Want to live to be 100? Grow a garden
We offer this story from the BBC as sort of a public service. We are plant lovers here at The Sorrentino and we enjoy growing flowers and trees and bushes and everything else. We even have a nice little bonsai that we trim like an old Kyoto man might. (We even have special bonsai shears.) Growing things is good. Plants are positive energy.
We were not always such fans of plants, but over time we've come to enjoy them immensely, their leaves, their flowers, how they grow, why they grow. And we are not surprised at all that gardening and longevity appear to be tied to one another.
An appreciation of plants brings with it an appreciation of the seasons and the passage of time. Each spring the sprouts burst forth, then the flowers, and the summer, and then the fall and then winter. Then it happens again. It's all very Tao and zen. Nothing grounds an individual like dirt under the fingernails in our experience.
Dan Buettner has studied five places around the world where residents are famed for their longevity: Okinawa in Japan, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece, and Loma Linda in California and Sardinia in Italy.
People living in these so-called “blue zones” have certain factors in common – social support networks, daily exercise habits and a plant-based diet, for starters. But they share another unexpected commonality. In each community, people are gardening well into old age – their 80s, 90s and beyond.
There is a broad need, we sense, to get back to something that is more tangible and more real than the digital fog within which so many of us live our lives. We at The Sorrentino certainly spend many many hours per day in front of a screen happily as we love our work. But sometimes we have to get away from the 0s and 1s. Gardening is a good way to do this. And one can do it in one's back yard and at very low cost.
Plus for all you really nutbar prepper type people out there, knowing how to grow food is an excellent skill that may one day serve you well. One can live for a very long time on a row of kale and spinach. Heck, maybe until one is 100 years old. We're sure people have done it.
*The pics come from our own garden.