5 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food

March is a great time to start planning to plant your own garden.  Even if you do not have a patch of ground, you can plant in containers for a patio or porch garden. All you need is containers, soil, sunlight, water, and seeds. Now is the time to start making your plan and deciding what plants you have room for, what produce your family will eat, and what storage will be required for the ripe produce. Take the time to plan on paper first and budget how much you can spend on seeds or plants. Below is a list of benefits that may inspire you this spring.

The food you grow in your garden is More Nutritious. You may ask how is that? Fresh vegetables and fruits sold at the store have been harvested, shipped, distributed, and stored; that can be a long process. During all that time nutrients are lost from the food. When growing your own garden, the produce is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants when picked. With a garden you can pick and eat within minutes.

Gardening helps you to Stay Active. While gardening you preform activities like squatting, lifting, pulling, and pushing which provides moderate to vigorous physical activity when using hand tools. Many activities can be weight-bearing that boost muscle and bone strength while improving endurance and balance.

Gardening can Save Money by growing your own vegetables. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food seeds and plants. A few dollars invested can provide several pounds of produce for you and your family with a small garden. With a larger garden, you can preserve vegetables and fruits for later in the fall and winter, saving money in the future.

Planting a vegetable garden is Better for the Environment, because your produce is not being shipped from distant places, using less boxes, fuels, etc. Plus, you can choose to not use chemicals and pesticides on your produce, which is healthier for you and your family.

Children are more likely to Eat Vegetables that they have helped grow themselves. When children have planted the seeds and watched them grow, it is magical. They are invested in the final product and will be eager to try and eat the vegetables.

As outlined above there are many benefits to gardening, it can be a very enjoyable and relaxing activity. It does not matter if you have a garden plot or just a couple of tomato plants. You can enjoy the benefits of growing your own food.

References:

https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/2009/mar/060201.htm

https://www.unh.edu/healthyunh/blog/nutrition/2018/05/5-reasons-grow-your-own-food

https://www.uvm.edu/news/story/profound-health-benefits-gardening

Additional resources:

https://eatfresh.org/healthy-lifestyle/shopping-and-budgeting/herbs-are-easy-and-cheap-grow-home

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