7 Reasons to Grow Your Own Vegetables
by Adrian White
20 December, 2021 by
7 Reasons to Grow Your Own Vegetables
Lucija Johum

The importance of growing your own food is taking the world by storm!

People are learning that eating plenty of homegrown vegetables won’t just bring healthy habits to your table. If you grow your very own, there are even more benefits aplenty – just as bountiful as your harvest is hopefully bound to be.

But what are these perks, exactly? What’s so worth getting that garden, breaking up the soil, rolling up your sleeves, and really working for your food?

For starters, you could say that gardening solves a big chunk of obstacles we face as the human race. Sure, some are major, big picture issues such as environment, food security, and culture.

But did you know that veggie-growing could also save you money, boost your health, and even help you with those fitness goals?

That’s right! A pastime you always thought was a reserved favorite of grandma and grandpa’s is quickly becoming a killer trend – in more ways than one. 

Save Money on Your Food Budget

This is probably the biggest major reason for growing your own food, and exactly why grandma and grandpa did it for themselves: you save money, pure and simple.

Think about it: a small packet of seeds in the $2-3 range could yield you a hundred pounds of food, if you do it right (and depending on the vegetable, of course). 

Where that same amount may have bought you a pound or two of healthful produce from the store, you’re getting a bumper crop of the very same for only a few cents per piece in comparison, right out of your own yard. 

If you grow using organic methods (without pesticides or herbicides), the costs of growing your own are WAY better than picking up expensive organic produce at your grocery store every week. Talk about a big slice taken out of your food budget (and maybe even your gas bill for your car)!

If you grow your own veggies, a part of your food costs (and arguably the most important part) is already taken care of. 

Where you might not have even thought about picking up zucchini, cucumbers, or kale on your grocery list, you have them only steps away in your backyard to make your meals healthier at a cheaper cost – and if you grew them yourself, you’ll be more inspired to use them, too.

Eat Healthier!

This brings us to the next huge perk to growing your own: you eat healthy, sometimes without even trying.

I’m sure you’ve had your grocery store list in hand and passed through the produce aisle, only to feel unexcited or uninspired by what you see there. This can be one of the biggest challenges to finally making that change and eating healthy, once and for all.

When you have your own garden, this produce will make it straight to your fridge. You’ll be motivated to use it quicker, try new things with it, and get those nutrients, fiber, and other benefits straight into your diet.

Another thing people don’t realize? The veggies you grow TASTE BETTER than anything you’d get at the store. 

Most store produce varieties aren’t bred for good taste or even nutritional content, but instead for longer shelf life and the ability to travel long distances.

So beyond the inherent healthy qualities of veggies you’ll be getting, realize that what you grow with your own hands will be incredibly delicious, inspiring you to eat it more often. 

Plus, if you grow heirloom varieties of veggies to boot, you’ll bet that they’ll be even more nutrition-packed and healthier for you, too!

Exercise and Stay Fit

If you’ve ever had your own garden before, you’ll know that even the simplest of gardening tasks can really make you work up a sweat.

For you non-gardening, fitness-aspiring, and gym- (or even non-gym) goers out there: does this come as a huge surprise?

Well, it really shouldn’t! Gardening is clearly a workout: from shoveling, tilling, digging, hoeing, and weeding to mowing, harvesting, and more, you can burn calories like crazy.

Sure, it’s hard work, especially if you have a larger garden. But even a small garden can give you the same benefits as heading to the gym (though working out at the gym won’t help you save money or bring in loads of healthy, beautiful produce).

I know what you might be thinking: “gardening was what grandma, grandpa used to do, it’s painful, and farmers do it. I don’t want to be a farmer!”

My retort to that: have you ever seen an unhealthy, overweight farmer?

Farmers grow your delicious, healthy food for a living, and there’s nothing cooler than that. Plus, they learn methods and good body mechanics to avoid strain and pain further down the road, and you can too.

Minimize Your Footprint

How else can gardening make you feel great? It already brings you nutritious food, helps you save money, and even gets you fitter and happier.

On a larger level, though, gardening makes you feel like you are doing something important for the environment and the planet. I know it may sound like an exaggeration, but it really can make a difference.

Think about where the food at the store is grown and where it comes from. Most of it is grown using chemicals and petroleum, which impact the environment and the planet.

Next, think about how that food gets to your plate after it is harvested. If you are lucky, it’s grown within the country, where it is packed in freight or trucks to get to your local grocery store. 

Otherwise, a lot of food is grown and imported from overseas, being flown in planes or packed in ships for thousands of miles before it ever reaches your table.

All of this transportation uses petroleum, which pollutes the atmosphere and the environment. But if you grow your own, you skip ALL of these harmful processes.

When you garden, you join a population of conscious people working to source their food in ways that are sustainable, and which ensure food sources for future generations – whether you’re aware of it or not.

Build Community

One of the most memorable, cherished memories one can have of grandma or grandpa’s garden is how it brought the family together. 

In truth, it can bring families together, but it can also help forge connections even farther beyond that.

If you have your own garden, it’s a great way to get the family involved and bring them closer together, as well as teach kids about where their food comes from. Both grown-ups and kids alike can weed, pick veggies and fruits, sort, and help with canning, preserving, and storing.

Even if you don’t have your own garden, why not join a community garden (or start one)? This not only helps get great food into yours and others’ kitchens, but strengthens your connections and friendships with other like-minded folks in your neighborhood – especially if you are hoping to meet more great people and extend your circle.

Harvesting, weeding, or even canning as a family can turn into more of a fun community event if you bring more people in. Invite your neighbors for a harvesting or pickling party, get to know them, and spread the love. 

Who knows – maybe you’ll even turn a few of them onto gardening, too!

Contribute to Local Food Culture

Along the same lines as building up your community, gardening can do loads for your local community and food culture.

Have a huge garden and extra produce? With an extra free day or two each week, why not join your local farmers market and get your food to the people?

This can in turn increase your connection to the community and help you meet some new faces, all while making you some money back on your small costs to get started growing food. It also boosts the presence of healthy, locally-sourced food in your area, where there otherwise might not be.

Have an excessive harvest that you don’t know what to do with? 

Donate it to a food bank so healthy, local, delicious produce gets to those who need it most! Again, another simple but profound reason why gardening can help you make a change.

Further, if you have extra produce, ask around your community or friend circle to see if there are any takers. Who would turn down local, healthy, free produce, am I right? 

Improve Your Own Food Security

Great health, fitness, saving money, and feeling like you are being productive for your community and the planet – what’s not to love?

But wait – there’s more. 

If anything, picking up the skill of gardening can help you feel independent, capable, and secure in the ways you procure food for yourself and your family. (Maybe even your friends and community, too!)

When people complain about the jump in food prices for one reason or another, you can be proud that your own ways of providing food are untouched and unaffected. 

When others also talk about how difficult and expensive it is to buy ethical, organic food for their households, you’ll know you have that covered, too.

In the end, gardening is not just an old-timey habit you’re picking up that grandma and grandpa once loved – it’s also a radical, healthy, fitness-boosting way to get food to your table and to be ahead of the curve!

7 Reasons to Grow Your Own Vegetables
Lucija Johum 20 December, 2021
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