Blog: Horticultural Therapy

 

 

I’ve come across a couple of small articles on how gardening soothes us. “Geosmin” is the component in soil that affects our brains and gives us a feeling of peace. But, did you know there is a formal association for and about horticultural therapy? My guest this week, Jeff, the Plant Guy, reminded me. He highlighted the various institutions he personally travels to, various programs he shares and the positive results. Results can happen on a more subtle level. Memories are stirred, we think back to other times and places often with positive results. Here’s a great article that talks about gardening improving longevity.

Horticultural therapy is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the “Father of American Psychiatry,” was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.” (American Horticultural Therapy Association)

They also state: “A therapeutic garden is a plant-dominated environment purposefully designed to facilitate interaction with the healing elements of nature. Interactions can be passive or active depending on the garden design and users’ needs. There are many sub-types of therapeutic gardens including healing gardens, enabling gardens, rehabilitation gardens, and restorative gardens.” (American Horticultural Therapy Association)

I had an opportunity a couple of years ago to help out at the Hobbs Farm on LI. They produced food for the 11 food banks that existed at that time throughout LI.

The founder had a son who was severely injured in a car accident and disabled. They were able to put in a macadam surface for wheelchair access and built high raised beds for wheelchair bound folk. The canopy and benches gave them a place for snacks and a way to get out of the sun. It was and is a very practical and useful therapeutic design garden area, all part of the bigger farm.

Today I’d like to remind you to get out into your yards, gardens, nearby forests. If you can’t and have houseplants spend some time with them today. They clean our air, add moisture to it and lend a feeling of well being. All good.

Do you have any memories connected to a particular plant or flower? We enjoy hearing from you. Please share. Thanks. Judith

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Christopher Salem, Author, Influencer

Description: What creates success? We all look for some kind of answer that will bring us the satisfaction of prosperity. But, there’s no magic bullet. Accountability, responsibility, creating positive patterns and habits, showing up with more mindfulness each day empowers us and our creativity which brings success. Join Chris Salem and me for an engaging and inspiring discussion on how looking at our limiting beliefs, how getting to the root cause of our problems leads to more sustainable solutions. Chris is an author, speaker, and influencer contributing to the success of many businesses across our country.

About My Guest: Chris Salem is a highly authentic person who for over four years has had a special passion for empowering and serving business leaders, entrepreneurs in various industries, sales executives, coaches, authors, speakers, and others, taking their business and life to another level. For many years, Chris has seen people aspiring to make changes and grow but struggled at different phases of their career and life. He is just like you, a regular person that has faced similar struggles. Chris shares from experience what has worked successfully through hard work and dedication to help in your challenges.
Chris also delivers world-class content to audiences as a speaker that is high-impact which shifts people toward positive action. The focus is on the “root cause” that leads to changes and results, thus moves the audience toward improving their business and personal life. Always coming from the heart and personal experience, the audience is able to draw their own conclusions as to what is required of themselves to come out of their comfort zone and strive toward prosperity. Unlike seminars or programs that scratch the surface, the focus is always on the audience to make changes by addressing the “root cause” that holds back their greatness. Chris is 100% committed to SERVING & TRAINING the audience versus SELLING just products and services.

Transcript: #63 Chris Salem

Earth Day: Precious Water, Symbol of Life

 

My podcast guest this week, Grandmother Nancy Andry, shared her story, her wisdom and spoke about women as caretakers of the water. She is one of the singers, sharers, and promoters of the Algonquin Water Song. This incredible gift, the Algonquin Water Song is for us. Please listen to the recording and sing the song every day. We have misused our water, shown great disrespect for water as evidenced by the level of pollution that exists on our planet.
In the past 12 years, drinking water used by 49 million residents of the United States has been contaminated with bacteria, radioactive materials, and arsenic in levels that are both illegal and incredibly unsafe. 

Water, a powerful symbol in every culture, is our lifeblood. Water is connected to healing, cleansing, and renewal. I ask that you remember to give thanks for every drop of water you drink, bath in, wash in not just during Earth Day Celebrations but every day. Today I am adding the River Song sung by Brooke Medicine Eagle, and, a song for and with the creatures of the Oceans by Dr. Leesa Sklover, also a podcast guest.

Water is crucial to our existence on this planet. Please share these beautiful songs and sing the water song every day. Did you enjoy these songs? I hope so. We’d like to hear from you. Enjoy. Judith

 

Interview with Host Christopher Salem, ‘Sustainable Success Show’ on Voice America

Description: We all know that old models are not sustainable. Creating product, manufacturing product at the expense of everything else has placed us, humans and other species in a precarious position. Jean Houston says: “We cannot reverse the overuse of our environment without facing the gross underuse of our interior environment’” So, from Judith Dreyer’s experiences as a dreamer, presenter, and writer, she feels we are looking for ways to write a new story, one that is regenerative and sustainable.

It was a pleasure and an honor to be a guest on Chris Salem’s show. I hope you enjoy our engaging discussion. Remember now is the time for practical action and profound inner change so we value our world today.


 

Blog: Restoring Our Relationship with Microbes for Optimal Health

There’s a buzz going around in soil science and health about our “microbiome”. Both are equally important for different reasons yet for the same result. Healthy soil teeming with microbes and bacteria, supporting a fungal network thus creating a vital microbiome grows nutritious foods. Nutritious foods, freshly picked or organically grown or purchased retains a bit of the soil biome and contributes to keeping our gut in better shape microbe wise. Researchers like the presenter above are connecting the dots about how our relationship to soil, microbes, and health are interconnected. It’s like another version of the web. And, It’s a win-win for us and the planet.

My podcast guest this week, Kimberly Kresevic, founder of InSoil Health seeks to do just that. She can show farmers in real time the health status of their soil. Where there are deficiencies, she can advise farmers on the correct amendments to positively build soil health, all of which grows healthier foods. We take care of the soil and the soil takes care of us. A relationship we have forgotten about. We may not have had the science to understand our relationship in the past but now we do. And, It’s a bit scary when we look at the scope of the problems facing us today. And, It’s fascinating, too and what folks are doing one talk, one garden, one business at a time.

Yes, we can make a difference.

  • Grow your own food.
  • If you can’t, join in a community garden venture.
  • If you can’t, buy from a CSA.
  • If you can’t, buy organic and from local organic farmers.
  • Remember: every purchase is a vote.

I hope you enjoyed the TED Talk above. He defines microbiome, shows colorful slides so we can envision how this microscopic system works within us. And, the best news is that with a few lifestyle changes, we can experience a more positive health response, enabling us to live healthy lives while improving our partnership with the earth.

Did you enjoy his review? Let us know what you can do to make a positive change in your life today. Thanks.

Enjoy. Judith

 

Blog: The Dirt on Relationship

 

 

 

“To forget how to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” M. Gandhi

It seems like nothing much is happening to the natural world around us. Winter has a couple of weeks yet to linger around. Though hostas peek through the snow, spring bulbs sprout a few leaves and tease us by popping up a little early, it’s still winter. This time and place on the wheel are traditionally thought to be a quieter time, a time for making garden plans, checking seed supplies, a time for dreaming of the blossoms to come. A tension builds though, before spring’s explosions of flower and beauty. Can you feel it? Though we have snow on the ground here in the NE, birds are more active, even tree buds are more obvious.

My podcast guest this week, Dan Blanchard, Author, Teacher, Coach is passionate about growing positive relationships. He shared a couple of stories about how his honesty, though not popular in the moment, touched a student. Dan reaped the rewards years later.

Working with our soil is about relationship too. Soon we will be digging in this dirt, itchy to plant seeds. What is your relationship to dirt? Sounds silly but to farmers and gardeners, the soil is the source of fertility on this planet. Do you take the soil for granted? What does soil mean to you? Have you taken a walk lately, felt the cold bite your cheeks, felt the sun getting warmer, appreciated the clear blue skies? What about putting your awareness to the ground, where so much is taking place. Tension is building. It has to. It takes tremendous energy for a seed to break out of its shell and begin its journey of growth and potential. Like the teenagers that Dan works with, we have to wait and watch. Under the right conditions, we blossom and so does the earth.

Getting back to our gardens: I highly recommend a soil sample of your garden beds before you plant. Contact your local agricultural extension office to obtain a kit and easy directions. The fees are usually nominal and the results worth it. Or use a lab like Logan Labs in Ohio for a more comprehensive analysis which I highly recommend. It cost a little more but if micro and macronutrients are not in proper ratios you could be wasting your time and money adding amendments that will not be able to be utilized. Also, take a separate sample for different areas. For example, collect one soil sample from your vegetable area, a separate sample for the ornamentals, And again, take a separate sample for flowers or for blueberries. Different types of plants have different needs.

Lastly, if or when you can, take time to smell the soil, feel it….be grateful. It is our lifeblood. We have not been good stewards either. Remember “humus” comes from the same root as “humble”. So being grateful begins to foster a more meaningful relationship, a more respectful one with the dirt beneath our feet. If it works for us then it works for all that we seek to grow. Remember all comments are appreciated. Judith