Ah, spring, when hearts turn to love—the love of fresh vegetables. Everyone I know prefers garden-fresh, off-the vine home grown vegetables rather than cold storage, store-bought ones that languish on produce shelves.
I write about and for strong women. Today I want to introduce you to a very strong woman by the name of Judy Couch Walters. Read Judy’s first-hand story, below, about her journey to become a stronger woman, and improve her health in the process.
A few years ago I found myself sick and depressed. I spent most of one year in bed except for visits to several doctors who were trying to help me get well. I did a lot of reading and research and decided to eat an all-organic diet in an effort to regain my strength. I began making fresh green juice every morning out of kale, cucumbers, carrots, celery, ginger and other healthy organic ingredients.
As important as this program was I knew I also needed fresh air, sunshine and moderate exercise. I figured the best way to save money on all the organic produce we were consuming and reach my other goals was to start an organic garden. My husband and I had done a little gardening in our younger years, but had never grown anything organically. This was a new challenge.
Top that with the fact that we have little sunshine in our yard and our soil is not garden friendly. We found a few spots where the sun came through the trees and built some raised beds and began our organic gardening. It has been a challenge in many ways but it has also been great fun and productive.
One complication is that I’m very allergic to bugs. Mosquitoes love me and try to carry me away. I have to limit the time I’m outside to the times the mosquitoes are not feeding. I also wear long pants and long sleeved shirts year round to avoid bug bites. Due to my illness I’m not able to use any insecticides. I’m also very allergic to chigger bites. They are invisible to the naked eye so the only way to avoid them is to stay out of tall grass and any other green growing things that might brush up against my arms or legs. Sometimes I feel like I need a suit of armor to go into the garden but we keep the weeds and grass cut short and the raised beds help to keep leaves from brushing against me.
Thank goodness my husband is not sensitive to bug bites and they mainly leave him alone. He does a lot of the harvesting once the weather is hot and the bugs are the most active.
A couple of years ago we built a small greenhouse that has been a wonderful addition. I’m able to save many of my beloved flowers and plants over the winter and start my veggie seedlings in the spring. This is good mental therapy for me in the winter months when I need sunshine and flowers. It also saves money to grow our own plants. Building the little greenhouse was fun. I love to build things.
A couple of months ago we decided to drill a well on our property so we can water our garden freely with chemical free water. We’ve been saving rainwater but it was not nearly enough for the dry months of summer when our harvest depends on water. This year we will be watering more than we ever have in the past and hope to have a bigger harvest.
We’ve been able to work into our schedule some dog and cat rescue that we love to do. We have several handicapped pets of our own but we make room for one foster dog and one foster cat at a time. It gives us great satisfaction to be a part of such important work. Due to our organic gardening I’ve gotten stronger and healthier and my husband has lost 50 pounds and is off all his medications. We have both benefitted greatly from our choice to start gardening.
Judy’s story inspire me to eat healthier, and to get in touch with my body, listen to the messages it gives, and to take care of my precious health.
I hope you get energized to get up and get out into the sunshine and the rain, and grow healthy foods for yourself and your family.
Feel free to post your own journey with eating healthy