A Blog Series
By Bryant Mason
Founder, The Urban Farm Company of Colorado
Gardens make people happy. It’s that simple. Many studies have shown that levels of happiness actually increase in people who garden. I believe that is their most under-rated benefit ….
People who get their hands in the soil have lower rates of depression, higher cognitive attention, and yes, they’re actually happier. This is due to the connection to nature as well as bacteria in soil called mycobacterium vaccae that creates serotonin in your brain. Children who get their hands in the soil also have better self-esteem and actually do better in school.
Communities throughout the Front Range are beginning to realize the magic that comes with gardens, and the new Conservatory Green neighborhood is part of that. A Stapleton resident introduced me to Forest City (now Brookfield Properties). I partnered with the developer and as the community’s Chief Gardening Officer, I will now be leading the charge to increase the number of gardens (and happy people) throughout the community!
My business, The Urban Farm Company of Colorado, will be installing high-yield, organic, vegetable gardens at the new Stapleton Visitor Center as an example of how vegetable production can be sewn beautifully into new landscaping. Think ripe heirloom tomatoes hanging five feet above the ground on a trellis. Many of Stapleton’s homebuilders will also be displaying small, raised-bed gardens at their model homes (so watch out for them). Additionally, I will be teaching gardening classes and visiting the gardens throughout the season. Plus, I will always be available to answer questions and help homeowners launch their own gardens.
The reemergence of gardening isn’t surprising. Happiness is one thing, but more tangibly, gardens give individuals the power to grow healthy, organic, safe, delicious food for their families and friends. They teach kids (and adults) where food truly comes from. They look beautiful. But most importantly, gardens grow food – tasty, fresh, nutrient-rich produce. John Denver and Guy Clark said it best: “Only two things that money can’t buy. That’s true love & homegrown tomatoes.”