10 Smart Reasons for Growing Your Own Food
If you’re not already growing your own food, why not? Here are 10 great reasons to start…
Homegrown food has many advantages over storebought. If you’re considering growing your own food, read on for ten reasons you should definitely take the plunge.
1. It Just Tastes Better
It’s true– freshly picked homegrown food just tastes better! By picking fruits or vegetables at peak ripeness, you’ll be able to enjoy not only the most health benefits but also the best flavor. Even if you think you don’t like vegetables, you’ll most likely change your mind when you taste them fresh out of your garden!
2. Homegrown Food Is Better for You
Freshly picked homegrown food not only tastes better – but it’s also healthier for you. Fruits and vegetables tend to lose their nutrients quickly once they are picked, and the more time that passes, the more the nutrient content will decline. Fruits and vegetables that you buy at the store have often been shipped from hundreds or even thousands of miles away, and may have been sitting in storage for long periods of time. Growing your own fruits and vegetables means you can pick them just before eating, allowing them to retain as much of their nutritional value as possible.
3. It Naturally Provides a Great Workout
All the activities involved in gardening – such as bending over to pull weeds or harvest crops, raking, watering, and planting – can burn quite a few calories, as well as building strength throughout your body. And exercise brings with it some huge benefits, from stress reduction to a healthier heart, brain, lungs, and more. It can also aid in weight loss, help you live longer, and boost your immune system.
4. Growing Your Own Food Can Save You Money
Shopping at the supermarket costs you money in multiple ways. First of all, there is the money you’ll spend on gas to get there. Then, there is the cost of the food, something that can vary depending on the season and even the store. Lastly, there is the hidden cost of transporting the food to the store (often from across the country), which pollutes the environment. Growing the food yourself eliminates all of these costs, allowing you to save money AND do the planet a favor at the same time.
5. Gardening Is Just Plain Fun!
It may sound strange, but pulling weeds can actually provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Mulching can be meditative, and there’s nothing like watching the tiny seedlings you planted grow into healthy, mature, productive plants that put food on your table!
6. It Helps Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder
Many people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, in the fall and winter months. As colder weather drives people indoors, lack of sunlight can cause feelings of depression and malaise. If you grow cool-weather crops into the fall and even the winter months, it will help you spend more time outside for longer, and provide you with the joy that comes from harvesting your own beautiful, fresh, green veggies even as the rest of the world turns gray and brown!
7. Less Food Waste & Better Soil
Growing your own food is a great way to help reduce food waste. If you only harvest what you need for each meal and consume your food shortly after picking it, it will cut down on food sitting around in the fridge for weeks and going bad. Especially if you start your own compost and compost any leftover scraps or items that do go bad, you can keep food waste out of the landfill (where it doesn’t belong), and turn it back into nutritious food for your garden! Participating in this beautifully efficient natural cycle is part of the joy of sustainable gardening.
8. It Helps You Become More Self-Sufficient
Growing your own food is a great way to become more self-sufficient. Even if you’re not worried about an emergency occurring that could impact the general food supply, it’s still nice to know that you don’t have to always rely on someone else to provide food for you. Producing at least part of your own food supply will give you a sense of self-sufficiency and peace of mind that your family will always have food to eat.
9. You Have More Control Over Your Food Supply
Growing your own food gives you control over how it’s grown. You can control what pest control measures are used, and eliminate the use of pesticides in your food. You control when your food is harvested, so you can make sure it is picked at the peak of ripeness, flavor, and nutrients. You control exactly what is grown, and how much. Growing your own food offers you so much more control over what you are eating than you have when buying it in the store.
10. Growing Your Own Food Provides A Deep Sense Of Satisfaction
There’s just something about knowing you grew the carrot you’re eating that is hard to describe until you’ve experienced it! It also provides you with an amazing sense of connection with the world around you, which some studies have shown is key to a happy life. You just can’t beat the satisfaction you’ll gain from growing your own food.
There are so many great reasons to grow your own food, but the 10 listed above are some of my favorites. Start gardening today to experience these benefits as well – and share your own favorite reasons to garden in our Facebook community!
Not sure how to get started? Try a beginner vegetable gardening kit, like these: