The Benefits of growing your own food
Environmentalists have been admonishing us for years to conserve fuel to lessen our impact on the planet. Some of us have taken heed by walking, biking, carpooling, combining trips, or trading in our SUVs for hybrids. While you probably appreciate these efforts, frankly, the majority of us didn’t change.
The cost of everything seems to be higher these days, especially at the grocery store, a trip you can’t skip. Maybe you can skip it, or at least drastically slash your bill, by growing your own food.
Growing fruits and vegetables seems overwhelming to most people, but it’s actually much simpler than it sounds.
If you still aren’t convinced, consider these benefits of backyard gardening:
1. 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.
• 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 one fruit, If you learn to dry, can, or otherwise preserve your summer or fall harvest, you’ll be able to feed yourself even when the growing season is over.
• Reduce your environmental impact.
Backyard gardening helps the planet in many ways. If you grow your food organically, without pesticides and herbicides, you’ll spare the earth the burden of unnecessary air and water pollution,
• Get outdoor exercise.
Planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting add purposeful physical activity to your day. If you have kids, they can join in, too. Be sure to lift heavy objects properly, and to stretch your tight muscles before and after strenuous activity. Gardening is also a way to relax, de-stress, center your mind, and get fresh air and sunshine.
• 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.
• 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.
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