African News

Springtime gardening and taking care of your health

By  | 8 April 2015 at 20:38 | 1456 views

Springtime has arrived in the United States and other western nations around the world. But we all feel its nature and impact differently. For those living in the northeastern and northwestern hemispheres of USA, some chilly temperatures still strive and the passion for physical outdoor activities could be negligible. Food has to be grown to feed an increasing population. Green House technology could be adopted to grow veggies all year round by creating the conditions necessary that are favorable to the growth of fresh, healthy and leafy foods that are great for the digestive tracts. But, if you live like me, in warmer areas for example Florida, in cities like Orlando or Miami with semi-tropical climate where the planting season could last longer and more rewarding. We experience winter too with freezing temperatures lasting about 2-3 months. Cold plants like broccoli, cabbage, celery, collard greens and onions do thrive in winter, provided they are protected during extreme cold temperatures and other weather hazards that impede growth. Plants need optimum heat to stay alive like humans. A rich soil, right temperature, moisture, water and sunlight are necessary conditions conducive to the life and health of plants. The reward of growing and consuming organic plants far outweigh growing plants employing the use of chemicals like fertilizers or genetically engineered plants to alter their DNA for mass and expedited food production. Most plants grown in USA take about three months to mature and flourish. Unlike plants grown in Africa under tropical climate and conditions.

God gave us arable land to till and nurture it right. If we do it wisely and conscientiously we could reap the joy and satisfaction of a bountiful harvest. The need for good nutrition is paramount, especially in our highly stressed western lifestyle where multitasking and speed to complete required tasks is the price we pay for a perceived higher standard of living compared to folks living in developing economies/nations. But many ailments like obesity, chronic fatigue, heart diseases and cancers continue to plague the modern world. Gardening is an art like poetry that demands creativity, passion and the investment of time to reap a wonderful harvest of peace, vision and enduring healthy life. If you were like me, you would appreciate that inspiration doesn’t come from a vacuum. I get most of my storyline or inspiration when I’m alone gardening. Although a writer’s love affair with reading is part of the formula and rudiment of a worthy and exciting writer. A surge in creativity comes from activities that engage both sides of our brain and make it work above optimum performance. Writing and acquiring academic credentials are not synonymous. No not at all. An academic is not necessarily a good writer.

Life needs a balance to help reduce boredom, anxiety or invasion of unnecessary stress. Alarm bells went off when Mrs. Michele Obama, one of America’s best, very active first lady and lawyer, demonstrated her love affair with the soil by growing veggies at the backyard of the White House, and she got school kids involved in the exercise to grow veggies and eat healthy. The result of hard work is glaring. The harvest was used in the White House kitchen to prepare healthy meals. During her trip to South Africa, Mrs. Obama demonstrated her passion and love for nature by encouraging South Africans not to desert the soil even after completing higher education. In fact the more educated we are the more we should appreciate the dignity in labor and levy higher premium on nurturing the soil to benefit humanity and feeding our selves.