Week 18 of the Weekly Garden Digest – Growth in a Blue Zone

Gardening and The Blue Zone

What is a Blue Zone you say? 

Last night, we stumbled upon a documentary on Blue Zones that truly piqued our interest. While we’d heard about the term Blue Zone in passing, this was our first deep dive into the concept.

In essence, Blue Zones are regions across the globe where people tend to live longer than the average population. There are five notable Blue Zones: Okinawa Prefecture, Japan; Nuoro Province, Sardinia, Italy; the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California, United States.

The documentary placed significant emphasis on cultivating a healthy lifestyle. This lifestyle comprises elements like daily physical activity, engagement in gardening, and a mindful approach to your diet. Central to the Blue Zone way of life are the “Power 9″ principles, which encapsulate the core practices of those who reside in Blue Zones:”

1. Making movement a natural part of your day.

2. Knowing your sense of purpose.

3. Prioritizing stress relief.

4. Eating until you’re about 80% full.

5. Eating a largely plant-based diet.

6. Drinking alcohol in moderation.

7. Connecting with your community.

8. Putting family (whether biological or chosen) first.

9. Choosing social circles that support healthy behaviors.

Blue Zones revealed on a world map, highlighting regions where people live longer, healthier lives with shared lifestyle and dietary habits.

How does a Blue Zone help us?

You might be thinking, “Well, that’s all well and good, but I don’t live in one of these Blue Zones, so how can I benefit from these principles?” It’s true; you may not reside in these specific regions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adopt these principles in your own life. Let’s explore how we, as gardeners, can apply these ideas to our advantage!

Several key vegetables prominently feature in the diets of Blue Zone residents. These include leafy greens (like spinach, kale, beet and turnip tops, chard, and collards), beans, yams, and sweet potatoes. The good news is that most of these can thrive in various growing zones. You might already be growing some of these without realizing they are staples in Blue Zone diets.

Now is an excellent time to start planning your garden for next year. Stumbling upon this documentary at this moment feels serendipitous. We encourage you to explore the vegetables mentioned above and delve into what these Blue Zone regions cultivate. Who knows, you might discover new crops to grow!

The documentary underscores the importance of staying active and continually moving. It showcases how many residents in these zones, some of whom are even a century old, engage in daily gardening. They tend to their gardens every day, using manual tools (a testament to not needing fancy high-tech equipment!).

We hope this has sparked your curiosity to research how you can incorporate Blue Zone principles into your own life and your kitchen garden!

Nutrient-packed plate featuring avocado, tomatoes, kale, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and lettuce for a vibrant and healthy meal.

5 Key Takeaways

Diverse Vegetable Cultivation: Incorporate a wide variety of vegetables into your garden, including leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard), legumes (beans), and root vegetables (yams, sweet potatoes). These staples from Blue Zone diets can thrive in most growing zones, providing a diverse and nutritious harvest.

Year-Round Gardening: Embrace gardening as a year-round activity. Like Blue Zone residents, who tend to their gardens daily, keep your garden active throughout the seasons. Utilize manual gardening tools for exercise and to maintain a strong connection with your garden.

Healthy Eating Habits: Follow a predominantly plant-based diet with an emphasis on fresh, homegrown produce. Incorporate these homegrown vegetables into your meals, ensuring a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.

Community and Social Interaction: Engage with your local gardening community. Share your gardening experiences, tips, and produce with neighbors and fellow gardeners. This fosters a sense of community, much like the close-knit social networks seen in Blue Zones.

Sustainable Gardening Practices: Implement sustainable gardening techniques. Mimic the environmentally-friendly approaches observed in Blue Zones, such as natural and organic gardening methods, to ensure the long-term health of your garden and the planet.

Vibrant purple sweet potatoes, showcasing two whole potatoes and a sliced one, rich in color and nutrition.

What’s next?

We’re confident that this week’s newsletter has enriched your understanding and ignited your passion for your kitchen garden ventures. However, our shared exploration doesn’t end here.

Stay connected with us on social media, where a wealth of gardening insights, exclusive behind-the-scenes peeks, and real-time updates await. Engaging with our vibrant community and learning from your unique gardening journeys brings us immense joy. Join the dialogue and become a valued member of our growing family of plant enthusiasts on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.

Feeling inspired and envisioning your own kitchen garden project? We’re thrilled to connect with you. Our team stands ready to provide guidance, share our expertise, and collaborate to make your garden dreams a reality. Be it a design consultation, construction services, or a tailored plan, we’re excited to join you on this rewarding journey.

Reach out without hesitation to kick-start the conversation. Share your aspirations, ask questions, and let us help you transform your vision into a flourishing reality. We’re honored to play a role in your kitchen garden success story!

We are here to help you achieve your gardening goals! Reach out with any questions that might come up throughout your journey. 

We are excited to announce that there are some new DIY plans on our Etsy store. Whether you need some more storage in the garden, are looking to spruce up your curb appeal or are looking for a new way to grow your tomatoes, we have something for you!

Check it out here – https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WillowLaneGardenCo

Best regards,

Tessa & Kyle
Willow Lane Garden Co.

P.S. Tag us in your garden photos and stories on social media. We’d love to see your green thumb in action! 

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