"The earth has it's music for those who will listen" -George Santayana
As you've hopefully seen (if you're reading this), one of the things that Canteen Destiny offers, is farm tours. If you haven't seen, we offer farm tours! They cost $15.00 per person, with up to 15 people in a group. Each tour lasts about an hour and happen twice a day on Saturdays (you can book your time online). On the tour you will see:
You'll also get to go on a tractor ride around the property, and enjoy a warm drink while hearing about all the things going on at the farm this year.
All that being said, you still may not be convinced to book and attend another tour. So, my purpose in writing this blog post was to share some other reasons that coming out the farm could be beneficial for you.
1. Fresh air is good for you
No, this isn't just something your mom told you as a child to get you out from under foot. There have been studies to show that fresh air boosts your immune system, sunlight provides vitamin D, and unpolluted air increases energy levels. From even more recent research, it appears that some phytochemicals from plants may have a low level of toxicity (yes, I know that sounds bad, but hang on) that triggers a slight immune response, which is what makes us feel happier and healthier after a walk in the woods or along the water. Check out these articles from the Huffington Post and Daily Mail for more details (or do a search in google scholar on the effects of fresh air if you want something more scientific and peer reviewed!).
2. Not only is it good for your physical body, the outdoors is great for your mental and emotional health
Getting away from the bustle of everyday life can have positive effects on mental health too. Getting outside, slowing down, and enjoying our world can remove stress, and have physiological effects that are beneficial to mental health. Science has shown that "a breath of fresh air" really can decrease stress and increase feelings of happiness. This may be due to flowers such as lavender, which can decrease anxiety and increase feeling of well being, or pine, which increases relaxation. Freshly cut grass can make us feel calm and happy. And, as much as rain can make us feel gloomy or lethargic, there's something about the smell that keeps us wanting more. The smell of earth and green things helps us feel grounded and connected.
3. It's educational
You may have seen the video that made it's rounds as part of Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" series, called Potato or Tomato. In it, he presents various vegetables to a group of elementary school children and asks them to identify what they are. Many kids recognize very few of the vegetables. Sadly, that can be generalized to many of the younger generations today (which is what Oliver's revolution is all about--teaching the next generation about food and health). That's part of the goal of many of the programs here at Canteen Destiny--not just to have a good time, which is important, but also to help develop teens into educated adults and leaders who understand the world around them and the role they can play in it--nutrition and agriculture being one emphasis. With our farm tours this extends to adults as well; not everyone has had the chance to be on a farm and see how it functions and where our food comes from and learn the value of eating local etc. We want to make sure everyone has that opportunity!
4. It's biblical
Disclaimer: I'm not saying that God says "thou shalt visit Canteen Destiny for a farm tour" anywhere in the Bible. But, we do read that God has placed us as stewards over his creation, and He has created beauty for us to enjoy. We can honour God's intentions for our lives by learning about taking care of the earth and using sustainable, organic practices in food production. Genesis 1:6 describes our role well: "Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” There are verses that speak of not polluting the earth (sometimes they are more symbolic of spiritual or non-physical things than actual commands about the physical world, but the strong parallels show the importance of both) such as Numbers 35:33.
Just as was previously discussed as far as the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors exploring the farm, rest and relaxation is emphasized as an important part of our physical and spiritual life. Many of the Psalms praise the beauty and the glory of creation, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves to "stop and smell the roses" as it were, and take time to enjoy that which was created for us.
5. It builds community
Last, but not least, events like these build community, which is important for Christians and non-Christians, farmers and city folk alike. Whether you come with a group of people you know, or meet strangers when you arrive, you get a chance to spend time with others, chat, and learn together. People of all ages, with a range of knowledge are all welcome to come together for an hour in God's wonderful creation.
I'd love to hear about your favourite Farm memory; leave me a comment in the box below!