I’m a Full-Time Plant Coach, and This Is What You Need to Know About Wellness and Gardening
Nick Cutsumpas, known as Farmer Nick on his popular Instagram account, celebrates gardening in all its forms.
Farmer Nick Cutsumpas is a full-time plant coach, urban gardener, and landscape designer whose mission is to leave the earth greener than when he found it by giving people the knowledge and confidence they need to create their own green spaces. He inspires joy and wellness through plants on his Instagram account @farmernick and in his book, Plant Coach: The Beginner’s Guide To Caring for Plants and the Planet.
We know that plants are great for the environment and, of course, are beautiful to look at, but would you consider tending to plants a form of wellness and self-care? If so, how?
Watering and tending to my plants has become the source of my meditation practice; the slowness of plants is so comforting in a very fast-paced society. Growing my own food on my Lettuce Grow Farmstand is equally fulfilling. Knowing I have fresh produce available at any time inspires me to cook more for myself at home, which is another wonderful act of self-care.
What are some marked differences you’ve noticed in your life since you started surrounding yourself with greenery?
I’ve definitely noticed a decrease in stress. My life is arguably more stressful since becoming a full-time “plantrepreneur,” but when you work outside in the dirt with the plants all day, it always keeps me grounded.
We always come back to the idea that plants are a lot like us people; they need the right environment to thrive. What are some lessons that you’ve learned from tending to plants and applied to your own mindfulness practice?
Something I talk a lot about in my book is this idea of “mindful neglect,” which is all about acknowledging and observing your plants without the necessity of taking any action. If chosen in accordance with your environment, most plants will not need much human intervention to thrive, and sometimes excess human intervention (such as overwatering or changing the environment) can cause more harm than good. Sometimes less is more, and by choosing to observe more than act, you can make more purposeful and effective plant-care decisions.
We noticed on your site there’s a tool kit to create a “greenprint.” Can you explain what that is, and why it’s so important?
A greenprint is basically a plant blueprint of your indoor or outdoor space. It’s something you create after you’ve thoroughly assessed your environment and are ready to integrate plants into your home. It’s a great way to visualize plants in your space before heading to the plant shop, and it will prevent you from making poor plant purchases that could become a source of stress in the long term. It’s all about the plant prep!
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