Fresh, flavorful, healthy food doesn’t have to be something reserved for people with lots of gardening space and room to grow. Anyone with a container or a small piece of ground can grow an edible harvest. Replacing even just one or two items you usually buy at the grocery store with those you’ve grown yourself can add so much more fun and flavor to your world.
Need a little inspiration? Here are ten motivating reasons to grow your own food.
Your food will be more fresh and flavorful.
There’s nothing better than picking tomatoes off your own vines at the peak of ripeness, when they are packed with mouth-watering flavor and nutritious vitamins. This is no different whether you’re growing delicate, juicy strawberries, peppery basil, or spicy jalapeño peppers. Growing your own produce allows you to harvest when the food is at its very best.
You control what goes in and on your food.
Organic produce costs more in stores because it costs more to grow commercially. It’s far easier for a home gardener to grow their own food organically using natural ingredients like compost and manure to enrich the soil. Organic fertilizers are far more safe for the land and water than chemical varieties, whether that’s the yard where your children and pets play, or the forests, lakes, streams and rivers that our fertilizers might inadvertently run into.
It can be more cost effective to grow your own food.
Food crops that continue to produce a harvest for many weeks or even months are generally considered more cost effective to grow yourself. A single tomato plant can produce more than a bushel of fruit over the season—far more cost effective than buying tomatoes for $3.99 per pound at the grocery store. Other foods that fall into this category include lettuce, herbs, beans, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and zucchini.
You’ll have a much broader selection.
When you buy fruits and vegetables from the grocery store, you’re limited to what they choose to offer. When you grow your own, there are literally thousands of options! You could try a few heirloom varieties, grow fun purple carrots your kids will love or try a few smaller varieties in containers. The sky’s the limit when you grow your own. Try something new every season
It’s better for the environment.
You lessen your environmental impact when you grow your own food because you’re eliminating the need for it to be trucked or even flown from the farm, to the processing plant, to the store. You’re eliminating the need for energy-intense refrigeration and packing, and you’re ensuring that your foods are grown with organic compounds that won’t harm the world around you, including bees, beneficial insects, butterflies, and other pollinators.
Gardening is good for you!
We’re all interested in lower maintenance gardens, but getting some exercise is never a bad thing! Did you know that gardening for just 45 minutes can burn the same number of calories as running 1 ½ miles in 15 minutes?
The physical act of gardening helps to release tension, relieve anxiety and stress, boost our energy levels and increase our Vitamin D, too. It’s been scientifically proven that soil contains healthy microbes which can affect our brain in similar ways as anti-anxiety medication. So, dig your hands into the dirt and breathe in the fresh air—it’s good for you!
It will give you something to be genuinely proud of.
When you grow your own food, you’ll find there’s a certain pride and satisfaction that comes with it all. Being able to walk out into your garden and harvest the produce you grew yourself is rewarding at an almost primal level. We can sustain ourselves. We can feed our family and friends healthy food that’s been grown with the utmost care and love poured into it. It feeds the soul to grow our own food.
It’s fun for the whole family.
Gardening as a whole can be a rewarding family activity; being able to teach your children or grandchildren how to grow their own food is especially gratifying. The saying goes: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. It’s safe to say, the same goes for zucchinis.
Planning, planting, caring for and harvesting a garden with your family is something that creates lifelong memories, all for the cost of a few seed packets or potted plants.
Gardening challenges provide learning experiences.
Though modern conveniences have made it easier than ever to grow our own food, there are plenty of opportunities to learn as we go. Gardening expands our consciousness and helps us appreciate all that goes into growing the food that sustains us. It presents new challenges such as trying new recipes and learning how to preserve your harvest.
There is great joy in sharing the bounty.
Anyone who’s ever grown tomatoes, zucchini or basil knows there is always plenty to share. Most people will be thrilled to accept the extras from your harvest. You never know what affect you might have on someone—yours might be the only fresh produce they eat all week! Growing your own food is almost always coupled with the joy of sharing the bounty with family, friends and neighbors. Growing healthy together is a beautiful thing!