It’s tough to convince you why you should grow your own food when we live in a world of Uber Eats and Instacart. It’s never been easier to put food in the kitchen – but sometimes convenience comes at a price.
It’s undoubtedly convenient to hop in your car — or lace up your walking shoes — and head to the nearby grocery store for all of the fruits and veggies you need. At any time of year, you can find whatever fruit or vegetable you want to eat, thanks to an extensive international network that brings us products from all over the world.
For all of its convenience, though, there are some holes in this system’s setup — and those holes end up being some of the main reasons why you should grow your own food. So, read on to find out why you should start tilling the land and harvesting fresh produce in your backyard.
4 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food
1. Gardening Is Good For Your Health
This has nothing to do with the nutritional value of the food you grow (we’ll touch on that later). The act of gardening itself is a boon to both your physical and mental health in a number of ways.
For starters, heading outside and getting your hands dirty after a stressful day can help you diffuse the tension you feel and clear your mind of all its post-workday fatigue. In fact, merely spending time outside can help both adults and children feel happier.
Gardening will also make you feel more creative as you strategically sow your seeds. The fruits of your labor will have you beaming with pride, too.
If that’s not enough of an incentive, your physical health can also improve. Getting outside, moving and fighting stress reduces stress, which leaves you less likely to develop diabetes, obesity or heart disease. Um, yes, please.
2. You’ll Save Money
We’ve already mentioned the fact that grocery stores carry out-of-season fruits and vegetables year-round, thanks to international shipping networks. But these long treks incur costs, and those costs reflect in the price you pay for produce, and the quality.
Growing your own food will help your family cut down on this expenditure in a big way. Some of the most commonly purchased plants are incredibly easy to grow in your own garden, including lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and zucchini. Removing those items from your grocery list will save you money — imagine what you could do to your food budget if you grew all of your own produce!
So if you’re budget minded (or maybe someone else in the house is), saving money is a big reason why you should grow your own food.
3. Food Will Be Fresher
Farm-to-table restaurants have become more and more popular, and for a good reason — freshly picked produce tastes so much better! Your taste buds are a legit motivation for why you should grow your own food at home!
Once you sample a tomato plucked from a backyard vine, you’ll never want to buy one from the store again. You can also cultivate an herb garden — you’ll quickly note the difference between fresh leaves and the dried ones you can sprinkle into your meals. As an added bonus, you can keep your herb garden going year-round by bringing it into your kitchen.
For many people, this fresh flavor is the spark that ignites a love for home cooking. All of a sudden, you’ll realize how tasty a self-made meal can be, thanks to the work you do in growing produce in your own backyard.
4. Home Growing Is More Sustainable
Transporting fruits and vegetables across international borders is not only expensive, but it can negatively affect the environment, too. Think about it this way — on average, produce travels approximately 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate. In other words, we waste a lot of gas to keep this up, and fossil fuels are a notoriously unsustainable source of energy.
On top of that, your backyard garden will likely house a variety of fruits and vegetables, whereas for-profit farms choose their product and stick to it. This is known as monocropping, and it can have a detrimental effect on the ecosystem in which it takes place. For one thing, it strips the soil of its natural nutrients, thus requiring farmers to dump fertilizers all over their fields. The run-off can damage the water supply. They also need pesticides, as these types of farms tend to wipe out the biodiversity that would otherwise keep plant-eating insects at manageable levels.
Growing your own food in your backyard allows you to reduce the need for such massive, unsustainable operations. Instead, you can plant and harvest just what your family needs — and you can do so without the pesticides and fertilizers that make mass-produced produce a danger to the environment. Plus, it’s within arms reach, meaning you won’t need to waste a single drop of fuel to get a healthy dinner on the table.
Watch Your Garden Grow
These are four of the many incentives for growing your own food, but they’re enough to show you the value of getting your hands dirty. You’ll need to prepare for your backyard garden by investing in gardening tools, choosing the right location and picking up the seeds and plants you’ll nurture. But this initial task will pay for itself in dividends when you and your family are happier and healthier — and your meals taste better than ever before. Grow your own food and reap the benefits!
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