There are soooooo many reasons to start growing your own food! From better food security to your family to the fact that it’s just better for the environment (think of all the gas used to transport food around the country) there’s so many reasons to think about growing some of your own food if you can.
Here are five of the most important ones:
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Fresh, healthy produce – with no pesticides or herbicides
Growing your own food means that you can control what goes into your produce. You know that there are no harmful chemicals or pesticides, and you can be sure that the produce is fresh and healthy.
With supermarket produce, you can never be sure what’s been sprayed on it or how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. homegrown produce is always fresh, and you know that it hasn’t been treated with any harmful chemicals.
If you end up with insect or pest issues while growing food, there are all-natural ways to combat those pests. Neem oil is regularly used to repel pests that would destroy tomatoes and other, similar plants. Diatomaceous earth is a good option for getting rid of earwigs and other bugs that might live in your area.
Health benefits from growing your own food
Lots of leafy greens and other vegetables have tons of nutritional value, but a lot of that is lost by the time it arrives at a supermarket. This is why buying frozen vegetables is sometimes considered a healthier option. But we all get sick of frozen vegetables eventually, right?
Growing some of your own food allows you to harvest and eat your vegetables and fruits at peak ripeness before it’s lost 50% of its nutritional value. It’s really an amazing opportunity to invest a few hours of time a week and a bit of money in the health of yourself and your family.
Connect with nature and get closer to the land
When you grow your own food, you connect with nature in a very real way. You learn about the seasons, the weather, and the land. You also develop a deeper appreciation for the food that you eat.
When start growing your own food, you know exactly where it comes from. You can see the plants, feel the soil, and touch the produce. This connection with nature is incredibly rewarding, and it’s a great way to get closer to the land.
Growing some of your own food gives you access to varieties of fruit and vegetables that you won’t find in your stores or local farmers’ markets, too. When you buy seeds from reputable seed companies, you’ll be able to grow amazing varieties of food that you might have never heard of before.
You’d be surprised at what grows well in your region! There’s a lot to choose from that you’ve likely never seen in the store because it might be too “weird looking” for people to buy or it might be a variety that spoils in transit. So many opportunities out there to try new foods when you grow them.
It’s incredibly rewarding for you and your kids
Growing your own food is a very rewarding experience. It’s satisfying to watch something grow from a tiny seed into a full-grown plant, and it’s empowering to know that you can provide for yourself. Once you have knowledge about growing food in your area, you will probably feel less tied to our shaky food system and big-box stores.
Getting your kids involved in the garden is great for them as well. Not only is it fun and enriching, it’s educational for them. Letting your kids help you in your garden is a valuable bonding and learning experience for everyone involved.
And kids are always SO excited when they see how much the plants have grown, especially when it’s time to harvest your food!
Growing food with your kids passes down highly useful and practical skills that they’ll likely be able to use in the future. Increasing food security for your family is such a satisfying feeling, too.
It’s cost-effective – eventually
Growing your own food is a great way to save money. Buying supplies up front can add up quickly, but you can start with a single raised bed or a couple containers and a few of packs of seeds if you want to. Walmart and the Dollar Tree sell seeds!
The first time I grew vegetables, I kept the setup super cheap. In the second year, I felt a lot more comfortable spending money on it because it was apparent that the output was going to be well worth it.
If you do end up investing more money in your growing setup, you’ll be able to recoup your initial investment within a couple of growing seasons.
When you start growing your own food, you can grow produce that is expensive to buy at the grocery store, and in some cases, you can even make a profit from growing your own food if you choose to sell the excess during growing seasons.
Reasons you might not start growing your own food (and why you should anyway!)
I don’t have enough space to start growing your own food
There are many ways to grow food even if you don’t have a lot of space. You can use containers, raised beds, or even hanging baskets. There are many crops that can be grown in containers, so you can grow them even if you don’t have a lot of space.
Vertical gardening is a technique used by many gardeners with limited space to grow food. By growing vertically instead of horizontally, you can grow a substantial amount of food in a small yard or on a balcony. Some people even employ vertical gardening inside. It doesn’t have to be super expensive – you can start with one vertical planter and set up more growing space in the future.
These vertical planting towers are relatively affordable on Amazon and can grow a good amount of leafy greens, berries, or herbs. The 5-tier and 7-tier versions are the best bang for your buck (and square footage.) Greenstalk carries a more expensive, but slightly better-performing version of this product, so that’s the one to go for if you’re looking for a top-shelf product.
Vertical gardening is a whole beast of its own, so if you want to get into this, search for vertical gardening tips on YouTube or grab a book or two and get reading!
It takes too much time to grow my own food.
It can take a little bit of time to start growing your own food, but once you’ve got the hang of it, growing your own food is pretty easy. You can even grow some crops that don’t require a lot of maintenance.
You can grow a significant amount of food by spending 8-10 hours per week in your garden. If you have someone else to help you, this time is reduced significantly.
If you don’t have 8-10 hours per week right now, you can instead choose 2-3 vegetables that you feel like you consume the most of and just focus on those varieties. That way, you’ll only need to spend a couple hours per week on gardening.
I don’t know how to start growing my own food
There are tonnnnnnns of resources available online and in libraries that can teach you how to grow your own food. There are also many books on the subject. The best way to make sure your gardening is successful is by finding out what kind of crops grow best in your area, in your climate.
Joining local gardening groups on Facebook is going to be an amazing resource for you to find out what people in your area are growing successfully. There are often local gardening groups that teach classes on gardening, some of which are probably free. (In my area they are!)
You can also get a lot of free, more general information on how to start growing food on YouTube! Here are a few great YouTube channels to follow if you learn well by watching and listening to YT videos.
There are lots of people out there who are eager to help spread their knowledge when it comes to growing food at home. Ultimately, it’s good for the planet and good for our health. I started growing food with absolutely no prior knowledge of gardening! I listened to so many different people’s advice on YouTube, in podcasts, in books, and in Facebook groups which gave me the confidence I needed to get started.
I don’t have the money to invest in growing my own food
You really don’t need a lot of money to start growing your own food! Promise. In fact, you can start with just a few plants or seeds. Some vegetables, like peppers and tomatoes, you can successfully grow from seeds from organic produce bought at the store.
There are lots of ways that you can start gardening on a budget. For example, you can start with a small container garden or raised bed garden. Got a pot, a bag of soil, and a seed? You can start growing your own food!
There are so many ways to get started gardening, so don’t let lack of space or money be a deterrent. Just get started at whatever scale you can and enjoy the health and sustainability benefits that come with growing your own food.
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