Monday, June 23, 2008

Does Growing Up Around Farming Help You Live to 100?

I just received my July copy of Sunset magazine, and it featured a very interesting little story. The story was designed to find out why people are living longer in the West, particularly California, which has more centenarians than any other state.

They asked: How much of it is genetics? How much is lifestyle? After researching and doing the story, they say the debate continues but that they noticed some common traits in those they talked to.

These included the following: "They lived "slow" and took their time doing things. They walked, not drove, to school and work. They grew up on farms. They grew vegetables. They lived among walnut groves, avocado trees, and strawberry plants."

What, they grew up around produce and ate vegetables and lived slowly? Isn't that what the sustainable ag., Slow Food, and organic movements are all about? Are we finally learning to value what came before us?

As they summed up in the story's introduction, "So maybe, just maybe, going back to our roots, back to the earth, back to our community----a lifestyle the West not only promotes but also leads in---is the secret."

It sure makes me feel like I am on the right path, and that I have been part of something that has deeply connected roots to our history. I have been reflecting on it this afternoon with my own family. I had grandparents on both sides of my family who gardened, who grew fruit, and who lived fairly long lives. I even see it in my father, who gardens and is in amazingly good health at 78. And, I think my work somehow makes me feel connected to my grandparents still and is slowly spreading to my lifestyle.

1 comment:

Amber said...

What a great piece! Who knew the secret to a long life was in our backyard gardens?! Thank you for sharing this.