I first learned about “World Naked Gardening Day” two years ago. I thought for sure it was a joke played on me by some of my friends. What a surprise to find out it’s a real event, not just what I used to do when I lived in rural San Diego without neighbors close by. And it’s been going on for years. So I wrote a blog post about it.
So the laugh is on me, because the original 2017 blog post about World Naked Gardening Day is one of our top most-read blog posts of ALL TIME. Who knew so many people were interested in this phenomenon? Why?
The 15th annual World Naked Gardening Day is this week on Saturday, May 4. It’s always the first Saturday in May. Founder Mark Storey, a Seattle resident, probably never imagined how big his idea would get. He encourages people to help spread the word, and I’m once again doing my part.
Other than taking wacky Instagram photos using plants to cover certain exposed body parts, there is sound reasoning behind World Naked Gardening Day. It’s intended to encourage people to get closer to Mother Nature and enjoy outdoor spaces by weeding, digging, planting, trimming, and otherwise tending to your garden space as Mother Nature made you: without any clothes on. Plus, its good to get grounded every now and then. Bare feet on the ground are good for our soles
Storey says it still counts if you are wearing gardening gloves, hats, and boots. In San Diego, sunscreen is also a must. But San Diego doesn’t make the list of the 15 Best Cities for Observing World Gardening Day based on weather. Say what? We have the best weather on the planet! Bakersfield is number one. Come on.
This isn’t the same as the cities with the most interest in World Naked Gardening Day. San Diego doesn’t make this list, either. The top cities based on Google Trend searches is Eugene, Oregon, followed by Buffalo, New York. Wow, another head-scratcher.
So why did Storey start “WNGD”? Storey is more of a naturist than a gardener but thought the observance would get more people thinking about body positivity issues, especially in this Instagram age. Storey points out gardening can be enjoyed by anyone at any age and at virtually any level of physical fitness.
If #WNGD reminds you of the infamous World Naked Bike Ride events around the world, no coincidence. World Naked Gardening Day was inspired by the Critical Mass sponsored naked rides.
WNGD is about more than having fun with social media photos and jokes. Gardening is an inherently healthy activity. It’s about making the world better. It’s about fostering a sense of community in a shared passion. Most important to the organizers, gardening itself even with proper clothing is about body acceptance, body positivity and body image. People of all shapes, size, and ages can participate in gardening. It’s fun, it doesn’t have to cost anything, and it reminds us of those ties to nature, our biophilic connection. So why not tie body positivity and gardening together?
Study after study shows how important it is for us to incorporate nature into our lives for our wellbeing. It’s what our work is all about at Good Earth Plant Company. Sure, this event is goofy and we could crack all kinds of bad jokes about it.
But whatever gets people talking and thinking about nature, about their good health, and their connection to the natural world, we’re 100 percent in favor of it.
So why not get outside bright and early Saturday for just a few minutes of sunshine in your yard? Or even just open a door or window a little earlier in the morning than you normally might? Get outside with your hat, shorts and sunscreen and take a walk through a neighborhood park you haven’t visited in a long time. Probably best to wear clothes in the park. Take your dog or a neighbor’s dog. Dogs can go naked in public any time they want!
As part of World Naked Gardening Day, you are also supposed to tell someone about your experience. Tag Good Earth Plant Company on Facebook or Instagram and fill us in on your activities. PG-rated photos welcome!
A word of caution: be sure if you participate, you don’t get in trouble. In most states, it’s legal to be naked on our own property as long as you aren’t visible to the public. In California, if you’re in your own backyard, on private property, you are free to be nude or topless. But you need to use a little discretion. You can be sunbathing nude on private property and still be charged with indecent exposure under certain conditions. If you can be seen fairly easily by the public or by neighbors who may take offense at your sunbathing, technically you are violation of California’s indecent exposure law (Penal Code 314). Imagine having to explain to your family or your boss why you got arrested over the weekend!
And if you chicken out? Call on us to provide a fully uniformed Good Earth Plants professional horticulturist to help with your gardening needs.