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Woman makes late life decision to give up everything she knew for an unusual passion: 'I haven't looked back since'

"I never thought I'd be able to…"

"I never thought I’d be able to..."

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There are numerous benefits to gardening — both for yourself and for the planet. And it's never too late to get started, as one 69-year-old woman has shown us by sharing her story of how she gave up her city life to become a farmer at age 63.

Of course, one thing that helps with the transition is to begin a relationship with somebody who already owns a 116-acre farm in the English countryside, as Elizabeth Vickerie did. 

In 2017, Vickerie retired from her career in education and relocated from London to her partner's farm near Bath. "It seemed like the right thing to do, and I haven't looked back since," she told the Guardian. "When I was younger I wanted to work with animals and loved events — now these are the two things I spend all my time doing."

Over the next several years, she learned how to grow organic vegetables and even struck out on her own venture, raising lambs. "We started off muddling along with 20 sheep and now we're up to 70 with the help of a brilliant young shepherd called Josh," she said. "I never thought I'd be able to lead a lambing season but the first time I pulled a lamb out of a ewe, I danced around the stables and felt like it was the most wonderful moment of my life."

Even if you don't have an entire farm to learn from, home gardening is a great activity to spend your time doing. One recent study found that people who garden are, on average, both physically and emotionally healthier than those who don't. Gardeners get more physical activity, eat more fiber, and are less stressed and more optimistic.

In addition, by incorporating native plants into your garden (and avoiding pesticides and chemicals), you can help your local ecosystem thrive.

And there is no amount of land that is too small to try your hand at growing something. Urban gardening is on the rise, and there are plenty of tricks to maximize a small space.

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