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Healthy Brain Food; How Burpee Seed is Building Positive Mental Health With a New Year’s Resolution Garden

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New Years Resolution Garden“Making a healthy difference in a community is possible with a garden,” says George  Ball, Jr., CEO of the W. Atlee Burpee & Company seed business (Burpee). On this last day of January, a time when many of us give up on our New Year’s Resolutions, it seems particularly important to interview George Ball, Jr. and discuss keeping those resolutions. Ball came up with the fantastic idea of packaging his company’s seed offerings in the form of a New Year’s Resolution Garden to encourage better health – not just an ordinary garden – this is a special idea inspiring green and positive mental health changes.

Ball hopes that Burpee’s 2010 New Year’s Resolution Garden will bring families closer together while inspiring consumers to relax, make better food choices, save money, increase exercise and become a better steward of the environment. The pack contains seven easy-to-grow varieties for cultivating a 200 square foot kitchen garden and can be purchased on the Burpee seed website – NYGarden.

The New Year’s Resolution Garden provides the following seeds for your kitchen or balcony garden:

· LOSE WEIGHT – Lettuce Heatwave

· EXERCISE – Pole Bean Blue Lake

· SAVE MONEY – Tomato Supersteak

· REDUCE STRESS – Mixed Cutting Flowers


· SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY – Sun Forest Sunflowers

· BETTER FOOD CHOICES – Carrot Burpee A#1George Ball Jr., photo credit W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

Speaking with Ball is fascinating as he is a wealth of information about the history of how health and gardening are connected. According to Ball, “Gardens were adopted after the crusades. Monastery properties often held ‘physic gardens’, which were filled with healing plants. In time, world exploration expanded in search of additional plants, herbs, and spices to expand and maintain a healthier diet.”

One of Burpee’s goals as a 135 year old seed company is to think environmentally, by maintaining diversity in plantings, trying always to build a healthier environment and prevent monoculture – the all-too-often side-effect of our contemporary fast-food industry demands. Monoculture is the agricultural practice of producing or growing one single crop over a wide area. More than half the world’s potato crop is made up of one variety of potato: the Russet Burbank favored by McDonalds. Imagine if this crop were to catch an untreatable fungus or disease? World disaster. To prevent disease in a monoculture, pesticides and herbicides must be used to maintain strong production – and to prevent the ever-pending disaster of crop failure.

By planting locally grown gardens with the type of variety found in heritage and heirloom plants offered by Burpee, you are doing your part to increase biodiversity as well as consume fresher food. By eating freshly picked vegetables from the garden, you receive far more vitamins and nutrients which increase brain power – making you healthier both mentally and physically.

When asked, “What vegetable plant do you feel is the strongest nutritionally – for example, if you were only to grow one plant, what should that plant be for pound per pound nutrition value?” Ball picked his favorite as cabbage. Although the sweet potato has starch as it’s driving compound, which allows a human to survive longer, the cabbage offers a wide range of vitamins and nutritional content as well as energy driving compounds.

George Ball, Jr. writes his own blog called the Heronswood Voice, through Heronswood Nursery, and is actively involved as the CEO of W. Atlee Burpee & Company making a difference for the health and nutrition of humanity by encouraging gardening. To purchase the New Year’s Resolution Garden and make a difference for your 2010, go to the Burpee seed website – NYGarden.

Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!

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