Mental health

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Mental health

Postby Stephen » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:51 pm

I read the article in November edition with interest. A good article altough I think the readership were already convinced that gardening is good for us!
The Guardian is catching up with you! https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/nov/08/its-official-allotments-are-good-for-you-and-for-your-mental-health

I'm not going to share my achievements on Instagram or Twitter but do donate some to friends & neighbours.
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Primrose
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Re: Mental health

Postby Primrose » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:48 pm

I think this is why this second lockdown is proving harder, especially for the elderly. . Back in spring we had some glorious weather and more incentive to get outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.
Now with grey skies, cold winds and rain on the daily agenda getting outdoors is proving harder for many.

Personally I find grey skies and low light levels extremely depressing. Can,t imagine how they cope in countries like Siberia. Probabky explains why the consumption of alcohol is so high.

Need to try sowing a few micro greens on window ledges to keep our growing hopes alive!
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Westi
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Re: Mental health

Postby Westi » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:00 pm

The flip side I have found is the number of people on the FB growing sites who are devastated that their crops did not grow or were attacked due to lack of protection. It is great to grow but many of those recommending this for mental health just extol the virtues of growing without the flip side of the technicalities, the expense, the disasters that can occur. I kind of think that is a bit cruel & people should not be tempted by growing your own as the new cure when technically it just challenges & you have to be in the right mind set to overcome the challenges not add to the existing ones.
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Primrose
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Re: Mental health

Postby Primrose » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:57 am

Westi says a lot of truth. If you're in a mental low, going out onto your plot and finding all your new seedlings have been totally decimated by slugs or pigeons is hardly like to enhance your mood, and just enforces the feeling that everything in life is balanced against you. I suppose serious gardeners are used to these ups and downs but new growers are more likely to invest more heavily in their new hobbies and take failure more seriously.

Sometimes new growers can,t even find the energy to get started because the effort seems overwhelming. I gave a selection of the magazine freebie salad leaves packets to a friend of mine at the beginning of the first lockdown to encourage her to try growing some in her garden. The task of preparing a small patch for growing was a non starter and as far as I know the seed packets are still lurking in one of her drawers somewhere! She,s always admired my own modest garden veg plot and what it produces but had no concept of the effort it actually takes to "bring any harvest home"
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Stephen
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Re: Mental health

Postby Stephen » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:51 pm

I take your points both Westi & Primrose.

It certainly upsets me when I see the condition of plots which have been abandoned. I remember the mess I took on and it took couple of years to get it into shape. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect, especially at this point of the year.
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Re: Mental health

Postby Westi » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:32 pm

All is not lost for them though if KG maybe took this on with bite sized bits to get them started. We know it can make you feel great or if not great certainly better for just being amongst it, but maybe KG can do something more positive even if contacting the voluntary or registered charities to get the language right, even the font & pictures & get the seed & tunnel companies to also contribute with hints & tips with the down side also explained but with cheap at home substitutes? I haven't heard/seen net curtains pop up anywhere for a long time for example.
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Re: Mental health

Postby robo » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:53 pm

I think the same problem/attitude is on allotments,you get a couple taking a plot or even half a plot they start off with plenty energy then within two months they vanish never to be seen again , we have one on our allotment they started was given a new plot that needed working they did nothing but cry then one of the old regulars passed away she cried that much the council gave her the dead guys plot complete with pollytunnel and shed she has not been seen for two months, this week letters from the council went out to certain people who’s sheds ,pollytunnels ,or chicken coups fall within 5 feet of the centre track as they are going to put a new pipeline in for more taps plus updating the original pipe line ,hers is one I wonder if she will be seen
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Stephen
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Re: Mental health

Postby Stephen » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:38 pm

I think the same problem/attitude is on allotments,you get a couple taking a plot or even half a plot they start off with plenty energy then within two months they vanish never to be seen again

Hi Robo, I had one of these on the next door plot. It was on the edge of the overall plot next to an uncultivated area, so he attacked that and created a plot 50% bigger and was hardly seen for months, so a load of black landscaping fabric is now entagled with bramble and other weeds. He then shifted to a half plot on the other side of me, now about half cultivated. Nice chap to chat to but incapable of enduring management. The next occupants arrived and looked after less than half of the area available.
Meanwhile, we have a waiting list of 20 (or so I am told).

Even before observing this I was a great beliver in the "use it or lose it" principle (or "cultivate or vacate" as I prefer it.

(rant over)
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Westi
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Re: Mental health

Postby Westi » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:31 pm

I don't think it is really made clear how hard it is to get started. You are given a plot with weeds galore, mine was a virgin plot & never worked, but it was quite good fun hiding in amongst the weeds to wind up the dog! And yes I stuffed my back for a bit. Then the seed sowing advice did not reflect my growing area, netting advice was given but netting comes in all hole sizes & never knew what a cabbage white butterfly was - they certainly didn't visit my flower beds at home & never saw one in Oz. Took some sun positions too literally & confused myself with the bed allocations, the old guys wound me up constantly with their advice. Then came the need for a shed & so it continued. I doubt I would still be doing it except for the location & the banter & the guys on here putting me right & being extremely patient.

Going on from this - the new guys now maybe read but don't post & go on big FB sites with conflicting advice, no idea of their location compared to yours, their access to great well rotted muck, their budget compared to yours etc. The latest on our site is clearing & building over sowing & growing - even had a mini digger in on one the end of last year - now that has a giant fence & a new shed but no crops - & we've no deer or other critter that needs a 8' deterrent & the rats will climb it anyway or go around. I for one would not want that if I was a new grower as all the weeds are just smashed up to create a bigger problem - but someone will when they give notice to the current holders & as it looks cool they will think they are lucky.
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