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Apr 23

5 Great Reasons to Grow Your Own Food

grow your own food - tower garden tomatoesYou might wonder what good can going through all the trouble of growing your own food do, when it seems so convenient to get it from a supermarket.

But only a few generations ago, growing your own food and eating them fresh from gardens or farms was very common. While this was a full-time job in those days in order to feed the family, you can still reap the benefits by just growing some of the items on your grocery list.

Fresh produce can be so satisfying to the senses, not just in terms of taste but also nourishment. The apparently fresh fruits and vegetables that you buy from grocery stores often travel hundreds of miles after being harvested and reaches your kitchen after being packed, shipped, distributed and displayed. This process can affect the flavor and nutrients profoundly.

Many people believe that in order to grow your own food, you have to be a farmer or live in the country, but turns out you don’t need that much space, or effort for growing plants indoors. Whether you plan to grow fruits and veggies in a big garden plot in the backyard or maybe in little containers on a window or in pots on a patio, the magical feeling of planting and nurturing them will be incomparable. No doubt you will face some challenges, but when you pluck that first vegetable out, it’s all going to be worth it.

Here are 5 reasons why you should start growing your own food:

Save Money

If you like to make no compromises on buying fresh and organic produce, growing your own veggies can have a significant reduction on your monthly grocery bills. Not only do you get to eat fresh but also save your time and energy by decreasing fuel consumption and transportation costs.

Gardening can help you save so much if you do it right, but any hobby can get expensive if you start buying too much equipment or gardening gadgets.

If you really want to grow your food to save money, then know which foods are cost-effective and which ones can get expensive. A survey conducted by Tower Garden showed that only growing certain plants could help you save money compared to buying them from a supermarket. Crops that are cheaper to grow than buy include, bell peppers, herbs (such as basil, cilantro, parsley), lettuce (and other leafy greens), squash (including zucchini), tomatoes etc.

Crops like turnips, onions, and carrots can turn out to be expensive if grown at home because these are “plant one-harvest one” crops. A “plant one-harvest one crop” is a plant in which one seedling, after months of growing, gives one harvest only. Therefore it’s much better economically to grow crops that give you more by planting one seed only, like herbs and greens.

Guaranteed Freshness

It’s a well known fact that about 20 percent of so called ‘fresh’ vegetables in the United States are imported from overseas. This produce might have travelled thousands of miles for many days, but when you grow it in your own garden, how fresh can a freshly harvested home-grown vegetable get?

Growing organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables yourself means that they are not only fresher, but also taste way better than store bought foods as you are harvesting them at peak ripeness. Taste is a big driving factor for people to grow their own food. Gourmet chefs around the world prefer having their own gardens to be able to pick out freshest foods all the time.

Growing your food organically is bound to have more minerals and nutrients than foods grown with artificial fertilizers and chemicals. It also gives you the security of knowing exactly what you are putting in your body.

Exercise

Gardening can also serve as an outstanding way of incorporating exercise in your daily life. It can enhance flexibility, balance and sensory perception as movements for digging, hoeing and raking requires stretching, pushing, pulling and lifting multiple times.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, gardening is regarded as a moderate cardiovascular exercise because it can burn 150 to 300 calories in 30 to 45 minutes. Gardening also brings you close to nature and creates a calming, relaxed state of mind letting you relieve stress and anxiety.

A lot Healthier

Commercial production of food requires massive fertilization, irrigation and other means to increase the production quantity so that prices can be lowered. They may succeed in producing a lot but sadly by compromising the quality.

Most commercially grown food comes from hybrid plants in order to have more quantity. Tons of harmful pesticides are produced by industries and used by commercial growers. Strawberries can have 40 different pesticides while celery contains at least 60 different kinds of them. The average potato can have the most pesticides by weight than other vegetables.

Most pesticides used by industrial growers were approved by EPA way before these chemicals were considered as carcinogenic. According to newer studies, EPA now considers 60 percent of all herbicides, 90 percent of all fungicides and 30 percent of all insecticides, not just harmful but cancer causing.

So when you are growing your own food, you decide what goes in it. And as pesticides are meant to kill living organisms, they are bound to be harmful for humans too. The effects aren’t just limited to cancers, infact pesticides also contribute to birth defects, nerve damage and genetic mutations.

If you want chemical free, healthy veggies, emphasize more on growing celery, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, chard, spinach and other greens.

Good for the Planet

Growing your own food can help in reduction of many kinds of pollution. Not only do you save energy by reducing trips to the supermarket, but also decrease pollution by growing foods naturally without herbicides and pesticides. Chemicals used to grow foods commercially can drain from agricultural facilities into surrounding areas, thereby polluting land as well as water.

Modern farming techniques require more petroleum than any other industry. It uses up 12 % of the country’s total energy supply. More energy is invested in manufacturing synthetic fertilizers than in cultivating and harvesting those crops. Moreover, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that, pesticides have contaminated groundwater in 38 states in the U.S, which means that half of the population of the country has their primary source of drinking water polluted.

Growing food in your very own garden can help decrease all these pollutions. It’s amazing how a simple thing like gardening can have a profound positive effect on the whole planet.

 

Byline/About the Author: Lisa Brown has been helping her readers in successful business and entrepreneurial strategies for the past 3 years. She currently works with uae.ekuep.com, which is the answer to UAE’s growing restaurant industry. Ekuep is the brand that restaurants, bakeries, cafes, juice bars, and more turn to when they want to stock their kitchens with only the best restaurant equipment.

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