t’s starting to really look like Spring in the Black Hills! A few rain showers have hit the region in the past month, perking up our lawns and flower beds. Buds have sprouted on the trees. Lilac season will be here before you know it, adding the most magical fragrance to the city.
Many of us are spending time out of doors now, tending to our lawns and gardens. Seeding and preparing for summer, including growing produce and herb gardens and planting flower bulbs.
If you’re an amateur horticulturalist, you might join the Rapid City Garden Club. For more than sixty years this group has helped beautify our neighborhoods by adding trees, shrubs, bushes and flowers as well as picnic tables, benches and gazebo’s. They’re also responsible for the butterfly garden at Canyon Lake and help provide grants to local schools to help encourage a greener way of life. You can reach the Garden Club at 605.716.0744 for more information.
As we continue our growing season, a reminder that this year’s Farmer’s Market will be relocated from Founders Park to just up the road, at 145 East Omaha Street. That’s right across from the Ice Rink and Roosevelt Park. Each year from May to October, you can find locally grown produce, sustainable meat and poultry, homemade preserves and crafts made by our region’s artisans.
If you are looking for ways to get healthy, yardwork is an excellent source of exercise! You’ll be getting your Vitamin D (be sure to wear sunscreen if you’ll be outside for more than fifteen minutes) and getting the cardio that your body needs for strong bones and joints. Be sure to do some stretching when you begin your gardening and take advantage of the kinds of tools and implements that will make your work easier. Use kneepads when kneeling in your garden and bend from the knees and hip flexors. Don’t “roll” your back down toward the ground as this is a common trigger for low back and hip injuries. When shoveling and raking, switch from side to side so that all the stress is not placed on one side of the body. And keep hydrated! Good hydration is key to a healthy body. When you’re getting extra exertion, you want to make sure you increase your daily intake of water.
Flowers are beautiful, but if you can grow a small vegetable or herb garden you can help cut down on the cost of groceries for you and your family. Nothing beats a homegrown meal! Plus, you know that you’re getting the healthiest ingredients for your recipes. Early May is an ideal time to plant summer vegetables like beans, corn, squashes, cucumbers as well as watermelon.
Best of all, when you get the physical workout that an activity like gardening provides, you’ll find that you’re sleeping a lot better at night. Nothing beats a good night sleep, dreaming of that beautiful garden that you have worked so hard to create!