The Multiple Benefits of Growing Your Own Food
Grow Your Own
Fresh food tastes best. The shorter the distance from the field, where the food is grown, to the kitchen, where the food is prepared, the fresher the food will be. The shortest route is from you backyard or balcony to your kitchen.
However, freshness is only one of the multiple benefits the gardener receives for growing his or her own food. While, it is a challenge for most urban dwellers to grow all or even a significant portion of their own food; it is possible even in a small space to grow some of your own food. Vegetables, herbs and fruit trees can be grown in containers on patios and balconies.
Fresh vegetables are not the only food source possible; you add eggs by keeping three or four chickens in a backyard chicken coop.
In addition, to the benefit of high quality fresh food, provided, of course, the methods used are organic, the gardener increases her personal connection with the food she prepares and serves. When you know where your food originates and the route it ravels from field to fork, you know what you are eating and what has been done to the food along its journey.
The food we purchase in a major grocery store does not originate from that store; it may have traveled hundreds of not thousands of miles to get to the stores shelves and coolers. There is an environmental cost to this journey, so reduce the distance your meal journeys and you reduce the amount of gas needed to get it there as well as the wear and tear on the highways, for example.
Gardening provides both a physical and a mental workout. Physically, the various garden acts such as weeding, harvesting planting, transplanting, watering and so on all use up energy and burn off a few calories.
When I step into my garden, I step away from my day-to-day routine and this act alone has a calming and renewing effect. As the ability to grow food increases so does the sense of self-worth and its accompanying self-esteem.
Time spent gardening organically is time invested in helping to maintain and rebuild the local environment. When you garden naturally and incorporate plants that attract, bees, birds, butterflies and a variety of other small wildlife, you are reestablishing an ecosystem rather than destroying one. Your work to grow food revitalizes the earth.
There are multiple benefits to be reaped, when you step outside and start and care for your own home vegetable garden.