Why Black people are turning to gardening during difficult times – News – Washington …

People of color are using their green thumbs to reconnect during difficult times and finding a form of solace that can be achieved right in your backyard or at a local community gardening center.

Gardening isn’t unfamiliar territory in Black history. Black Americans have been cultivators of plants for generations, from having to tend the crops on plantations to diving into both gardening and farming as a means of accessing fresh food and vegetables. Even as slaves, after being forced to work sunrise to sunset, African Americans found locations where they could grow plants and food to help supplement a struggling diet.

The relationship between Black people and gardening has transformed and taken on different meanings including a representation of trauma. A 2018 thesis by Matthew Goodrid at the University of the Pacific explains that “the environmental trauma that African Americans have experienced in outdoor settings throughout American history” along with other factors, like a lack of representation for Blacks across markets, has birthed the false notion and cultural misconception that Black people don’t have a connection to nature via indoor and outdoor green spaces.

Exposure to plants and green spaces while gardening can be beneficial to mental and physical health and may serve as a way to find peace during difficult times. Simply viewing plants can reduce stress, fear, anger, sadness, blood pressure, pulse rate and muscle tension, according to one 2018 study.

People of color are using their green thumbs to reconnect during difficult times and finding a form of solace that can be achieved right in your backyard or at a local community gardening center.

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A post shared by Bri Saintt (@eargardn) on Jun 22, 2020 at 8:55am PDT

Combine the following Black mental health resources in tandem with gardening to create a healthy space that enhances your peace:

Therapy for Black Girls

Black Men Heal

Black Girls Smile

Healing Black Women

Healing While Black

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network

Brother You’re on My Mind

Melanin and Mental Health

Black Mental Health Alliance

Unapologetically Us

Black Mental Wellness

Find peace in the garden

Many times Black people “keep on keeping on” and push past the limit leading to a vicious cycle that’s damaging to mental and physical health. From disproportionately being affected by the coronavirus to being subjected to racial profiling to being killed as unarmed citizens, Black Americans need an outlet for finding peace in an unceasing world.

“There is so much heaviness going on in the world. From Ahmaud Arbery to George Floyd to Breyonna Taylor, there are so many heavy things on my heart,” said Michelle Fletcher, an urban gardener and owner of Tower Garden, a digital company that supplies vertical, aeroponic tower gardens to help gardeners grow their own greens and herbs indoors.

“I’m a Black woman and I…


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