From the Garden to the Table | 5 Benefits of Gardening

5 Benefits of Gardening: ways that gardening will benefit you, your family and your environment

Nothing tastes better than using vegetables or fruits that you have grown in recipes. Turning a pile of dirt and handful of seeds into tasty food can be a family affair, with children helping plant, cultivate and tend the young plants. It gives them a real sense of accomplishment to nurture plants that will become food to fuel their bodies and make them big and strong.

In our modern world of GMOs, added chemicals and high-fructose corn syrup it can allay concerns about what you and your family are eating. This uncertainty about what actually goes in processed foods or ‘fresh’ vegetables that can be bought at a grocery store is another reason to grow your own vegetables.

The advantages of growing your own food

If you have the space to make a garden, and it doesn’t have to be a huge space, you can grow enough vegetables for your family. Of course, vegetables are only one of the plants you can grow. Fruits, grains and spices can all easily be grown in small spaces with a bit of ingenuity stretching your food budget and creating an additional family activity.

In addition to having fresh foods for your table, gardens also have other benefits:

  • Access to fresh veggies. Walking into your backyard to pick up a cucumber, tomato or whatever saves time and money versus going to the grocery store or farmer’s market to pick up the same thing. Once the plants have ripened, the vegetables are – literally – in your backyard.
  • Costs. Although buying seeds, fertilizers and the implements to make and cultivate a garden can be relatively pricey, the amount saved on buying produce can offset those costs and more. A single tomato plant, for example, can produce dozens of tomatoes during season, the more plants you have, the more they will produce and the more you will save.
  • Food additives. Do you know what goes into processed foods? Or, what chemicals are sprayed on fruits and vegetables during the growing process? Or, what chemicals do your local grocers use to keep fruits and vegetables looking their best and fresh as long as possible? One of the best things about having a garden and growing your own food is that you know exactly what goes into and on it.
  • Environmental issues. A garden is good for the environment. Reducing your dependence on large scale agricultural farms which use groundwater contaminating chemicals on their plants helps the environment. Having a garden also gives you a reason to recycle kitchen and yard waste to make compost to use as fertilizer. Gardens can also prevent erosion and runoff.
  • Family fun. Gardening can be a solitary hobby or a group activity. Children and adults can be involved in all aspects of cultivating a garden and get a real sense of accomplishment from growing their own food. Caring for a garden can teach responsibility, hard-work and deferred satisfaction. Knowing that you can raise your own food, by hand, is a practical skill best learned young.

If you start small, gardening is a very inexpensive hobby that can have outsized rewards in a very brief period of time. Herbs and vegetables can grow to maturity in a few weeks and, depending on the plant, produce edible food within a short time span. Getting started is easy, plot out your garden, pick up the basic tools and find a source for your vegetables – seed needs.

The tasty satisfaction you and your family will get is well worth the cost and effort.

 

Comments

  1. Barbara Montag says:

    I love growing my own veggies.
    I know they are the freshest and not sprayed with all kinds of things.
    Wish we had a longer growing season – live in MN.
    And I can’t wait for the first tomatoes!

  2. Sandra Preti says:

    Having your own garden really changes your lifestyle–it encourages you to eat healthier and be creative with new recipes. It saves money and teaches you about not wasting food!

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