Top 5 Reasons to Grow Your Own Garden
Have you noticed the prices at the grocery store? It seems these days that everything is costing us more money on a weekly basis. The area of focus for me today, in this article, is on produce. I don’t know how the markets are across the country but I know in my area, the produce prices are rising each week. The quality of that produce can vary from store to store and from season to season. If you’re like me, you can instantly tell if that tomato you just picked up is home grown or shipped in from outside this country, whether it is vine ripened outdoors versus in a hot house setting. And it’s a shame when you must pay higher prices for lower quality fruits and vegetables just to be able to eat a healthy and balanced diet. As the title of this article suggests, we are going to talk a bit about growing your own garden and the top 5 reasons you might wish to consider this option.
Save Your Hard-Earned Money
This is most likely the most obvious of the top 5 reasons; first and foremost in our minds in this seemingly out of control economy we are experiencing, is the way we need to budget our money to pay the bills and provide healthy and balanced meals for the family. It is getting harder and harder to do that with the weekly rising prices of food at the grocery store. I, for one, get really irked when my hard-earned money must be spent on sub-standard, low quality produce so that it appears I am eating healthy! And, we have absolutely no control over where our favorite grocery stores get their produce because that decision is frequently made at the regional or national headquarters level with an eye on the “bottom line” for the supermarket chain in general.
One way to get around this dilemma is to buy from local private fruit and produce markets if you are fortunate to have them in your area. If you’re not so fortunate, then what do you do? You can plant and grow your own garden. You can choose exactly the fruits and veggies that you want to grow, ones that you and your family like to eat. Initially, there is some cost involved in purchasing the plants or seeds, the pots if you can’t plant in the ground and the soils needed to ensure your garden will prosper. But, you will readily see that cost being recouped as your garden matures and you begin harvesting from your own backyard! Things like romaine lettuce, for example, are ready to begin using within just a few weeks of plants being placed in pots or in the ground, while tomatoes, as another example, will need a couple of months before you can begin picking and eating from your plants.
Less Wasted Food
Do you find yourself buying produce when you do your weekly shopping and then, for various reasons, you don’t use it in a timely fashion so you have to throw it out? I think we all have weeks like that…life just gets so busy that you don’t have time to cook or to really think through the balance in the quick meals that you’re squeezing in between this meeting and that trip to softball practice with the kids.
Once you purchase the produce, you’re pretty much committed to using it within a week or less or you waste it. If you grow your own garden, you can pick your fruits and veggies as you need them so they are always fresh and nutritious. The only waste here is the scrap from your meal preparation! How is that for a top 5 reason!
How About Food Safety Issues?
This top 5 reason seems to loom larger everyday. I know you’ve all seen the reminders to always wash your fruits and veggies before you use them. It seems to be increasingly necessary to protect yourself and your family from pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are being used to grow fruits and veggies commercially. There seems to be such a push to produce more and bigger crops of fruits and veggies that the commercial growers resort to chemical technology to hasten the crops to maturity. Hence, we have fruits and veggies in the markets that have been artificially urged along to a premature trip from the farm. We find ourselves buying and preparing produce that has not matured as naturally as it should. Again, if you grow your own fruits and veggies, you have control over their growth. In your own garden, you can use natural fertilization methods and natural pesticides if necessary. Your home grown produce can be as healthy as you choose to make it.
Good Therapy and Stress Reliever
If you have ever had or been close to someone who has a garden, I am sure you have seen them work in it. In all gardens there are weeds to contend with as well as soil that needs aerated and loosened to allow your plants to flourish. If you have ever been on the other end of the garden hoe, then you know that it can require some energy to wield it. I have made good use of the energy expended in my gardens to work off stresses from the work environment, frustration with my spouse and the kids or even just to sort through the rubble of the day. This top 5 reason can be great therapy for anyone who has any stress at all because we all know that it isn’t good for our overall health to hold the stress inside. And you know, you get a good feeling about yourself when you look at your thriving garden and know deep down inside that you made a great choice!
Make It a Family Activity
To discuss this top 5 reason, let me share that I am a firm believer that we parents need to stay actively involved in our children’s lives. This requires that we spend time with them – not just allow them to while away all of their leisure time attached to the other end of a video game or cell phone. Relationships, whether with our spouses or our children or friends require quality time spent together. Working in your own garden can provide this quality time. Teaching your children the importance of getting back to the basics of doing things with your hands and creating something useful can go a long way toward helping them grow into responsible adults. Making positive memories is never a bad thing!
Well, I have given you the top 5 reasons I feel growing your own garden is at good thing. Can you add more reasons? Feel good about yourself and plan your home garden today!