Early expatriate settlers in Spain could eat well from local produce. Now in many areas agricultural land has been built on or abandoned, and where foodstuffs are still grown there is evidence of forced growth for speed and size using a wide range of chemicals. Now sprays are used to combat the insects attracted by the chemicals!
Unfortunately, many expats don’t seem to search out healthy alternatives if the supermarket trolleys – packed with fast-foods - are anything to go by.
Since ***’s cancer operations 18 years ago, we have aimed to develop a Mediterranean garden in Spain that allows us to live a life that is healthy and holistic in four regards:
· Spiritual and mental wellness through a therapeutic garden environment that is inspiring, restful and a daily escape from the potential stress of 21st century living.
· Sustained physical health through the physical and mental effort involved in designing, developing and maintaining a garden and the consumption of the ecological and chemical-free food it produces. This includes fruit, edible flowers and leaves, herbs, vegetables, meat and eggs, especially those with high vitamin and mineral contents.
· Gastronomic satisfaction from a garden that is growing a wide diversity of foods that are harvested and consumed when at their best and avoiding fast-food gluttony.
· Economic well-being from the reduced cost of living.
In achieving this, we collected information about the benefits of vitamins and minerals on the healthy growth and survival of both plants and people – and we discovered some surprising similarities. We also discovered that the healthiest produce we could grow was broccoli, garlic, red lettuces and peas. For fun, we developed a self-assessment audit to determine the extent of a person’s gluttony and true healthy gastronomy.
Since such concepts and ideas went down well at talks, *** has summarised our adventures in a new book ‘Living Well from Our Mediterranean Garden’. Discussions about the relevance of the book to participants from other Mediterranean-climate countries around the world at a recent conference suggest to us that its message is international. Indeed, one 80-year-old Australian medical doctor thought all doctors should read it!
The compact 40-page book is packed with interesting, and we are told, inspiring information including:
· What constitutes overall wellness.
· Guidelines for developing colourful productive and therapeutic gardens.
· What constitutes a Mediterranean diet and good and bad eating.
· The wellness benefits of some 180 vegetables, fruits and herbs that can be grown in the garden.
· Healthy ways to prepare food.
· A novel self-assessment of your gastronomic or gluttonous status.
As we explain at the beginning of the book, the practices described were ***’s way of recovering naturally from cancer.
The book can be obtained via the website www.gardeninginspain.com .
(c) Clodagh and *** Handscombe. Holistic gardeners and authors living in Spain for twenty five years.