The restorative power of garden therapy

Versailles News

By Kathy Monnin

Life began in a garden, and we are all dependent upon the earth. We are not naturally equipped to live in the water like sea creatures, nor are we capable of living in space without artificial life support. First and foremost, we need oxygen. It is so necessary it goes without saying. We humans are comparable to plant life in that we need the earth, air, water, and sunlight.

In recent years, the medical field has realized the monumental importance of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with osteoarthritis, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. Furthermore, low levels of Vitamin D can be a sign of cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure, as well as chronic kidney failure and digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease or celiac disease. Taking a Vitamin D supplement may be helpful, however natural sunlight is more beneficial.

Air qualities are also important. Nature restores itself; it was designed as such and since it existed before man you can decide who created it. As for me my beliefs are firm. Studies reveal we now spend 92 percent of our lives indoors. Many of us spend much of our lives in office buildings or airtight homes where the level of pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoors. The senior population may remember the drafty homes of yesteryear, which turns out were better for our health but hard on heating bills.

We need the earth for shelter and for agricultural use; primarily to grow food and raise livestock to produce meat, eggs, and poultry. But then we also use the land for recreational and transportation purposes. For instance, golf courses inhabit two million acres and airports cover three million acres in the US. But to be fair, this statistic is small in comparison to agricultural land which takes up approximately one-fifth of the country with 391.5 million acres used for crops and 654 million acres for pasture and rangeland. Housing covers 69.4 million acres and forestland encompasses over 538 million acres.

Garden or dirt therapy can bring healing or relief by regaining our connection with nature. It is good exercise, reduces stress, fights depression, stimulates the brain, and can supply us with probiotics and a better diet. Best of all garden therapy benefits people of all ages and can be a way to forge a friendship with others.

Many of us have gardens for vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, etc. We enjoy getting our hands dirty, watching things grow, and eating the fruits of our labor. After all we are all farmers at heart. Our ancestors were farmers, some still are, while others may have to go back several generations. This is why the Bible speaks often of the farming profession and the farmer’s faith. In Biblical times everyone could relate to farming.

Today farms operate as businesses, rarely resembling the meagerness of a family farm just at the turn of the century, let alone back in Jesus’ day. So, to understand the scriptures and parables that reference farming we must go back at least to when farming eighty acres was a family affair, requiring husband, wife, and every child to do what they could. Back when families lived off the produce of the farm and bartered the excess (if it were a good year) to purchase, fabric, shoes, and other products they could not grow, or manufacture themselves. We’re talking before the tractor (1923), government subsidies (1933), crop insurance (1938), and mainstream pesticides (1945).

Whether we are 15 generations removed from the farm, present-day farmers, or recreational gardeners … Life began in a garden and will conclude there too.

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” ~Genesis 2:15

“The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not for every man’s greed.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” ~Thomas Jefferson

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, May 20, The VHS Jazz Band performs at the United Methodist Church beginning at 6 p.m.

Friday, May 20, Roger DeMange performs his music from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Stillwater Valley Golf Club back patio.

Saturday, May 21, Pickleball at Ward Park in Versailles from 9 to 11 a.m.

Sunday, May 22, Pickleball at Ward Park in Versailles from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Monday, May 23, Memory Lane Dance held at the Greenville VFW from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Open to the public, with music by Tom Everhart. Admission is $5 at the door.

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 24 and 25, Pickleball at Ward Park in Versailles from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Weather permitting. Questions can be directed to Larry Hemmelgarn at 937-417-7928.

Thursday, May 26, Hot Dish Food Truck will be at the Versailles Ace Hardware from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thursday, May 26, Bid Euchre Night downstairs in the Versailles Vets Club Bunker beginning at 7 p.m. Open to the Public.

Friday, May 27, music by Jimmy Feltz from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Stillwater Valley Golf Club back patio.

Congratulations to Susie Barga and Emily Marshal crowned Mrs. Quacker and Miss Quacker, respectively, at the 2022 Creekside Duck Derby held last Sunday.

Happy 90th birthday wishes to Della Burch. Also birthday wishes to Shane Petitjean, Ralph Gigandet, Ron Voisard, Jerry Bey, Denny Gerling, Doug Magoto, Alan Henry, Jenni Dahlinghaus, Alisa Saylor, Pearl Bucklew, Dale Dickmann, Jackie Watren, Jenni Bohman, Mary Lou Runner, Dawn Schwieterman, Julie Heuing, Sue Drees, Jim Detrick, Colleen McKnight, Deb Wehner, as their birthdays approach, as well as, anniversary wishes to Pam and Eric Eyink (24), Joyce and Paul Riffell (25), Carolyn and Tom Klopfenstein (28), Shirley and Don Goldschmidt (41), Michelle and Gary Paulus (50), and Betty and Lindy Monnin (56). Also, happy 22nd anniversary as a priest to Fr. Jim Simons. If you have a birthday or anniversary and would like listed, please feel free to contact me.

Please extend your sympathy to the family and friends of Diane Weeks (82), Ralph Francis (80), Bud Overholser (88), Marcia Rhoades (94), and all those who have passed as well as those we hold within our hearts as the anniversary of their passing nears. Please give your prayers of comfort and healing for the sick, those who struggle, the suffering, the caregivers and those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.

As an act of kindness, share garden space or time in the garden. Grow extra items to share with others or to make a goodie, such as rhubarb crisp.

Kathy Monnin is a volunteer citizen columnist. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 423-0914. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints nor the independent activities of the author.