What New Gardens Have to Teach Us

Gardening offers so many  lessons about how things thrive.  It’s well into the 70’s along the Jersey Shore and in spite of the raging tornadoes that have been rampaging through the US’s mid-section,  these last few Spring-like days offer gardeners  a chance to try again to get something right.

This year I will stake the tomatoes and the dahlias earlier so that fewer hit the ground and I can enjoy them. I divided the lilies Easter afternoon so I am hoping to have extended my enjoyment of their one day life span by increasing their numbers and their impact. The soil in the raised bed has been turned several times and nutrients added.  Squirrels have eaten the tulip heads. I will get them next year.  And I am overjoyed to have a chance to make a better garden.

It’s hard to believe that a seedling like this can grow into a tomato that I will eat to nourish my body.   I feel a reverence about feeding the earth with good things so that it will feed me with good things for continued life.

This same feeling of excitement and uncertainty about how things will grow is the attitude I remind myself to bring to my everyday life. Common sense, right. In the gardening realm, my strengths are I can do individual  plant research  about optimal plant care and  I can follow up with the physical labor and plant love to deliver on the promise of a yield.   I can ensure these plants have the best environment and circumstances to  survive, but  I also have the wherewithal to see that they thrive.  That means more nutrients for me. We all can use the wisdom from our individual lives to improve our circumstances.

Share what expectation do you have for you garden this year? Are you doing anything different?

Both images Simon Howden

This scares me! A reason to think twice about dietary supplements

Image Bottle Of Pills by m_bartosch

After a routine medical visit, my internist recommended I take  a regimen of B6 and vitamin D for a period of 3 months before being retested.  I didn’t think much of this although I prefer to get my nutrients from my food.  I realized however, that I held a prejudice against supplements.  I’d always thought my  friends who took supplements were self-medicating on some level and that they didn’t really know what their bodies needed.

Then last week a National Health Institute journal reported “More than 187 million consumers rely on daily use of dietary supplements, and the supplement industry is pleased that this study reinforces the efficacy and health benefits of their usage. This raised my eyebrows because (a) the FDA ‘s position is  all supplements are harmless until proven otherwise;  and ( b) there is a powerful lobbying structure behind this research.

That doesn’t mean these findings are evil.  But further down in the article my worst fear is realized in reading the statement “as more and more Americans start taking responsibility for their own health, it’s important that the government acknowledge the positive impact dietary supplements have on disease prevention, and the substantial cost benefits to the health care system that result.” This scares me!

It reminds me of how I felt when  401(k) plans  came into the workplace.  Suddenly  a so-called philosophical shift among employers occurred from the provision of defined-benefit pension plans for employees to the administration of defined-contribution retirement plans. Put another way, there were no more guaranteed retirement benefits.  Employees were now permitted to save any way they wanted to … except most did not know the first thing about investments. Remember ENRON.  Well I feel some of that coming in the area of health care and supplements.  And it is scaring me.

Do you regularly take dietary supplements?  How do you feel about this in the face of the ongoing healthcare debate?

Please comment and share.