Life begins the day one plants a garden is a Chinese proverb that can be interpreted in multiple ways. There’s the obvious beginning of the life in the seed as it sprouts forth new growth. But when a cancer survivor plants a garden it is a testament of faith in the future that might also bring short-term gains such as healthier eating, increased exercise, and improved physical functioning.
A research project in Alabama called “Harvest for Health” is studying this exact premise. They are pairing Master Gardeners from the local cooperative extension system with 100 breast cancer survivors to plant a garden at the survivor’s home. The Master Gardeners visit with the survivors twice a month for one year and provide advice while also answering the new gardener’s questions. Hopefully, with positive results more funding will be available so the program can be expanded to survivors throughout Alabama.
But, there’s no need to wait until the results are in to begin your garden. A garden is one of the best therapies for all of us no matter our individual circumstances. Start planting your garden now so you can cultivate new life.
Kim McCorquodale RD, CSO