vegetables? I have involved both of my sons in raising home grown produce in our back-yard farm since they were small boys. When I told my sons that we were going to work in the church garden that helps feed homeless people, they both expressed interest in participating! I am so proud that they feel a connection and want to help others. In this context, I would argue that this is another example of how gardening promotes spiritual health.
Gardening promotes spiritual health by fostering feelings of closeness to God as well as a connection to others. Promote your own as well as your family’s spiritual health by playing in the garden. Be creative and have fun! Make some hanging baskets. Sow some seeds. Make a ‘clay pot man’. The possibilities are endless! Be your own spiritual healer!
The Nurse Farmer ™