Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Benefits of Growing Your Own Garden

                                                 
                     





With the threat of rising costs of groceries, have you ever considered growing your own garden?  Aside from money savings you also would benefit from knowing where your food comes from and what is used on it, with these two important factors in mind...doesn't it make sense to consider growing your own vegetable garden?

There are so many other benefits to growing your own garden too. One reason that comes to mind if you think back to one blog that I had referenced about the health benefits you get from eating vegetables, that's enough of a reason right there.

When I think back to when I was growing up I can honestly say that I can fondly remember walking out to the vegetable patch and grabbing the first carrot that at least resembled a tint of orange to it and pulled it out of the ground. Not even wiping the dirt off, I would take a bite into it and think there is no better taste then this! This is the reason why I always had a circle of dirt surrounding my lips, besides I was the third born and they always say the third child eats more dirt. Carrots, to this day, are my favorite vegetable especially when picked right out of the garden.
                                                       
                                                    
Vegetable gardening can save you money if done wisely. By purchasing the seeds of the vegetables that you want to grow as well as keeping in mind not to over do it, it can be done. The more effectively you use your space in the garden as well as "know what you grow", the larger the savings. Grow cool weather crops like carrots, potatoes, onions and squash to name a few. These are types of vegetables that can be eaten fresh as well as provide a longer storage life. Choosing vegetables that are versatile like peas, tomatoes, beets and peppers, to name a few, are great for canning,pickling, bottling or freezing. When making a decision on what to grow for vegetables it should be quite easy.  Think in terms of what veggies would be most expensive as well as what you would buy often at the grocery store and begin from there.
                                                 

                                                     



Growing your own garden is said to be very therapeutic.  I know many people will say, "how can it be good therapy when its such hard work?" The whole idea of having your own garden is to treat it like a hobby. If you make your garden the size that is manageable for you, then it won't get overwhelming and you won't think of it as work. Gardening is great exercise as well. You definitely wouldn't need to buy an expensive gym membership if you had a garden in your own backyard. There is nothing better then being in the fresh air this time of the year and you could consider this an additional savings. There are many different trends and styles of how to grow a garden that are easy and inexpensive to make it worthwhile and successful even if space is limited. Containers and vertical types of gardens are becoming more popular and still something that you can take pride in.
                                               


As I had mentioned in the beginning the importance of also knowing where your food comes from. If you think of all the potential additives that are included on many different types of foods, wouldn't it be such a peace of mind in knowing everything about what you can offer for yourself and your family. By growing your own vegetables it definitely promotes you to make healthier choices and it gets your family involved in a way that would impress you. I have heard from many families that have said to me that since they grew their own garden they were surprised at how their kids got involved in not only eating the produce but also taking more interest in maintaining the garden.  Get your family involved further by encouraging them to choose something that they would enjoy. This will also allow them to participate and take pride in something them can call their own resulting in confidence building, learning, patience and togetherness with families. You will see your family evolve as they become more open to eating or trying vegetables they may never wanted to try or never even knew existed...I promise!

There have been many times where I have been so glad that I could just go home at the end of a long day at work and know that all I had to do for my meals is to just go out in my own backyard and the food would be readily available for me.  I've caught myself standing in long lineups at the grocery store at the end of a work day with handfuls of groceries that may even be considered less then par for consumption. I would grab things quickly so that I could get home prepare and eat my meal and perhaps go out the door again for the evening. By grocery shopping this way we tend to choose unhealthy quick fix things that may even result in a more expensive grocery bill because it wasn't thought out.  How many of us are guilty of doing this even more then once per week. Choosing your meals or having a weekly plan will also help you save money and even better if it is food that you have picked right from your own garden.

Does the term "kitchen garden" ring a bell?  The kitchen garden is such a type of garden that is grown right outside your own kitchen and offers you everything you need to easily pick and prepare something healthy but so efficiently. These types of fresh produce and herbs will offer you so much more nutrients and minerals resulting in better flavor.  Foods that have been chemically treated will allow some of these benefits to be blocked and that is why you may notice that the flavor isn't as fresh or tasty as your own organic would be. 

As I mentioned it is best to start out small so it will be manageable enough to bring you joy and success. If you find that you have consumed more then what you grew then perhaps you can add to the garden the following year or years to come. If you do have food left over and your not sure if you or your family can eat it all, you can always "share the wealth". Why not consider surprising your neighbors with the fruits of your labor or even make donations to your local food bank during these times. 

To be able to enjoy and have a sense of pride, the fresh air and the physical activity you benefit from, it just gives you an all around great feeling and that is why we say gardening is such great therapy.
                                                   


                                                     





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