Benefits of Having a Kitchen Garden
I must say moving from an apartment to living in a house has been greatly appreciated and has many bountiful rewards. Not only do I love the additional space and I don’t have to be under the watchful eye of a landlord, but the ability to grow your own veggies and fruits in a kitchen garden has been a great improvement in my life.
Before COVID 19 my dad had been preparing the garden. Purchasing soil, nursery plants, and safe natural pesticide to get rid of those giant African snails and caterpillars and other garden pests that destroy anything in their path. So at the end of March or early June, my family saw the benefits of reaping cherry tomatoes, lettuce, chinese cabbage, kale, swiss chard, cabbage, yard beans etc. (it was AweSome!) Seeing this big harvest caused my dad to plant butternut squash, watermelon, corn, and cauliflower. We are hoping again for another big harvest within the next few months (YIPPIE!). So here are the benefits of having your own kitchen garden:
1. Saving Money
We all love the idea of saving money (who doesn’t) especially if you’re a weekly farmer’s market shopper. By growing your own vegetables and fruits you will spend less time and money at the supermarket. In addition, you will be able to save long term as you can preserve food for longer usage. Starting out will cost a bit as you have to spend on seedlings, soil, and garden supplies, eventually, you will see this as an investment as your fruits and veggies purchases now will be picked fresh from your garden. (YUM!)
2. Healthy Foods
By growing your own food, you control what you put in your body. Studies have shown most commercial products are GMO certified and sprayed with harmful chemicals from pesticides, heavy metals, artificial coloring, and growth enhancement. Planting your own food allows you to avoid these harmful agents and ensure the safety of your family as you are in control of what you eat.
3. Healthy Lifestyle
Not only do you reap healthy vegetables and fruits but you get your daily dosage of Vitamin D (sunlight) along with fresh air. Research has shown that putting your hands/feet in the soil cures depression and makes you happy. And that physical activity is a great stress reliever.
I don’t think I ever met a successful lazy gardener. You have to remain consistent, bending, kneeling, stretching, sowing seedlings, pushing the wheelbarrow, pulling out weeds. This is all cardio exercises that will help you to remain fit. If you want a good harvest then you need to put in the time. Healthy plants will help you to achieve a healthy body. In addition, growing your own produce helps to relieve the financial and everyday stress of life because it keeps you busy. It’s known, gardening allows you to keep your mind busy, body fit enables food creativity and most of all maintains your mental health.
4. Protect the Environment
It is well known that commercial farming is bad for the environment. Deforestation of millions of acres of land to make space for planting crops, to the distribution of products that have a heavy reliance on fossil fuel. Growing your own food allows you to do your part in protecting the environment as you can help provide a home for some of our friendlier friends (bees and butterflies), save on energy, and reduce the pollution in the air as plants will turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. Through your efforts, you will be able to motivate family and friends into growing their own garden and decrease the use of commercial farming. Just by one, many can be impacted to create change.
5. Family Time
One of the most important and precious moments is family time. Since we started our kitchen garden journey, it really has increased our time together. Whether it’s watering the garden together or spritzing each other with the hose, seeing the excitement from my younger cousins when a new vegetable appears, and seeing the fruit changes from green to red or yellow (depending on the fruit/veggie) or the preparation of the food, either raw, steam or cook, your meals are always delicious and wholesome. Everyone comes together to participate, have fun, and make new memories.