Gardening has the ability to get the whole family out together into the fresh air and sunlight and creates a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Many families are seeking safe and meaningful activities they can participate in at home as our world practices social distancing to reduce the spread of Covid19. Gardens have historically been important in times of crisis. Many of you may have heard of WW2 era Victory Gardens planted to aid in food shortages. Did you know that an astounding 40 percent of the food grown in the U.S. in 1944 came from National Victory Gardens? Gardening fosters a sense of perseverance and reliance by providing hope and food. I am pretty sure most of us can weather many of life’s storms as long as we have hope and food! If you have never planted a garden or just typically don’t have the time to plant one, now is a great time to start! Gardening can provide many benefits to people of all ages. Not only do gardens provide fresh, nutritious and delicious food but can boost overall physical and mental health. According to the World Health Organization, good health means more than just the absence of bad health symptoms. It means “the presence of positive emotions, quality of life, sense of community and happiness.” Gardening burns calories, helps build and maintain strong muscle and bones, reduces likelihood of dementia, improves sleep and heart health, and elevates immunity. Studies also show that gardening can actually reduce stress and improve mood by increasing the body’s serotonin levels.