National Gardening Week: What is Vitamin G?
National Gardening Week is the nation’s biggest celebration of gardening, looking to raise awareness about the differences that gardens can make. Inspiring the next generation of gardeners to experience the joy of growing and creating green spaces is also a key part of this celebratory week.
As today is Earth Day, we thought it the perfect time to introduce this year’s National Gardening Week theme of “getting vitamin G”. But what is vitamin G and how do you get it? We’re here to give the low down on getting your dose of this increasingly significant vitamin, from walking in nature to upping the ante with outdoor exercise. Of course, we couldn’t celebrate National Gardening Week or Earth Day 2021 without mentioning our very own Market Garden. It’s been a while, so buckle in for a whole heap of updates, including planting seeds, growing organic vegetables and dealing with pests…
National Gardening Week 2021
This year, National Gardening Week is running from Monday 26th April until Sunday 2nd May. The first celebration of Gardening Week was in 2012, and each year the organisation chooses a different theme to highlight all aspects of gardening. It’s important to mention that you don’t need your own garden to take part in this campaign, this year especially. This is because the focus this time around is on “getting vitamin G”.
Over the past year, outdoor green spaces have become a bigger part of our lives, more than ever before. For some, being able to get out of the house and explore nature has been a lifeline. With this in mind, National Gardening Week 2021 continues to highlight the importance of connecting with nature for both mental and physical wellbeing.
We are big supporters of the feel-good power that plants and gardens can supply, being lucky enough to be nestled on the edge of (the very green) Dartmoor National Park. Recent scientific evidence links gardening and green space with wellbeing, emphasising getting your daily dose of vitamin G.
What is Vitamin G?
Vitamin G is not a nutrient found in food, water or sunshine, like vitamin D. You can’t find it in any medication, it doesn’t cost anything and there are no side effects. Vitamin G is described as the “ultimate antioxidant”, gained simply from spending time in green spaces. It is known to calm the mind, boost the mood, act as a digital detox and as a natural healer for mental health. Research shows a daily dose of vitamin G can improve personal wellbeing, but bringing green into your daily life is key for maximum benefits.
Some doctors may even prescribe what is known as “green therapy” to help reset the mental state. Green therapy has many benefits, including lowering stress levels, reducing mental fatigue, helping to relax, improving focus, confidence and self-esteem as well as boosting both physical and mental health.
Taking exercise into the great outdoors can add an extra layer of health benefits. This is often referred to as “green exercise”, combining the above benefits with the advantages of exercise. For the greatest mood improvement, some may partake in green exercise in a “blue environment”, incorporating a body of water into their daily vitamin G intake.
From immersing yourself in your gardening, visiting your closest National Park or even just strolling through your neighbourhood, taking in the trees and the grass, can help to get your dose of vitamin G.
Our Market Garden
A few people who aren’t short of their dose of vitamin G are our lovely team at the Market Garden. The good weather has brought an abundance of life to the garden, overflowing with enough green to keep the whole Eversfield Organic herd happy for weeks.
Over the past few weeks, the team have been busy sowing seeds, executing transplants, dealing with a few nasty pests and of course, growing vegetables. Starting early to ensure a high yielding crop and figuring out how to grow tomatoes in the best way, delicate pepper and tomato plant species were first up. Next, the team were fighting mildew and algae affecting their brassicas and smaller, younger plants. Laura, our head Market Gardener, illuminates that algae thrives in a warm, wet, and bright environment such as our polytunnel. Luckily it doesn’t damage larger plants, but it does leave them looking a little unsightly!
In true Earth Day spirit, the team have also been working on their bee-friendly mix. The hopes of their wildflower strips are to increase availability of food for pollinating insects as well as acting as natural pest control. Broad beans were the next to be sown into the polytunnel beds. Laura expands that the beds are in strict rotation of crops to prevent pest and disease build up. The beans are a great source of protein and fibre, rich in folate and vitamin B, good for nerve and blood cell development, cognitive function and energy. We can’t wait to see these going out in our veg boxes.
More excitement came when the team spotted their first organic rhubarb crown pushing up through the soil and straw mulch. Our Victoria variety is robust, unlikely to become stringy and most importantly delicious. The crowns are from local organic growers in South Devon. Unfortunately, they won’t be picked this year as the rhubarb babies need time to develop a strong root system. We’ll have to wait until next year to get our hands on these yummy treats in our veg box.
Whether you’re heading out on a green space walk or taking inspiration from our Market Gardeners and attempting to grow your own vegetables or improve your garden, we’d love to know. Show us how you’re celebrating National Gardening Week on Instagram (@eversfield_organic), Facebook (Eversfield Organic) or Twitter (@eversfieldorg) – then go get some more vitamin G!