Daisy Days – Helping Mother Earth and Cancer Survivors Heal!
Over recent days a group of cancer patients/survivors spent some time “pulling daisies” as part of what Erika (from the Christopher Farm & Gardens”) dubbed “Daisy Days.”
As Erika explains, “Oxeye daisy may look pretty but they are highly invasive. For the past 5 years we have been working on invasive removal and native habitat restoration along Lake Michigan. The best, non-toxic, way to control the daisy spread is to hand pull. The more hands pulling the further we can get, as the saying goes many hands make light work or the more the merrier! Come enjoy a beautiful day along the Lake and help us give Mother Nature a hand to create space for diverse native species to thrive!”
So... what, you may ask, does pulling daisies have to do with cancer survivorship? Quite a bit, I would suggest!
I have previously referenced the Christopher Farm & Garden’s website page on “Ecotherapy” (also referred to as Nature Therapy).
Additionally, here are a few excerpts from an article titled , “Do You Need a Nature Prescription” by Madeline Laguaite (read the entire article here: https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/nature-therapy-ecotherapy
Nature therapy, also called ecotherapy, is the practice of being in nature to boost growth and healing, especially mental health. You might also hear it called green care, green exercise, green therapy, or horticulture therapy. Although people use those terms to describe lots of outdoor activities, they can also be examples of specific nature therapy programs.
More and more research suggests that spending time in natural environments can be linked to mental health benefits. For example, being in a green space has been linked to less anxiety, fewer depression symptoms, and lower stress levels. Spending time in nature helps people with depression and kids with attention problems think more clearly.
Not everyone who does nature therapy has a mental health condition. Anyone can reap the benefits of ecotherapy.
You can do nature therapy anywhere, whether you live in rural, suburban, or urban areas.
Nature therapy might involve places like gardens, farms, forests, or parks. Usually, nature therapy involves experiencing nature (like taking a walk through the forest) or working in nature (like gardening).
On a sidenote, I would suggest that nature therapy also involves experiencing nature while engaged in activities such as flyng kites (and many of our other ST&BF activities).
As I have often witnessed and expressed, something very special happens whenever a group of cancer patients/survivors come together... no matter where they are or what they are doing.
As I was pulling daisies I overheard two cancer survivors beside me with similar cancer experiences sharing their stories with one another, offering support to one another, teaching one another and learning from one another. Perhaps my silence in acknowledging the spontaneous healing that was occurring between these two women as they shared their stories was misunderstood as, afterwards, one of them commented, “I hope you don’t mind that we were talking about our cancer experiences?” In fact, I could not have been more delighted!
And yet, these stories are not the main focus of these activities. Most cancer patients/survivors that I have met throughout my 30-years of survivorship do not want to let their cancer diagnosis define them.
After pulling daisies for a couple of hours we enjoyed a casual hike through a more remote section of the CF&G and ended the night with a few beverages and snacks while admiring the end product of our day’s work!
I met up with Erika (along with Jayke & Buddy, the farm dogs) just before heading out. She captioned the day beautifully: “It feels good to do something nice for Mother Earth!”
Watch this Local Cancer Community Update for our next visit to and restoration project at the Christopher Farm & Gardens!
See attached PDF for before and after photos of the Daisy Field!View PDF