This week we’re bringing you the experience of a first-time veggie gardener and a first-time Gardenuity gardener, who happens to be our resident blog writer, Rachel Andes. Rachel just planted her Gardenuity garden, and she’s excited to share with you her adventure with gardening since joining the team.
Get to know Rachel as we talk about her experiences with gardening and how she practices wellness and wellbeing through movement and dance.
Rachel is a recent college graduate from Wayne State University, in the wonderful city of Detroit, Michigan. She received her BFA in Dance Performance after 5 years of rigorous studies and training. Rachel also recently made a cross-country move out to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she is seeking new opportunities in dance and the great outdoors!
She has always been an avid house plant and succulent gardener; when she began her journey at Gardenuity is when she also began to develop a love for vegetable and herb gardening.
“One of my favorite things about Gardenuity is the way we strive to share the gifts of gardening with others,” Rachel says, “Selling the product is one thing, and something that will bring immeasurable joy into people’s lives.
But what I mean is that gardening is so good for you in an extremely wholesome way. Before I started working with Gardenuity, I didn’t realize that spending time in the garden is truly a practice of health and wellbeing.”
Although Rachel just planted her Gardenuity garden this week, she feels that her love of gardening was sparked through the knowledge that Donna and the rest of the team have shared with her since her very first day.
“I am so excited to be bringing together my passion for writing with my passion for growing; although I’m new to veggie gardening, I can definitely say that there is nothing quite like having an, ‘I grew that!’ moment. It never gets old.”
Movement & Wellbeing
As a dancer, Rachel is familiar with wellbeing practices that look deeper than just the physical state of the body. Dance requires an internal awareness, often referred to as a somatic awareness in the movement world. This internal awareness is difficult to achieve; you must learn how to listen to your body, and at times, quiet your mind.
This is why gardening is the perfect activity for a dance artist, or any person who is seeking a practice that encourages reflection. Listening is a skill that is not easily acquired, but one that gives back ten-fold after you’ve taken the time to develop it.
“I think that one of the greatest lessons to be learned from the garden is how to listen,” Rachel shares, “If I would’ve known how important my gardening practices were while I was in school, I would have spent more time refining the skills I use for dance by listening to my garden.”
“Another thing that I really appreciate about Gardenuity,” Rachel says, “is that there is a true desire to see people make sustainable changes in their lives. It’s not a ploy for people to buy a useless product; these gardens have the ability to change people’s lives. I feel so connected to that idea because I believe in it, and so does everyone here at Gardenuity. You can feel it.”
Starting a Garden
“I planted my Gardenuity garden after a full shift of working from my home office,” she says, “I can’t even tell you how good it felt to get my hands dirty and break a sweat while putting together my garden.”
Gardening is a fantastic way to break up your workday, especially while working from home. It provides a change of scenery, a chance to get your body moving, a chance to get outside, and an opportunity to give your mind a moment of peace. These things are imperative to having a successful and efficient day of work.
“My mood always changes for the better when I have a chance to tend to my plants,” Rachel shares.
This is real!
Gardening is a way to reduce depression, boost your mood, and boost your productivity. “I am so excited to spend some time taking care of my container garden on my work breaks; it really is giving me something to look forward to.”
Your Body is Your Tool
A major philosophy that comes along with the art of movement is honoring your body as your tool with which you navigate the world.
One of the beautiful things about being a dancer is that the work encourages you not just to engage with movement, but to be aware of how you engage with the world as a whole – this becomes an essential part of your work.
“As one of my professors always said, ‘Movement is life,’” Rachel explains, “What I like to tell people is that you don’t have to be a professional dancer to understand movement; movement is in everything you do, every day of your life. Even when you are still, your body is experiencing internal movement and the movement that is happening around you.”
This is why taking care of your body is so vital to having a full engagement with the world around you. In order to truly listen and be at peace, the systems operating within you need to be nourished, too.
Gardening is the perfect answer for this necessity, as it provides you with the vegetables and herbs your body needs in order to function at max capacity.
“Gardenuity encourages you to engage in personal growth that starts from the inside out, and I think that is a beautiful thing,” Rachel says.
Start your own garden towards growth by getting into your garden – a wonderful world of positive change and possibility awaits you!