Vegetable gardening is making a comeback! If you’re looking for reasons to raise your own vegetables, here are a few you may or may not have considered.
1. You can grow your own more conveniently than going to the store. Done right, gardening is easier. A small garden bed of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers and I have the freshest salad I can get anywhere and I didn’t have to fight traffic to do it.
2. It’s a hobby with a practical purpose. Though you could be golfing, playing baseball, hand gliding, skydiving, bungee jumping, camping, buying antiques, candle making, quilting, crocheting, ball room dancing, cooking, face painting, or oil painting, though some are quite practical, not one of them that is more practical than growing at least a part of a daily meal.
3. Using simple garden tools for gardening makes gardening economical. Although, you could also spend thousands of dollars for a couple hundred dollars’ worth of food, because you bought one of those expensive tillers because some advertisement convinced you needed it, you should spend a few dollars on good quality hand tools.and grow those same vegetables for much less. If you save seed, you save even more.
4. You know where your spinach has been. (Think about this one for a moment and you may never eat at a salad bar again.) Imagine that the irrigation water used on the field came from a nearby CAFO. (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). Next imagine the migrant worker in the spinach field forgot to wash his hands after defecating, or the waitress sneezed into you salad. That doesn’t happen with your home vegetable garden where you know who has handled your vegetables and the water came out of the hose on the side of your house.
5. Vegetables picked fresh from the garden have higher nutrient value than food bought at the store. Studies have shown that by the time we buy fresh vegetables at a grocery store, they have already lost 45% of their nutritional value. You will like thinking about that while you are eating a salad of vegetables that you picked a few minutes before serving.
6. Offers low impact exercise (or it should). Vegetable gardening not only offers nutritious food, but gives you reason to stretch and bend and lift. Just remember not to overdo it and to remember to bend your knees when lifting.
7. Brings families together. Children helping with gardening bring family closer together and children like vegetables better that they have helped plant and pick. Remember not to make weeding the only experience your child has in the garden, or this could drive your child into hiding when you mention the garden.
8. Is an educational experience. Gardening is a mandatory class in school. Years ago, I had a friend who was from a city in California. When he moved to the Missouri Ozarks, he didn’t know that pickles were cucumbers. A couple years later he was growing his own cucumbers and making his own pickles.
9. Creates a better connection with nature. By digging in the soil and feeling the soil run between your fingers grounds you to the earth. In addition, you will enjoy the sounds of nature and the earth’s smell.
10. Vegetable gardening offers you a chance to give back to the garden what you have taken out. Until you start converting your household garbage and yard wastes turning it into compost, you have no idea the synergistic effect that composting has on the soil. Garden soil was not inert dirt, but composed of living organisms that depend upon you as much as you depended on them. By gardening, you reconnect with nature, and that is an awesome feeling.
Perhaps now that you have read the ten reasons that I have, you might come up with ten reasons of your own. However, remember, all you need is one to grow the freshest, safest vegetables you’ve ever eaten.