Life, Wellness, and The Farm…The “Whole” Approach
NOUN: 1) a thing that is complete in itself, or 2) all of something. This definition from the Oxford dictionary can relate to so many elements in our lives. In fact, I can’t remember a time in my life when “whole” wasn’t the goal. For those of you who do not know me, I am the youngest son in our family and the fourth of five children. Sorry Hannah you will always be the baby :) I attended Buckeye Central high school where I amassed my fondest memories with friends and coaches through sports. I am currently pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. In my free time, I love to travel and explore all our our national parks. I am also the one who manages most of the website and Facebook activity for our farm, so if you ever don’t get a response right away let’s just assume I am in class or studying for a test and I will get back to you ASAP :) Okay now back to the WHOLE story….
So for example, as a child I always wanted the whole sheet of brownies or the whole pizza. In sports, it was never enough to give maximum effort for part of a game or event, the focus was on giving 110% for the whole game. In undergrad, everyone is forced to take “general education” classes so that you get the whole, well-rounded educational experience. Now I am learning the importance of treating the body as a whole. For example, due to the way that our bodies are connected, a weakness in the hip can actually lead to pain and dysfunction in the knee or foot. Thus, we are taught that in order to be successful PTs, we must consider all body functions and systems in order to accurately diagnose the patient’s problem, permitting us to resolve their issues and get them back to living life to its fullest. In summary, you need to know the WHOLE story in order to be at your best and get optimal results.
Recently I was relaxing at a baseball game with some friends when we played a promotional trivia game. The question was, “What are the 7 dimensions of wellness?” Physical…Emotional…Spiritual? Luckily, we only needed to name 3 to get the prize, (which we did), but I was intrigued that there were 7 dimensions. I eat healthy, I exercise, I TRY to get enough sleep each night, I set aside time to relax, and I am active in church… I wondered what else there was??
I was captivated to learn more about the whole story of wellness and find out how I could become healthier, so I went online and found out that the 7 dimensions are; physical, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social, intellectual, and environmental. I began to consider which elements I currently fulfill and which I am lacking. This was about the same time that I was debating on a topic for this blog post. Suddenly, the pieces all came together…it was the farmer’s markets.
Here in Athens, there is a year-round farmer’s market, with more fruits, veggies, and crafts then you can imagine for a town this size. Athens is unique, a blend of college craziness with caring citizens that are rooted in supporting local businesses and the conservation of the land. Every Saturday I make my way out to the market to stock up on veggies for the week. I might spend the same amount of money as I would at Kroger or Walmart…maybe a little more…but something feels different.
Not only am I getting outside for some fresh air and some exercise (physical), but I am interacting with farmers from around the area, receiving recipes to try (intellectual) and making new acquaintances (social). I am using the money earned from my job (occupational) to buy something of sustenance, something that was raised locally without chemicals sprayed on it, without the need to be shipped across the country, thus promoting environmental conservation (environmental). From an experience standpoint, I understand all of the hard work that goes into growing crops, raising animals, and then figuring out how to get it all from the farm to the table to share with others. I understand the impact I can make by going to the local market (emotional). I am helping the local Farmer be able to pursue his or her local aspirations of building the farm up to pass it on to the kids, or a goal to grow enough food to donate to the local food pantry after reaching a set income for the season. Instead of my money going to a major corporation based in a major city thousands of miles away, it is staying local. Finally, after I get home and cook up my fresh veggies, I thank God for all the blessings he has given me (spiritual). 7 dimensions of wellness all achieved with one trip to the farmer’s market!
And that is my super simplified version of how you can achieve all 7 dimensions of wellness by simply going to your local farmer’s market. Yes, oversimplified I know, but check out the website https://wellness.ucr.edu/seven_dimensions.html for yourself and see what you can do to obtain whole wellness in your life. Furthermore, come to the local market and feel the difference of buying local. There are so many wonderful vendors at both the Crestline and Bucyrus farmer’s markets!
For 23 years I have been encouraged to get the entirety in everything I learn or do. I believe this is because if we have it all or know it all, then there is less room for uncertainty, which is comforting. As we continue to promote the products of our small farm, we understand that everyone wants the whole story. That is why at Paynter Family Organic Farm we are up front with you. We show you everything there is to see on our farm. We enjoy sharing not only our products with you, but the joys (and hardships) of a small family farm located right here in town. We take pride in providing the highest quality product at an affordable price for you all to enjoy. We are always looking for ways to better our farm, our services, and our communication. With us you get the… whole story, whole wellness, and whole satisfaction. Thank you and feel free to leave your comments and I will respond ASAP…right after I finish studying :)
With sincere gratitude for your support and patronage of our farm,
Paynter Family Farm