The need for nature

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”

Rachel Carson

There has been much talk in recent years of the slow shift of childhood away from nature. Richard Louv’s acclaimed book Last Child in the Woods brought attention to how today’s generation of kids spend a fraction of the time outside that previous generations did. This change has not been without consequence. In a fast-paced and highly wired world nature is a key antidote to the daily stressors in our lives.

The de-stressing benefits of nature hold true for both adults and children, but for children nature holds a special kind of magic that cannot be discovered elsewhere. Tiny wriggling bugs, hundreds of fragrant blossoms, watching seeds become plants that bear favourite food—all of these small experiences give children a chance to connect with the wonder of the world around us. To be inspired by beauty. To feel a part of a larger world.

Brain science has caught up with long standing folk wisdom: it is good for kids to be outside. Research now shows us that green plants and trees have a special effect on our brains; they calm us, engage our senses more keenly with less effort, strengthen our immunity and improve our overall mental and physical health.

The huge surge of interest in connecting more closely with our food fits perfectly with our need to spend more time in close contact with nature. There is an active movement to bring the small pleasures of seasonal fruits and fresh-picked produce back into our lives. Every year more people are discovering the joys of gardening.

Gardening has many rewards—exercise, fresh food, calming your mind, and a chance to notice the seasons, learn new things and discover that YOU can grow the best tasting food around! For kids, gardening offers an incredible way to learn by doing, to delight in what their own small hands can create and instil a deep-seeded appreciation of nature.

For brand-new gardeners getting started can be overwhelming. There is a lot to know and so much gardening information is targeted to people with experience. And, if you’re a parent, you already don’t have enough time. Things need to be convenient.

Little Bean Farms‘ mission is to make gardening accessible and successful for everyone. Because gardens aren’t just good, they are great. And getting kids into gardening is an incredible gift that will help the next generation grow into the happy, healthy, inspired and unstoppable people they are meant to become.

 

PS. If you’re a nerd for science like I am I highly recommend Your Brain on Nature by Dr. Eva Sehlub and Alan Logan, ND. It is packed with scientific research on the benefits of time in nature. It will give you all the motivation to get outside and play 🙂

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