As a follow up to a couple of recent posts (namely, Can Organics Feed the World? and 30 Reasons to Own Chickens), I want to give you some reasons (in no particular order) why you should consider growing at least some of your own food this spring.
- You can get extremely local food at a fraction of the cost you would pay at specialty markets.
- Your produce is as fresh as it can get when you grow it yourself.
- You can purchase organic seeds at a fraction of the cost for organic produce.
- You can use inexpensive organic pest control methods to avoid the risks of pesticides on your plants.
- You can buy (or trade) “open-sourced” seeds and avoid GMO products.
- You can build healthy soil and have far more nutrients in your homegrown veggies than your store-bought ones.
- You get a LOT of yield off of one plant.
- You can preserve your homegrown food, allowing you to save on future grocery trips.
- You get to find out what grows well in your area- you would be surprised at how even “bad growing” areas can be perfectly suited for some types of plants. Here’s a post on edibles that do well in full shade, and here’s a whole blog devoted to homesteading in the desert. Think you can’t grow anything? Do some research first! You just may be able to!
- You get to learn how different plants grow and thrive.
- You appreciate your food a lot more when you grow it yourself.
- Your kids are more likely to eat what they helped to grow. (My son loves to pick a fresh pepper or tomato off our plants. In fact, our first year, he ate every. single. tomato. that was on our plants. We obviously chose to plant more of them the following year.)
- When you plan your garden carefully, it can save you a lot of money. (We spend between $100-$200 a year on our garden, seeds, soil, etc., but we have saved hundreds a month on groceries because we have our preserved food to use throughout winter.
- It builds your self-sufficiency.
- You learn new skills.
- It is immensely satisfying.
I challenge you. Look up one plant- just one!- that will grow well in the conditions in your yard- or patio- or windowsill. Find something, or someplace to plant it in that is free. (You don’t need a designer pot.) Give it a whirl. If you succeed, great! Try a few more plants next year! Figure out how to build healthy soil as you continue gardening year by year. If you fail, find out why. Go ahead and try, try again! (This is what Google is for, people!)
There is not much more satisfying than seeing food grow from start to finish, by the work of your own hands. We still get a thrill every time we are able to eat a dinner that is primarily sourced from our own garden. What a joy to cultivate and make use of what grows in the earth!
“Who loves a garden still his Eden keeps, perennial pleasures plants, and wholesome harvest reaps.” ~Amos Bronson Alcott
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