What really sucks is coming home from a month holiday in Europe to a fast approaching exam week. Having jet lag and catching up on weeks of law subjects is like some kind of never ending nightmare. My last exam involved taking in over 200 pages of notes and the 3000 page QLD Criminal Code. Good times. Hence no post last month. The garden held up well when we were away thanks to the timer drip irrigation system. It really is the most efficient watering system you can have in your garden. The best part is that it waters plants at the roots, not the leaves. Please don’t make this mistake…aim for the roots not the leaves! The leaves do not need water!
As my uni fuelled anxiety was at an all time high, I needed to manage my stress. So I went outside to garden. Why? GARDENING REDUCES STRESS. Thankfully this is a growing area of research (no pun intended). Several studies have shown that gardening can actually lower the stress hormone cortisol. Just sitting in your garden promotes relaxation and reduces stress! Gardening gets us outside in the fresh air and sunshine which helps our body produce essential Vitamin D. It also provides low impact physical activity, increases energy levels and feelings of vitality. It is proven that people who spend more time outside in nature have better mental health and a more positive outlook on life. A Netherlands study actually found that gardening is one of the most potent stress-relieving activities you can do. So do it!
Speaking of mental wellness, here are a few happy snaps of our time travelling through France, Switzerland and Italy (and trusty stopover Dubai). Some of my favourite bits were touring the wine regions of Champagne, Burgundy and Chianti. Also the amazing food of Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse (indoor food markets in Lyon) and a food crawl we did in Rome with lots of eating in the Jewish Ghetto. Furthermore, it was difficult to endure long European style lunches with bottles of wine and eating food so good it was like an emotional experience EVERYDAY. I can barely make it through the day without a drink now. One highlight (permaculture related of course) was a visit to Fattoria Poggio Alloro, an organic family farm in Tuscany that produces wheat, wine, saffron and extra-virgin olive oil. As well as Chianina cattle, chickens and bees. We had lunch there, eating homemade pasta and tuscan meats, washed down with Chianti Classico and a view of San Gimignano. A lifetime away from exam week. Jem x