Garden centres should embrace 'mindfulness', says Hutson

Garden centre consultant Liz Hutson says 'mindfulness' should be on garden centres' agendas and that nutrient companies are making money out of fears around shop-bought produce, when home grown should be promoted as the real healthy option.

Hutson said: "Interest in health across all age groups is growing rapidly, as is concern about the environment. Gardening has many benefits that link into health topics trending on social media, such as increasing vitamin D levels, enhanced mindfulness, stress reduction, improved blood oxygenation and, of course, it helps keeps you fit and affects other major health markers in a positive way. Grow your own has even more benefits – greatly increased mineral, vitamin and antioxidant content versus commercially grown crops, higher enzyme status and potential benefits for our microbiome, which is a particularly hot topic.

"Currently supplement companies are making a fortune out of consumers who are worried about the nutrient status of shop bought produce.  Very few have joined the dots and seen how much more beneficial and healthy it would be to get them from growing vegetables and fruit in mineral rich soil, for example. But if and when this happens - and we should certainly be helping it along - it stands a lot more chance of going viral than ‘Houseplants Make You Happy’, however true that may be.

"Then there are the environmental and social opportunities – the success of the HTA’s Cultivation Street initiative and the social and community benefits it has offered to those who have adopted it is a prime example of the latter. The modern consumer wants and needs inspiration and, even more importantly, advice appropriate to their varied needs.’

Hutson is running a Grow Your Own Profits Roadshow for garden centres this spring.

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