Around 12,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors stopped migrating to where the food was and began growing their own. This was the beginning of agriculture, and the lives we live today, from the way we brush our teeth to the types of clothes we wear and the types of allergies we experience, all stem back to developing agriculture. We, as humans, evolved with agriculture, which may be why many of us are drawn to it. It’s in our DNA. And as one of the oldest professions, it comes with great job security (food being a necessity) and health benefits (I much rather snack on naturally grown produce than take medication for a diet-related health ailment). But on top of all this, farming has a few other pretty amazing health benefits.
It’s Physically Difficult
This is actually a very good thing. I started volunteering and interning on farms back in undergrad, and I’d always come back home feeling very accomplished and a little wiped out. That feeling of accomplishment along with what felt like all of my nervous energy being funneled out of my body and into the field left me tired in such a good way, and craving wholesome treats. Now that it’s been my full-time job for 3 years, I can feel the ebbs and flows of energy coming to and leaving my body very naturally. Throughout the summer it’s pretty much go-time from sunrise to sunset. There’s always so much to be done. But as winter gets closer and the ground goes dormant, so does my body. My energy begins to become reserved and my body craves rest, which it absolutely needs after a long season in the sun. Spending so much time outside and working physically also means I almost never need to go to a gym (honestly, who has the time?). We spend all day outside chopping, lifting, raking, etc. After a full summer, we start feeling pretty good. I’m not saying all farm jobs will give you washboard abs, but at least working hard outside gets rid of anxious energy and really helps you get great quality sleep.
You Get To Be Outside
Farming gives you more time with nature. You get to see the seasonal changes and feel the shifts in the air. You feel a storm coming and work with your friends to batten down the hatches together. And on sunny days you get to soak up some of the sun’s healthy rays (all in moderation!). A Norwegian study found that getting 30 minutes of sun a day during the summer months was the equivalent of consuming 10,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D. Despite this, it’s estimated that 40% of American adults have a vitamin D deficiency. Working outside just a little bit every day could definitely provide that mood boost we all need!
It Allows You To Eat Better
One of my favorite activities is to take a meal inventory. When I sit down to eat, I look at my plate and I try to figure out where everything is from. When most of what I’m eating is from Woodside Farms, where I have a hand in growing it, or from some of our other local growers, I get very happy! Additionally, according to a study conducted by the USDA, families who live on farms get more nutrients like calcium, protein, iron, and phosphorous in their diets compared to their counterparts in the city.
There are so many other wonderful benefits of living the farm life. Even if you don’t live on a farm, you are always welcome out to Woodside Farms. We have volunteer opportunities, wellness events, and so much more. Join us on the farm where we come together as a community to learn more about the different realms of health and wellness in our lives, and anyone can get farm-fresh produce. Feel free to swing by our next in-person market on Saturday, May 14th from 10 am-2 pm. We’re excited to show you what we’ve been growing!