I thoroughly enjoy growing my own food in the garden. Each year I switch it up a bit. We’ve grown winter squash, summer squash, greens, herbs, melons, nightshades and more. If you’ve never considered growing your own food, or you’re sitting on the fence about it, here are some of the best reasons to grow food in the garden.
- You will eat more fruits and vegetables. Which means you will eat that much healthier. Children are twice as likely to eat 5 servings a day if you grow it at home and they are involved in the process. What can be better than that?
- Cost. The initial investment is greater, setting up your garden. After your garden is established it is less expensive considering how much you can harvest all summer.
- Organic. You know exactly how many pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals are doused on your food. Did you know that even organic strawberries have a heavy load of chemicals on them? USDA Pesticide Data program found 35 pesticide residues on potatoes and 52 pesticide residues on blueberries. (What’s on my food) Get the chemicals off your plate!
- Less waste. You are less likely to throw out food you’ve spent months cultivating.
- Lessons for children. Children learn where real food comes from. They can also learn health, science, math, etc
- Sense of accomplishment. Your eating something you grew yourself!
- Patience. You can’t garden without learning to be patient. Just saying.
- Fresh air and sunshine!
- Relaxing and therapeutic. A little dirt therapy is a good thing. Gives you time to think, pray, pretend those weeds are people you’re angry at You’re raising those plants like your little children but they don’t talk back. Of course, the deer eat them which makes that disturbing.
- Exercise. Gardening is good exercise. Digging, tilling, lifting, raking, weeding, etc. All good real life exercise.
- Variety. You have a bigger variety of choice when you grow your own, and even bigger if you grow from seeds. Instead of the one variety of cantaloupe in the grocery store, you can choose from 8 or 9 varieties.
- Taste! You can let the fruits and vegetables achieve full ripeness before harvesting them. Stores can’t harvest at peak because the shelf life will be shorter and they often have to truck the food around the country. Yours will only have to cross the lawn. That’s much fresher.
Many fruits and vegetables can be grown in containers. I’ve grown blueberries, raspberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, lettuce, other greens and herbs in containers. Many varieties can go in containers. The plants will be smaller than if grown in the ground, but if you only have a small space it works well.
I have 6 small raised beds (because we cut down trees and there are roots underneath). I employ square foot gardening and vertical gardening. This allows me to grow more in less space.
You can also try a community garden.
Start with something you like to eat, or start with something that is easy…
Do you grow your own food? Which gardening methods do you use?
What do you like best about vegetable gardening?
Let us know below.
“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29