Growing fruits and vegetables often seems overwhelming and too much responsibility on top of everything else you have going on.
But let me tell you that it’s actually quite simple if you have the right resources to help you. Not to mention the awesome benefits.
1. It’ll improve your and your family’s health. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association published a study that found preschool children who were almost always served homegrown produce were more than twice as likely to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day – and to like them more – than kids who rarely or never ate homegrown produce.
2. Save money on groceries. There’s a couple ways this will happen. First, you know you won’t be buying an excess of produce, which is a money waster. I know there are times when a recipe calls for a fresh herb, so I purchase a small container and don’t end up using all of it. Total waste! The second way you’ll save money is by buying seeds, which are inexpensive, and watching your garden flourish with fresh produce. You can even save the seeds from the best producers, dry them, and use them next year. It doesn’t end there though because you could learn how to can and preserve your summer and fall harvest to have tasty meals until the next season.
3. Better tasting food. Tomatoes totally taste better homegrown than in the grocery store. This isn’t the only food that produces those results. Fresh always tastes better, wouldn’t you agree?
4. You know where your food came from and what’s on it. Okay, so how many people have touched the produce in the grocery store? What’s that waxy stuff on apples? I wonder where that dent came from. That looks like a fingernail went through it. I wonder how much pesticides and herbicides are on this? Now that I’ve grossed you out… 🙂 You get my point though.
5. You’ll be super proud of yourself. The sense of pride one feels when that sprout comes up is a joyous one. It’s working, it’s working! And when it’s fully grown, you pick it off the branch, look at it and realize you accomplished something super cool. You now get the gratification that YOU did this. Growing your own produce has multiple purposes and you made it happen.
Now that you know about the perks, you may be thinking that you don’t have a big fancy garden or your own yard to do this. Well, you don’t need those things. My friend is one of the biggest green thumbs I’ve ever met. She builds her vegetable garden in pots and containers and puts them on her balcony at her apartment. Non-traditional and it totally works.
You can even find out if your city has a community garden where you can rent your own plot. Check out acga.localharvest.org to locate a community garden near you or do a Google search for “[your city] community garden” and see what comes up.
Another amazing resource that I came across is SproutRobot. You put in your zip code and it tells you what and when to plant according to your area. It gives fantastic instructions on how to plant each vegetable/fruit, when it should sprout, and when you should harvest. They even email you to remind you when to plant. It’s easy to use, user friendly, and a fabulous system to have in your life. The site is definitely worth checking out.
If you have children, get them involved. They’ll learn a skill that they can use for the rest of their lives that will help them stay healthy and productive. Help them to develop their own home philosophy all while continuing to develop yours.
Whatever your motivation to start growing your groceries, chances are good that you’ll enjoy a new hobby, thin your wallet, and eat healthier.
This is certainly something I’ve been wanting to do, so try it out with me. I’d love to see photos of your garden (whether it’s in a yard or in a pot) and hear about your experiences.
Happy planting, home philosophers!