by Susan
on 06 January 2017
with

 

The day was wrapping up, only two more emails left to send. It was exactly 4:30 pm, that gave Jenny about 5 minutes to send them and get to her car to beat the daily rush hour traffic. Her fingers dance along the keyboard with ease as she finishes her final daily tasks. Then she rushes out of the office and heads to grab her son Joshua from school. 

Joshua was a handful, and Jenny’s husband Christopher worked late hours most of the week. This left Jenny stressed and exhausted from chasing Joshua around after work. She desperately longed for a way to spend her time that was productive and that Joshua could enjoy too. After a conversation with her friend Ashley, she realized that gardening could be a great solution to occupy her time, as well as reduce some of her stress from work. Plus, she already knows how much Joshua loves to play in the dirt. 

 

“I like gardening. It’s a place where I can find myself when I need to lose myself.” - Alice Sebold

Every gardener has experienced the calming effect from growing your own beautiful sanctuary of plants. Whether you are planting produce or simple botanicals, the act of gardening can bring you to a tranquil state. You don’t have to start with a large garden, though. In fact, you can reap many benefits of gardening even if you start small. Herbs, ivy, and succulents are a great place to start for first-time gardeners. Plus they can all be grown indoors, so you can even start your garden during the winter. 

 

“Hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” - Alfred Austin

Modern science has even proven that gardening has stress relieving benefits. In fact, a Dutch study randomly chose 30 people to read for half an hour per day and another 30 people to garden for half an hour each day. While both groups saw a decrease in their cortisol levels, those who gardened actually had a significantly lower amount than those who read. Cortisol is a hormone often associated with stress. Increased cortisol levels have also been linked to obesity, memory problems, and even heart disease. So there is actual scientific proof that gardening can bring us to a more relaxed physical state.

 

“Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.” - Robert Brault

Gardening is an excellent teacher, especially for young, curious minds. It doesn’t just teach virtues, such as patience and hard work. It also teaches children the importance of nature and even about the nutrients they consume. Unfortunately, there are some kids who can’t identify a large variety of produce even into their teen years. Learning about food and nutrition at a young age is vital to maintaining good lifelong health. Gardening also gives your child the opportunity to learn about this first hand, an opportunity not many children get these days. 

 

At Pefferlaw Peat, we believe that gardening is one of the most productive (and often fruitful) ways to relieve stress. We also believe it should be a vital part of Canadian youth education. This one of the many reasons we enjoy reaching out to our customers and their communities through events each year. For more information on the benefits of gardening and 2017 events that you can find us at, feel free to contact us today.  

by sarah
on 30 December 2016
with

SUCP   NY Resolution

We all know what a New Year means, a list of resolutions we promise ourselves we will work on in the coming 365 days. We know that sticking with a resolution can be hard, especially when you live such a busy lifestyle. However, what if that resolution was relaxing, as well as beneficial for your mental and overall health? At Pefferlaw Peat, we believe that gardening is more than just a hobby or something to do. Gardening is a beautiful art in many ways and offers its participants a variety of life changing benefits. 

 

#1 “To Plant A Garden Is To Believe In Tomorrow.” - Audrey Hepburn

Some people get a psychological boost from feeling that they are achieving or working toward something. For individuals who garden, the harvest of crops or the gorgeous blooming of their flowers gives them that sensation. Most gardeners feel a sense of pride, joy, and connectivity to nature when they nurture a tender plant into a fruitful existence. As people, we naturally love working toward a goal just as much as reaping the corresponding reward. We have an unquenchable urge for responsibility and gardening is a beautiful way to cultivate that. This is one of the countless benefits that people who enjoy gardening receive from the fruits of their labor.

 

#2 “It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” - Kate Morton

Believe it or not, the soil has some surprisingly powerful antidepressant benefits for gardeners. In fact, Mycobacterium vaccae, commonly found in soil, has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that antidepressant drugs like Prozac provide patients. This bacterium found in most soils may simulate serotonin production as well, which can make you relaxed. Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to eat any dirt to benefit from this bacterium! All it takes is getting your hands a little dirty. These bacteria are also being studied based on scientific evidence that they improve cognitive function, Crohn’s disease, and even rheumatoid arthritis.

 

#3 “Flowers are restful to look at. They have no emotions or conflict.“ - Sigmund Freud 

Gardening has some compelling physical health benefits too. For many gardeners, the activity involved in tending to their precious garden are part of what keeps them living a healthy life. In fact, the act of gardening is known to release serotonin and dopamine, while lowering cortisol levels. So gardening is actually known to calm people down, as well as increase the joy they feel. It also gives people an outlet for other feeling, such as anxiety, stress, anger, and depression. This often adds benefits later in the day too, allowing them to sleep better as well. Many people don’t consider this when determining if gardening is an activity that they may be interested in. However, everyone gardens will receive these wonderful benefits.

While you still have a little time to finalize your 2017 New Years resolutions, we think gardening should be one of the options you choose from. Not only does it have mental and physical health benefits, but it also gives you a positive outlet to accomplish new things this year. You don’t need a farm to start gardening; it can be as simple as a few potted herbs. More than anything, we encourage you break out of your shell and to try something new this year. For more information on the benefits of gardening, please feel free to reach out and contact us today. 

by Susan
on 29 November 2016
with

Something incredible happened last week, we got to witness the rare occurrence of a Super Moon. The moon isn’t just a beautiful, rock orbiting our planet. The moon plays a vital role in life on earth. It has the power to command the tides each night, enticing ocean waves to kiss even higher on the shore once the sun recedes. 

What many people don’t know is that the moon also plays a role in the growth of plants as well.  While we won’t experience another Super Moon during a planting season until 2020, planting crops based on the regular moon phases, regardless of moon superiority, has been practiced all over the world for thousands of years.  Why the moon you ask?  Don’t most people consider the sun and its location when planning their garden? Well yes, they do, but when it comes to knowing when they should plant their crops is a science in itself. Surprising to some this science actually involves tracking the phases of the moon. 

The Tradition Of Plant During Moon Cycles Is Written In History!

Just leaf through any Farmers Almanac going back as far as 1792 to know when the moon phases occur and when to plant your crops accordingly. The practice of planting your crops based off of lunar cycles is often known as astrological agriculture or lunar gardening. 

North Americans aren’t the only ones who have planted their crops based on the lunar cycles. In fact, Pliny the Elder, an ancient Roman historian even wrote about the vast influence the moon had on the Roman Empire’s crops thousands of years ago. We also know that ancient Egyptians and the Mayans used moon cycles to plant their crops, as well as countless civilizations in Africa, China, and South America. 

Studies Show Planting Based On Lunar Cycles Can Improve Crop Yields

The concept behind lunar gardening is that the moon affects the moisture in the soil similarly to how it affects the tides. Dozens of studies conducted by universities, scientist and farmers alike, all show evidence that the moon's cycle affect plant growth.

The theory is drawn from the proven fact that the moon's gravitational pull affect water levels on the earth, therefore affects the moisture in the content of the soil.  However, if it is raining, then who cares if you plant on the full moon, right? The truth is, the moon doesn’t just affect the moisture in the soil. The gravitational pull also increases the seeds’ ability to absorb water. The moon doesn’t just affect crops during a full moon either. Moonlight or the lack of is also a contributing factor which affects root and leaf development as well.

While the results prove the theory that lunar cycles do in fact affect the growth of plants, scientists are still working to determine why the lunar cycles play this fascinating role in gardening. With so many other factors to consider, including soil consistency, tilth, moisture availability, the sun, and temperature, we believe planting based on lunar cycles is worth a try to swing the odds of a bountiful crop our way. 

 Gardening Based On Lunar Cycles Is Simple

Planting your garden based on astrological agriculture is surprisingly easier than many people believe. In fact, following these simple rules of thumb is a quick way to ensure that you are optimizing your plants’ opportunity for growth.

First quarter –  As the moon’s light is on the rise; this is the best time to plant your leafy vegetable starter plants, (ones you buy or start indoors in trays) such as lettuce, cabbage, or spinach.  The leaf development of these plants greatly benefits from the waxing and full moonlight to come.     

Full Moon – The gravitational pull is optimum but waning during a full moon. This is the best time to consider planting your root plants, as they will benefit from the next phase of darkness, leading to a development of a stronger root system.

The second quarter – This phase is known as the resting time. We recommend that you consider transplanting, pruning, harvest, and mowing during this lunar phase.

New Moon – A new moon is the best time to plant seeds for above ground crops, as the lunar pull is quite strong. This will help seeds absorb moisture and burst optimally.  The newly developed young plants will also benefit from the moonlight to come.

There are still many mysteries on this beautiful earth and history, backed by circumstantial evidence, is enough for farmers to still rely on astrological agriculture. Join us in giving lunar gardening  a try this coming year.  For more information on lunar cycles and astrological agriculture, feel free to contact us today!

 

Super Moon Photo Source: Christina Handley

 

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