Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ten Reasons to grow a Vegetable Garden

I look forward each year to growing my own vegetables.  Here's a few reasons to give it a go if you haven't already.

  1.  It's eco-friendly.  The food you grew in your back yard didn't travel 100 miles (or more) to get to your table. It's local food at it's finest, and is just a few steps away from your kitchen.
  2. It's healthy.  You know what you've put into your vegetables, what you have or haven't sprayed on them.  It will also encourage you to eat your own vegetables because you worked hard to get them!
  3. It's exercise.  Ever dig a hole?  What about digging up a hole garden? It's a work out! Weeding is too.  Gardening gets you outside, enjoy the fresh air. If you live in a hot climate like I do, make sure you do your digging and weeding first thing in the morning before the heat hits, and feel the benefits of a good work out the rest of your day.
  4. It's educational. I homeschool so I find the educational value in everything. We're beginning a botany unit study and it's perfect to start our own seeds in and watch them grow.  Great timing, too.
  5. It's cheap. This should have been #1 right? Done right with proper planning gardening can be cheap. It can be expensive, too. Ever read the $64 tomato?  If you're looking to stretch your budget, get your seeds, and get moving.  Seeds can be as cheap as $1 a packet, and you can get so much food for that dollar.
  6. It's delicious. Any food you grow yourself is going to taste better than the bland stuff they sell at the store.  The kinds of vegetables they sell at the grocery store are usually varieties created to have a long shelf life so they can survive their trek to you.  Try new varieties or even old heirlooms that were created to taste good. Imagine... a red tomato. It's a marvelous thing.
  7. It's a silent protest. I have lot's of issues with the FDA, and food in American in general.  When I grow my own food I don't buy it from someone else. Period. Don't like what's going on with food politics?  Stick it to the man, and grow it yourself. 
  8. It's therapeutic.  Kids been yelling all day?  Boss get on your nerves at work?  Go outside, and pick at your garden. Listen to the birds, the kids playing in the neighborhood and unwind.  I always feel better after I get my evening pickins in.
  9. It's beautiful. I love gardens of all kinds.  I have seen some breathtaking vegetable gardens.  Don't forget to mix in flowers and herbs in your garden.  Marigolds to keep the rabbits gone, some nasturtiums because they're yummy, and any other small little flower to attract bees and other pollinators to your back yard grocery store.
  10. It's communal. I have swapped seeds with neighbors on both sides, and across the street.  We trade heirloom seeds, garlic, whatever we have on hand just to help each other have a beautiful variety of things to grow.  We also talk about solutions to problems we all might have.  Bottom line, it gets us talking and builds community.

Do you have a horrid brown thumb?  Next best solution to a back yard vegetable garden is joining a CSA.  Find a farmer, and keep it local!

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