Fresh, flavoursome, organic food doesn’t have to be reserved for people with big bank accounts. Anyone with a container garden or a small space can grow something they can eat. Replacing even just one or two items usually bought at the grocery store with produce you’ve grown yourself can add so much more fun and flavour to your world.
Need a little inspiration? Here are ten motivating reasons to grow your own food.
- Fresher, more flavoursome food
There’s nothing fresher or more satisfying than picking your own food. The texture, the colours, wow! Growing your own produce allows you to harvest when the food is at its very best and when you want it.
- You control what goes in and on your food.
Organic produce costs more in stores because it costs more to grow commercially. It’s far easier for a home gardener to grow their own food organically using natural ingredients like compost and manure to enrich the soil. We can choose to use organic fertilizers and pest control measures as we desire.
- It can be more cost effective to grow your own food.
Food crops that continue to produce a harvest for many weeks or even months are more cost effective to grow yourself. A single tomato plant can produce a significant amount of fruit over the season—far more cost effective than buying organic tomatoes for £3.99 per punnet each week. Other foods that fall into this category include brassicas, herbs, beans, salad greens tomatoes etc.
- Grow anything!
When you buy fruits and vegetables from the supermarket, you’re limited to what they choose to offer. When you grow your own, there are literally thousands of options! You could try a few heirloom varieties, grow fun purple carrots your kids will love or try a few smaller varieties in containers. The sky’s the limit when you grow your own. Try something new every season.
- It’s better for the environment.
You lessen your environmental impact when you grow your own food because you’re eliminating the need for it to be transported or flown from Europe or South America. Produce is often refrigerated for months prior to it appearing on supermarket shelves in order to keep a longer lifespan.
- Gardening is good for you!
We’re all interested in lower maintenance gardens, but getting some exercise is never a bad thing! Did you know that gardening for just 45 minutes can burn the same number of calories as running 1 ½ miles in 15 minutes?
The physical act of gardening helps to release tension, relieve anxiety and stress, boost our energy levels and our Vitamin D intake, too. It’s been scientifically proven that soil contains healthy microbes which can affect our brain in similar ways as anti-anxiety medication. So, dig your hands into the dirt and breathe in the fresh air—it’s good for you!
- It will give you something to be genuinely proud of
When you grow your own food, you’ll find there’s a certain pride and satisfaction that comes with it all. Being able to walk out into your garden and harvest the produce you grew yourself is rewarding at an almost primal level. We can sustain ourselves, we can feed our family and friends healthy food that’s been grown with the utmost care and love poured into it. It feels good to grow our own food.
- It’s fun for the whole family
Gardening as a whole can be a rewarding family activity but being able to teach your children or grandchildren how to grow their own food is especially gratifying. The saying goes: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. It’s safe to say, the same goes for zucchinis.
Planning, planting, caring for and harvesting a garden with your family is something that creates lifelong memories, all for the cost of a few seed packets or potted plants. Let’s teach our kids where their food comes from together.
- Gardening challenges provide learning experiences
Though modern conveniences have made it easier than ever to grow our own food, there are plenty of opportunities to learn as we go. Gardening expands our consciousness and helps us appreciate all that goes into growing the food that sustains us. It presents new produce to grow, learning how to preserve your harvest.
- Sharing is caring!
Anyone who’s ever grown tomatoes, courgettes or basil knows there is always plenty to share. Most people will be thrilled to accept the extras from your harvest. You never know what affect you might have on someone—yours might be the only fresh produce they eat all week.