Volume 8 Issue 4

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Page 8 | Abby's Magazine | reliever! You may have even heard the adage that "stress kills" and you don't have to look far to understand why they say that. We have gone through nine months of what I can only describe as "fear mongering" by virtue of a media that is complicit and profits from doing it. That is not to diminish the significance of the virus, people affected, or lives lost. More so, to shine a bright light on the fear peddling, which in turn causes stress, which in turn gives rise to a multitude of mental and physical issues, not the least of which is your immune system: When we are stressed, the immune system's ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system (e.g. lowers the number of lymphocytes). Simply psychology Finally, the newest findings on social stress underscore the value of good friends; even just a few close friends can help someone feel connected and stay strong. Social ties may indirectly strengthen immunity because friends - at least health-minded friends -- can encourage good health behaviors such as eating, sleeping and exercising well. Good friends also help to buffer the stress of negative events from the American Psychological Association. Abby Sayler described her dream to me of creating an organic community farm a little over six years ago. That year (2014) In November, we acquired the property now known as Abby's Organic Community Farm and by May of the following year we had our 501(c)3, non-profit designation and corporate status in place. That month we also recruited our first four volunteers, with over a hundred families volunteering since that wonderful day in May. Today, we have 54 families that come out to the farm weekly to work, learn and enjoy all the beauty and wonder of our lovely farm. Additionally, we serve several hundred students each season (plus parents and teachers) with field trips, workshops, Nature Labs and special events. So in May this year we celebrated (not really, thanks to COVID) our 5th anniversary but even that story has its own irony. You see our volunteer families were in fact celebrating the fact that we had created this safe, healthy, outdoor, beautiful environment that they could enjoy every day... while the rest of the world was being told to stay home. We were diligent (and still are) related to distancing guidelines and hygiene but as it should be everywhere, we were confident our members would make their own choices regarding being personally responsible and having respect for others. In that regard, we know from the comments and testimony from volunteers that the farm is a wonderful stress 5 YEARS! Abby's Farm Celebrates By David Housefield

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