Picture this: It’s a beautiful, sunny, summer day, and you’re finally sitting down at the dinner table to enjoy a fresh salad with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, maybe even a few fresh green beans or green onion… and fresh strawberries, raspberries, or apple slices on the side. The best part? All of these fruits and vegetables were grown on your own property.
Whether you have a tiny balcony or patio, or a large back garden, the possibilities and ability to grow your own food is a great project that will reap any rewards! One of the biggest benefits of growing and eating your own food, is that it’s healthy! The fruits and vegetables you grow at home will be more nutritious and healthy for you than the ones you buy at the grocery store because you cannot get any fresher! Not to mention, the produce you pick from your garden will probably not be sprayed with pesticides! Did you know that you are more likely to eat more fruits and veggies if you grow them yourself? Studies have shown that families who grow their own produce are more than twice as likely to eat the recommended 5 servings of fruit and veggies per day, they also enjoy and appreciate them more! That makes sense doesn’t it? You stay healthier by being outdoors more often, getting a little exercise, fresh air, gardening… Believe it or not, you can save money on your food bill too! Produce bought at the supermarket can be very expensive, especially if you buy organic.
Think about how much money you are spending on fruit and veggies during each grocery shopping trip. Now, you probably can’t grow enough of every kind of produce you and your family consumes (bananas? Not in Wisconsin, Navel Oranges? Good luck!) A few packets of seeds cost next to nothing and can bring you several pounds of delicious food! Tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, radishes, zucchini, and beets are all easy to grow and produce large yields! You can even learn to dry and can your produce so that you can enjoy it all through fall and winter. When you are able to provide yourself with a large part of the fresh food you need, you will be less affected by the fluctuating prices at the supermarket and can take control of your food budget!! While it may not be your mail goal, growing food in your own garden is incredibly beneficial to the environment. You will be growing your food organically, without using toxic and harmful herbicides and pesticides, which pollute air and water. You will help to cut down on the use of fossil fuels by the refrigerated trucks and planes that deliver produce to your supermarket from California, Florida, and even other countries such as Mexico and Chile. I don’t know about you, but I like my food to taste good. You can’t really appreciate the difference in taste between home-grown produce and store bought produce until you taste it yourself. For example, strawberries that are bought in grocery stores tend to be pale and watery, with little flavor.
Homegrown strawberries are darker red, juicy, and taste wonderfully sweet! Store bought apples can taste bland and have a mealy texture sometimes, but an apple picked from the tree in your back yard is going to be crisp with real flavor, & sweet or tart! Once you start eating fruits and veggies straight from your garden, at the peak of their ripeness, warmed by the sun, you will never want to go back to store-bought. These are just a few of the benefits of growing your own fruits and vegetables. No matter how much room you have, or don’t have, it is possible to start cultivating your own produce and enjoy these benefits for yourself. So why not get started!?!