Rather than just grow plants, it is our goal at SunHarvest to teach people how plants can enrich their lives, feed their bodies, or simply add beauty to their environment. There is a desire to learn how best to use plants, not only in knowing where to plant an annual whether it be in sun or shade, or what herbs can one grow to ensure a flavourful plate over the summer BBQ season, but rather to add value to our experience given the limited amount of leisure time that we have in our busy lives.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year and 1 in 3 Canadians will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Some winter reading has lead me to discover that this problem is not something that is getting any better. The World Health Organization predicts anxiety will be the #1 health issue outranking obesity by 2030, and ‘Generation Y’ , those 13-34 year olds, are the most stressed.
Thankfully we are becoming not only more aware , but more active in our approach to dealing with mental illness. Sure, celebrities and Royals have lent their profiles to raising awareness towards the issue, but a growing trend in the ‘green’ industry has been identified as people wanting to take a break from being connected 24/7 and getting back to the real world . This trend is being powered by the Millenials who are choosing to include plants as part of their Rx for wellness. An example of this is the growing number of young parents who are planting vegetable gardens to experience growing with their children and to establish healthy eating habits.
The reality is that we are increasingly becoming an urban-centric society and people spend 90% of their time indoors. A particularly poignant tagline by a local Kingston landscaping company- ‘ Plant a tree, keep your City cool’ – speaks to the yearning that many of us have to get outside, yet our free time is so compromised by the pull of work, and scheduled leisure activities all the while being “plugged in” through our handheld technological wonders. We just need to “ unplug”, step outside under the shade of a tree, and take a deep breath.
Easier said than done, yet we are seeing signs of people addressing this need to green their spaces in order to provide for some therapy. Millenials have embraced houseplants again, and are decorating with tropicals, creating indoor jungles because they understand the benefits of introducing bromeliads and peace lilies to clean the air, they find it therapeutic to tend to plants and ah yes, they have to be plants that are Instagram – worthy. That is , they are not looking for Grandma’s African violets, but rather stunning showstoppers that require little attention. Philodendrons, ZZ plants, fiddle leaf figs and of course, succulents are all the rage, and serve that need for many of us to divert our attention away from our screens, observe how something changes under our care, and because they are plants, we know that they are pumping oxygen into our indoor spaces. ‘Breathing rooms’ are in fact a recognized trend according to the 2018 Garden Media Report, and hanging gardens, flower pot pendants are the next big thing to replace green walls. Be sure to come by when we open in early April to experience our ‘breathing room’. Our staff will be happy to teach you about care of tropicals and help you choose a signature plant that will add beauty and purpose to your indoor space, and perhaps offer you the chance to ‘unplug’.