Five Reasons You Should Grow Your Own Vegetables
When I was a kid, my family moved a lot. I loved seeing new places, meeting new people, and trying new things. I remember often when we’d move to a new place, we would make sure there was a place for a garden spot there. It was a really good way to save some money as a family, as well as something we enjoyed doing.
As I grew up and started to develop a real interest in eating healthy, I started to realize just how valuable it is to be able to grow your own food. Now every spring, I get excited to grow a garden for the health benefits of the veggies just as much as (or more than!) the fun of gardening!
Let’s go over a few reasons why growing a garden is so much better than buying your vegetables.
1.Home-Grown Veggies are Healthier
Even if you do use herbicides or pesticides on your garden (which I hope you don’t), your own veggies will still have a higher nutrient content than their store-bought counterparts. One reason for this is the fact that your food is going directly from your garden to your kitchen and not being shipped anywhere.
The produce we buy at the store is often old. It probably has also been treated with a chemical to prolong its shelf life, but even if it’s organic, the fact that it is old means that many of the valuable nutrients have been lost.
Home-grown veggies also have a variety of micro-organisms that are essential for optimal digestive health. If you are taking a regular probiotic, chances are you could get just as much of that good stuff (or more!) from a whole food rather than a supplement. Which is always a good idea!
Most vegetables that we buy at the supermarket has been grown on large farms that have depleted soil. Because of years of farming the same soil without rebuilding it adequately, much of our country’s farmland is now very nutrient-poor. Your backyard garden plot, on the other hand, is most likely very rich in nutrients, especially if you are building it up with manure and compost!
2.Growing Your Own Veggies Saves Money
We all know how expensive it is to buy vegetables! Especially if the bulk of your diet is produce (as it should be) and you are buying organic (as you should be), then you know what I am talking about! It can be nearly impossible to eat enough veggies with the prices being what they are.
On the other hand, a package of seeds only costs a couple dollars! And one package of seeds can yield a lot of produce! You can feed your family a full supply of veggies all summer long (and for the rest of the year too, if you can and freeze!) for a tiny fraction of the cost of buying, buy growing instead.
You can also grow some extra produce (which seems to be hard NOT to do, especially if you planted zucchini!) and sell the surplus at a farmer’s market. Many people who don’t necessarily have their own garden still want to eat fresh, locally-grown produce. It is a great way for you to make a little extra money while providing something of value for your community!
3.Feeding the Soil is a Great Way to Put Your Food Scraps to Use!
Ever heard of composting? When I was a kid, my grandparents had a big barrel outside that the household food scraps were put into. I remember how bad it smelled and looked inside there, with all the rotting food! Not a pleasant sight by any means; but it certainly helped their garden soil!
If you decide to compost, a very easy way to do it is to have a bucket (with a lid) that you keep in an easy-to-access place in your kitchen. Then anytime you are cooking and have scraps from fruit or veggies, simply add them to the bucket rather than putting it into the garbage.
When your bucket gets full, designate a spot in the corner of your garden (or some other convenient place) and let it decompose fully before mixing it into your soil.
4.Gardening is a Therapeutic Form of Exercise
Growing up as an active kid, I never quite got why people referred to gardening as exercise. I think I get it now! It is a lot of moving up and down, and bending and stretching. So maybe it’s not serious cardio or anything; but it is good flexibility exercise nonetheless!
But not only is it exercise; it’s also therapeutic. I think we’ve all met those people who garden as a way to relax and enjoy nature. My mind tends to wander while I am wedding or planting. I feel very creative and usually end up imagining something (I mentally wrote a novel while gardening that I later wrote down on paper!).
5.Gardening Gets You Outside
If you haven’t yet heard, being outdoors is a very, very healthy thing to do! Fresh air, sunlight, and dirt are all good things to experience once in a while… Or every day! Gardening gives you a way and a reason to do exactly that.
So if you can, plant a garden! It doesn’t take that much space or time to plant a few tomatoes and cucumbers. In the next post I’ll be talking about some specific veggies that are really easy to grow!