Home gardening is where it’s at! It really is wonderful how more and more people come to realize the benefits of growing their own food. Because there actually is quite a few! Whether you are already a seasoned gardener or have never planted a seed (yet!), I hope these will inspire you. Here’s 10 reasons to grow your own food.
1. It’s cheaper!
That’s right! All you need is seeds, soil, and some water. Think about all the effort needed to get commercial produce to your plate. From the energy the farmer put in, to the truck that transported it, the fridge that kept it cool, the people working at the supermarket displaying and selling it and you driving to and from the supermarket…that’s a lot of energy, a lot of time, and a lot of money. Go save now! Go grow your own food!
2. You’re in control.
When growing your own food, you are in control of the process. You know the quality of the soil and the water (if you have considered a water purifier (we call it a vitaliser in the Netherlands) for your own health, here’s one more reason! Did you know farmers around the world are turning to purified water because it increases their yield?) You can throw in as much love and attention as you want: it will eventually show up on your plate! And you know for sure, first hand, no nasty chemicals have been used.
3. It teaches children where our food comes from.
To a child, it is magical and nourishing to experience the entire process from the planting of a seed, watering it, watching it grow, and eventually harvesting and eating the final product. Being part of this circle contributes to a deeper understanding of life itself, in a way that truly connects with their soul: not in words, but in a magical experience in which they play part.
4. Getting your hands dirty is healthy.
Gardening is one of the most basic, natural activities that has been around since the beginning of time. It is honest, transparent labor that connects you to the earth and to yourself. It reduces stress and anxiety. Getting your hands dirty actually has chemical benefits to your body: it increases serotonin production, an important hormone that promotes happiness and mental health and strengthens the immune system. See, mom? Dirt is healthy! There is evidence suggesting that dirt-deficiency in childhood may contribute to mental illnesses and auto-immune diseases like asthma and allergies. We need more dirt!
5. It’s better for the environment.
Planes and trucks emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide, gobble up fossil fuel, and make your food unnecessarily expensive. No need for those smelly toxins when growing your own! By growing your own food, you not only promote your own health and the health of your family, but the health of our planet.
6. You can have truly fresh produce.
Fresh produce from the stores has usually been transported and kept for several days. How cool would it be to be able to cut off your veggies right before you start cooking? Home grown produce is fresh as you can get: full of nutrients and life energy to nourish yourself and your family with. Who wouldn’t love that!
7. It’s fun and rewarding!
There are few things as rewarding as being able to literally pick the fruits of your labor and putting them on your plate. To eat entire meals that you and your family grew with your own hands, in your own yard is true happiness! (And your kids are more likely to eat what they have helped grow)!
8. It truly is for everyone.
Everyone can grow their own food. Whether you have a garden or just a balcony (or even only a rooftop or a window pane), whether you were born with green fingers or you are an absolute klutz when it comes to gardening, there is always something that will work for you! You can find lots of resources on the internet, specific to your situation. There are also solutions for people with back or knee problems, like waist-high elevated garden beds.
9. It is contagious!
Once your seeds will start sprouting, your enthusiasm will grow along with them. Chances are, curiosity and enthusiasm will grow in the people around you, too. Share your joy, your experience and your harvested foods with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers! That way, your home gardening will be promoting your health as well as others and will provide a beautiful opportunity to connect with those around you.
10. Seriously. Do you need another reason?
I bet there are even more reasons, depending on who you ask. Growing your own food is about more than just harvesting veggies.
Are you a home gardener? Please share! What’s your yield?