Volume 10 Issue 4

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Page 24 | Abby's Magazine | After the last couple of years, it's time to take inventory of what we are doing in our life to offset the angst and confusion of the COVID experience. We know that stress and anxiety is toxic to our immune system and renders us in a weakened state. I think we got a "big gulp" portion of that since 2020. It's time for many of us to get outdoors and do something healthy to mitigate some of the damage caused by all the confusion. We believe our farm has some very real intrinsic values associated with volunteering that would be obvious and a host of other valuable benefits that aren't quite so obvious. So, while entertaining your new initiatives or adventures for 2022 we would respectfully ask you to consider the following regarding what we call "farm life". *There is an incredible sense of well-being and self-sufficiency associated with being able to grow your own healthy, organic food. *"Finding your tribe" and working alongside other likeminded people in community for a common goal or purpose is fun and very fulfilling. A collaborative approach to virtually any undertaking makes tasks seem easier and generally more rewarding. "Belonging" is a key element to healthy mental and emotional well being. *I wrote an article entitled "A Heart Healthy Hobby", that can be found on our website, that describes all the various health benefits associated with gardening. It's an interesting look at how good the time spent at the farm can be for your overall health. *Nature is a wild and wondrous thing. The miracle of watching your seeds... become food is actually quite a profound experience. If you have children, it's a thing (and skill) not to be missed. Being outdoors in the sun, rain, wind... watching birds, bees, bugs and chickens is very, very good for your brain, heart and soul. In fact, there was a study done regarding children that said there are motor and cognitive skills that can only develop properly by the sights, sounds and experiences of nature. *There are good bacteria that our bodies desperately need that is found in digging around and getting good, healthy organic soil on our skin, under our nails, etc. For some of our families (with kids) it includes good, healthy organic soil in their hair, eyes, ears and basically all over their bodies... well done! *We would all like to think we are making a positive difference in our planet and world, regardless of the scale. Organic farming is a responsible use of our resources and the environment. In our little world we are not contaminating the aquifer with dangerous chemicals and runoff to the lake is nontoxic. Our bees and butterflies are not being poisoned by harmful pesticides. Our future plan is to develop our wind/solar/rainwater collection exhibits to demonstrate further responsibility and sustainability. I'm sure there are more benefits, because the farm is so dynamic and the people that use it are so diverse. Interestingly, a recurring theme I hear from volunteers is a peace they have when they are at the farm. We touched on that above related to nature, because there is a calming serenity that can only be found and experienced in that environment. It's invaluable to those that COLLATERAL BENEFITS COLLATERAL BENEFITS o f F a r m L i f e o f F a r m L i f e

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