Monday, April 23, 2012
Motivational Monday: "The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food
(Photo's from my container garden over the past few years.)
The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food
(my spring container garden a few years ago)
Growing fruits and vegetables seems overwhelming to most people, but it’s actually much simpler than it sounds. All you need is a few square feet of the great outdoors, a water source, and a little time. Your grandparents did it, and so can you.
If you still aren't convinced, consider these benefits of backyard gardening:
(another angle of my container garden)
Improve your family's health. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things you and your family can do to stay healthy. When they’re growing in your backyard, you won’t be able to resist them, and their vitamin content will be at their highest levels as you bite into them straight from the garden.
(I add flower pots here and there to make give my garden color and attract bees)
Save money on groceries. Your grocery bill will shrink as you begin to stock your pantry with fresh produce from your backyard. A packet of seeds can cost less than a dollar. If you learn to dry, can, or otherwise preserve your harvest, you’ll be able to feed yourself even when the growing season is over.
(beans in containers by my honeysuckle vine)
Get outdoor exercise. Planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting add purposeful physical activity to your day. If you have kids, they can join in, too. Gardening is also a way to relax, de-stress, center your mind, and get fresh air and sunshine.
(peas in containers)
Enjoy better-tasting food. Fresh food is the best food! How long has the food on your supermarket shelf been there? How long did it travel from the farm to your table? Comparing the flavor of a homegrown tomato with the taste of a store-bought one is like comparing apples to wallpaper paste. If it tastes better, you’ll be more likely to eat the healthy, fresh produce that you know your body needs.
(lettuce in containers)
Build a sense of pride. Watching a seed blossom under your care to become food on your and your family’s plates is gratifying. Growing your own food is one of the most purposeful and important things a human can do—it's work that directly helps you thrive, nourish your family, and maintain your health. Caring for your plants and waiting as they blossom and "fruit" before your eyes is an amazing sense of accomplishment!
(beautiful tomatoes growing - I can't wait until my garden has tomatoes this year!)
Stop worrying about food safety. With recalls on peanut butter, spinach, tomatoes and more, many people are concerned about food safety in our global food marketplace. When you responsibly grow your own food, you don't have to worry about contamination that may occur at the farm, manufacturing plant, or transportation process. This means that when the whole world is avoiding tomatoes, for example, you don't have to go without—you can trust that your food is safe and healthy to eat.
(peas growing in my container a few years ago)
Reduce food waste. Americans throw away about $600 worth of food each year! It's a lot easier to toss a moldy orange that you paid $0.50 for than a perfect red pepper that you patiently watched ripen over the course of several weeks. When it's "yours," you will be less likely to take it for granted and more likely to eat it (or preserve it) before it goes to waste.
(broccoli in a container)
Even if you don't have big backyard—or any yard for that matter—you can still grow food. Consider container gardening if you have a sunny balcony or patio or an indoor herb garden on a windowsill. You’ll be amazed at how many tomatoes or peppers can grow out of one pot. Or find out if your city has a community garden, where you can tend to your very own plot. Check out www.CommunityGarden.org to locate a community garden near you.
Whatever your motivation for breaking ground on your own backyard garden, chances are good that you’ll take pleasure in this new healthy hobby, and that your wallet, your body, and your taste buds will thank you!