Cultivate Fresh Food and Yourself with a Vegetable Garden
Test your green thumb with these gardening audiobooks
Plenty of people are searching for new, healthy routines that give them a chance to focus on themselves and add some positivity to their days. Growing your own fresh vegetables is therapeutic, relaxing and a great way to add healthy, flavourful produce to your diet.
A vegetable garden sounds like an ambitious project, but growing your own food doesn’t have to be a challenge. Vegetable gardens can be surprisingly low maintenance, and you don’t even need a backyard to start one. From herbs to hearty vegetables, there are tons of things you can grow on a balcony or even a windowsill.
Vegetable gardening is more than a personal exercise. It can also be a foundation for building stronger communities. That’s what Will Allen explains in The Good Food Revolution, the story of Allen’s personal journey to kick off an urban farming revolution.
When Allen, a former professional basketball player, left his marketing career at Procter & Gamble, he purchased a two-acre farming plot in his hometown of Milwaukee, just outside one of the city’s largest public housing projects. The neighbourhood was a food desert: an area where it’s difficult to find affordable, healthy fare, usually dominated by convenience stores and fast food, and lacking grocery stores and supermarkets.
The urban farming movement is about providing an alternative food supply that’s closer to the community. Urban farming improves public health and makes fresh, healthy food available in places where it’s hard to access. Of course, you don’t have to join a movement to make small changes. Just starting your own garden will improve the quality of the food you eat. It might even bring you closer to the neighbours. After all, who else is going to eat all the extra squash that you’ll inevitably have on your hands?
The garden is a sanctuary for those who love getting their hands dirty, planting seeds and watching them grow. It’s not just about the work, though. It’s also a chance to be alone, mindful and calm. But a lot of first-time gardeners stress out about unexpected problems like pests or animals sneaking in and digging up bulbs. These are some of the same anxieties former First Lady Michelle Obama experienced and talks about in American Grown.
American Grown is one of the reasons for vegetable gardening’s growing popularity. Back in 2009, the First Lady planted a kitchen garden in the White House’s South Lawn. This became the inspiration for American Grown. The story starts with her anxieties and concerns as a novice gardener but expands to inspiring stories of gardening and fresh food movements across the US. This is a listen that will help you through the struggles of first-time gardening and learn the simple joys of growing things.
Another great title to get started with is Down to Earth by gardening expert Monty Don. Don brings over 50 years of gardening experience to the table. He combines practical tips with his personal gardening philosophies. Find out what to do about changing seasons, pests, containers and much more in this distillation of 50 years of experience. Not only that, but Monty Don’s warm voice is the perfect company to keep with you.
Of course, there’s more to enjoy while you garden than gardening audiobooks. If you’re looking for some diversion, check out original audiobooks from Audible. You won’t find them anywhere else and Audible Originals run the gamut, offering you audio dramas, comedy specials and theatrical performances unlike anything you’ve ever listened to. They’re an excellent way to enjoy an afternoon outdoors.
Want to get your kids outside more this summer? Take them out with you and learn how to grow vegetables together. They’ll love an excuse to get their hands dirty and dig around in the soil. Gardening can be quality time together just as much as it can be alone time. You can even give them their own little corner to grow something all on their own.
Not only does gardening give you some time outdoors, but it will also up your game in the kitchen. Teaching your kids to cook is one of the activity ideas for parents we suggested in a past article, and when you add in fresh vegetables that they helped grow, they’ll be all the more excited.
On the other hand, if you’re in need of a moment to yourself, a good children’s audiobook can be just what you need to buy yourself some quiet time. When you need just a few moments of peace to head out into your garden and gather your thoughts, try these titles that will keep kids entertained, so you can enjoy some time to yourself.
Need more to listen to while you garden? If you’re in the mood for more local stories, explore audiobooks from Canadian authors. You’ll find award-winning fiction, gut-wrenching memoirs and international bestsellers, all from Canadian talent. Once you press play, you won’t want to go back inside.
It’s important to give yourself a break when working from home so that you can get back to it with focus and clarity, and gardening is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. It’s one of those hobbies that improves your health and your mood, with one added bonus: fresh produce grown right in your backyard. If you’ve been using audiobooks for gardening tips, share your favourites with us and let us know what you’re growing.