Dirty hands say something about you. If you’re willing to get your hands dirty with rich garden soil, you surely find something calming, enriching, and satisfying in growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Dirty hands mark the people who are consciously or unconsciously in harmony with nature, one with its forces, resources, and potential. Tending your own garden may not save the world’s environment, but it’s one solid step in that direction.
Growing your own vegetables won’t feed the people of undeveloped nations, but you will leave more food to be distributed. Growing your own won’t cure hunger or disease, but your vegetables will manage your health and that of your family.
Imagine the time and money that you will save by having fresh vegetables available in your backyard. It takes a lot of preparation and hard work to start a home garden, but the benefits you will be reaping are enough to make up for it.
Growing from seed is the easiest way to start if you’re a beginner. It is less expensive than transplants and has a higher rate of success. In fact, growing supplies for mushrooms and other vegetables now come in convenient kits. Lettuce, carrots, and kale are also some of the more common ones grown at home.
5 solid reasons why you should start growing your own vegetables:
An Australian Food News (2013) survey says carrots are the most popular vegetable among Australians.“The next most popular vegetables in August 2013 were tomatoes (92 per cent), potatoes (83 per cent), broccoli (80 per cent), cauliflower (79 per cent, celery (78 per cent), capsicums (76 per cent), white onion (76 per cent), cabbage (74 per cent) and zucchini (74 per cent).” So, you can think of this produce as typical of what you buy and consume.
The chance to save money tops anyone’s list for trying something new. You can price anything in the produce section of your favorite market and compare that to the real cost of growing your own.
Admittedly, some vegetables simply won’t grow in your climate or eco-system. But, where they are, you can do your own cost analysis. For example, you might price cauliflower or white onions at your Australia supermarket today.
In May of 2018, cauliflower is selling at $6.50 to $8.99 per pound depending on the market. Onions are selling for $0.25 per 10mg. At the same time, you can buy 100 cauliflower seeds or 75 white onion seeds for $1.00. Adding expenses for quality soil, nutrition, and regular watering, you still have a major bargain.
If you accelerate your garden by buying starter kits or seedlings, the additional cost will not hurt your advantage in doing your own gardening.
Growing your own vegetables lets you control what goes into your food and your family’s mouth. Growing your own lets you choose the fertilizer and pesticides to eliminate or minimize the chemicals and toxins used by commercial farmers and food processors.
A home garden puts healthy food on your table. Fresh and healthy vegetables bring foods dense with vitamins and minerals necessary to good health. For example:
- Bell Peppers have dozens of nutritional benefits, including lycopene and folic acid.
- Broccoli has a high fiber content, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and K.
- Brussels sprouts boast calcium, folic acid, high fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K.
- Carrots are rich in lutein, vitamins A, C and K, and fiber.
- Garden Greens offer vitamins C and K, potassium, fiber, and lutein.
- Kale is a crisp garden green that adds flavor and texture to soups and salads, and it is packed with nutrients, including calcium and Vitamins A, C, K, and B6.
- Onions have high vitamin C values and sulfur in addition to a GPCS, a peptide that reduces the loss of calcium.
- Spinach is nature’s multiple-use, a super package of betaine, calcium, copper, folic acid, lutein, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins A, B2, B6 iron, C, E, and K.
- Sweet Potatoes offer more than white potatoes with fiber, iron, manganese, potassium, and vitamins A and C.
- Tomatoes provide cancer-fighting lycopene and vitamins A, C and K.
A garden and a little food preparation will fill your pantry and freezer with fresh healthy foods to eat and into the future. But, few things beat the taste of eating something fresh from the garden.
A garden does take some physical work. You will bend and reach, lift and carry, dig and rake. But, it is rarely exhausting.
Still, gardening takes you outdoors in good air and seasons to plant, nurture, and harvest your crops. The regular exercise involved improves your heart and respiration. And, it tasks muscles and joints to retain elasticity.
The physical exercise also produces a personal calm and rich but relaxing stimulation that ensures that harmony with nature. The combination of work and stress relief benefits the “farmer’s” mood and mental peace.
The Cancer Treatment Centers of America point out, “Fresh fruits and vegetables are low in fat, calories and sodium but packed full of flavor and essential nutrients. Cancer patients, in particular, need to make sure they eat foods with vitamins and minerals because some forms of treatment can weaken or suppress their immune systems.”
They recommend eating “between five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.” Vegetables rich in color are especially dense with immune system-boosting flavonoids and carotenoids.
Moreover, the act of garden puts you in contact with soil nutrients and the sun’s rays, loaded with the vitamin D vital to your immunity system.
Adding manure to your garden soil introduces nitrogen and organisms that alter the texture and arability of the soil.
Natural and organic composting recycles organic wastes and introduces the decomposed chemicals and materials to break up the soil density and improve water retention. Likewise, earthworm castings aerate and fertilize the garden soil.
You should invest in a low-cost pH testing kit to determine and sustain the soil’s acid level from 6 to 7. The soil adjusts when you add lime, sulfur, potassium, Epsom salts, and commercially available NPK supplements (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium.)
Stay in harmony with nature:
The 5 solid reasons why you should start growing your own vegetables explored here offer just a short list benefits. The work, time, and results are rich in sentiment, pleasure, and healthul outcomes. Growing your own vegetables rewards body and soul, taste and well being.
And, every home garden makes a positive impact on the environment. Your garden reduces waste and chemical pollution, water use and erosion, and the carbon footprint and transportation costs of bringing fresh and healthy food to your table.