Crystal’s Edible Garden Helps Lift Spirits During Stay-at-Home Order
It’s the perfect time to grow a green thumb according to Scott Berggren, Crystal’s recreation supervisor.
“Not only is it good for stress release and can help people during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’ll grow, harvest, feed and have food for the year,” Berggren said.
Crystal Community Center has had an edible courtyard for three years now, which provides free access to healthy food for visitors.
Families can expect to see fruits, fresh vegetables and herbs including cucumbers, egg plants and zucchini.
“Its not a substitute for grocery shopping but if they’re looking for a recipe for lunch they’re welcome to stop by and pick what they need and leave possession for someone else,” said Berggren.
Berggren said a group called A Backyard Farm helps plant the Crystal Community Center edible courtyard.
“Getting out into the garden provides our bodies with good physical exercise which is especially important during this time when we can’t get to the gym or our usual yoga class,” said Coleen Gregor, owner of A Backyard Farm.
Gregor told CCX that the friendly bacteria commonly found in soil actually activates brain cells to produce the brain chemical called serotonin, which is similar to antidepressants.
“Working in the soil is a natural mood booster,” exclaimed Gregor, “Also some degree of exposure to sunlight is good for our vitamin D levels which also contributes to our feelings of well being.”
Gregor also said gardening helps our immune system.
“Many people feel that gardening gives them a sense of internal calm, similar to the feeling of meditating,” said Gregor. “So, there you have it, good for mind, body and soul.”