Most of us don’t need a reason to plan our next garden and what vegetables we will grow in the upcoming year. But, if you’re considering starting a garden and are looking for reasons to raise your own vegetables, here are a eight reasons you may or may not have considered.
You can grow your own vegetables more conveniently than going to the store. Done right, gardening is easier. A small garden bed of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and peppers provides the freshest salad available without the hassle of going to a store.
#2 A Practical Hobby
Gardening is a hobby with a practical purpose. Though you could be golfing, playing baseball, hang gliding, skydiving, bungee jumping, camping, buying antiques, candle making, quilting, crocheting, ball room dancing, cooking, face painting, or oil painting. Though all of these hobbies can be fun and some are quite practical, not one of them that is more practical than growing at least a part of a daily meal.
Using simple garden tools for gardening makes gardening economical. You could spend thousands of dollars for a couple hundred dollars’ worth of food, because you purchased an expensive tiller, or you could also spend a few dollars on good quality hand tools and grow those same vegetables for much less. If you save seed, you save even more.
#4 Safe Food
You know where your spinach has been. Think about this one for a moment and you may never eat at a salad bar again. Imagine that the irrigation water used on the field came from a nearby concentrated animal feeding operation or the waitress sneezing into your salad. In your home vegetable garden you know who has handled your vegetables and that the water came out of the hose on the side of your house.
#5 Better Nutrition and Great Taste
Vegetables picked fresh from the garden have higher nutrient value than food purchased at a store. Studies have shown that by the time we buy fresh vegetables at a grocery store, they have already lost up to 45% of their nutritional value. But the best part is that freshly picked vegetables taste better too.
Vegetable gardening not only offers nutritious food, but it gives you reason to stretch and bend and lift. Just remember not to overdo it and to remember to bend your knees when lifting.
#7 Family Time
Gardening with your children creates a great family atmosphere plus children like vegetables better when they have helped plant and harvest them. Remember not to make weeding the only experience your child has in the garden, make sure to let them enjoy the more exciting things like planting seeds or harvesting.
#8 Connect with Nature
Digging in the soil and feeling it run between your fingers brings you closer to the earth. In addition, you will enjoy the sounds of nature and the earth’s smell. Vegetable gardening also offers a chance to give back to the garden what has been taken out. Start converting your food scraps and yard wastes into compost and you will begin to understand the synergistic effect that composting has on the soil. Read this article and learn how to get great compost for your garden in only five weeks. Garden soil is not inert dirt, but is composed of living organisms that depend upon you as much as you depend on them. Gardening reconnects you with nature, and that is an awesome feeling.
Donna Brown is the author of the gardening book Simply Vegetable Gardening which is available on her website: Cygnetbrow.com.