Growing your own vegetables can be very rewarding only beyond the fact that you will get to eat fresh vegetables. Not only do you get all the health benefits of gardening but you will also be able to gain a better understanding of your food and what goes into producing it.
If you are yet on the fence about whether or not you should start growing your own vegetables or if you’ve tried to grow your own vegetables and failed, here are a couple of reasons why you might want to try (again).
1. It’ll be easier for you to eat more vegetables
We all know that we need to add vegetables to our diet to have a balanced diet. Yet, we aren’t always able to find the time, energy, or money to eat enough fresh vegetables.
When you grow your own vegetables, you get to watch your vegetable plants grow from seed, and maybe flower and produce. The anticipation and the excitement will make you want to eat those veggies as soon as they are available.
It’s not only the anticipation but the ease of having fresh vegetables just a hop, skip and a jump away from your kitchen, and not having to go to the store to get them, will make it more likely that you would add vegetables to your diet.
2. You can eat uncommon edible parts of vegetable plants
Stores generally only stock and sell commonly edible parts of vegetable plants, as customers usually look for these particular parts.
For example, the root of the carrot plant is what is usually referred to as carrots and usually stores only have the root for sale. That does not mean that the root is the only edible part. The entire carrot plant is edible. Carrot leaves are edible and taste like parsley, which is a distant relative of carrot.
When you grow your own vegetables, you will be able to eat all edible parts of the vegetable plants you grow.
3. It’s beneficial for your overall health and wellness
Apart from supplying you with fresh vegetables for your diet, vegetable gardening is also beneficial for your overall health.
Most of us are under constant stress because today’s fast-paced life doesn’t provide us with much time to take care of our physical and mental health. Spending just a couple of minutes each day in your vegetable garden will allow you to relax and unwind in a way that not many other activities can.
If you are a professional who spends a lot of time at a desk and in from of the computer, gardening will help you be more physically active. The thought of doing boring exercises can be agonizing but gardening can be fun and exciting. Knowing that your plants need you to care for them will make it more likely that you get out and about at least a few times a week.
4. You’ll have a constant supply of food even when commercial supplies fail
If there’s one thing that the past few years have taught us, it’s that even in a world of highly organized food supply chains, sudden events can cause temporary food shortages.
Sudden lockdowns imposed worldwide in 2020 to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in panic buying, a lack of manual labor, and interruptions to food supply chains, which led to empty shelves in stores across the world.
Thankfully for most of us, food shortages aren’t likely to be the main reason for us to start growing vegetables but knowing that you always have some fresh food right in your garden whenever you need is definitely an advantage.
5. You can choose to grow 100% organic vegetables
Organic vegetables that are commercially available are rarely pesticide-free. Although organic farming doesn’t allow synthetic chemicals to be used, the size of the farm needed to be profitable means that chemicals derived from natural sources need to almost always be used.
On the other hand, home vegetable gardens are usually pretty small, making it possible to grow a productive garden without using any synthetic or naturally-derived chemicals. Instead there are other strategies that you can use to not need to use any type of chemicals. This means that you can choose to grow vegetables that are 100% organic if you’d like to.
6. You can reduce your food waste
Commercially available vegetables go to waste both on their journey to the store and after you’ve purchased them. Vegetables that don’t meet strict market requirements, including the ideal size, shape, and color, may be regarded as waste, even if they are still edible.
Although you are not solely responsible for the loss that takes place before you get your vegetables into your shopping cart, by buying them, you are inadvertently participating in creating more waste.
When you grow vegetables yourself, you can be certain that it is safe from harmful chemicals and nutritious, even if they are slightly off-shape or smaller. It is also very unlikely that you would waste any vegetables that you have grown yourself because you know how much work and patience went into growing them.
Additionally, by composting any remaining plant matter and then using it to grow more vegetables, you will be able to reduce the vegetable waste you create to zero.
7. You’ll better appreciate farmers
Growing vegetables isn’t difficult, but neither does it happen without any work or practical knowledge. Certain steps, such as mulching, can reduce the amount of work you need to put into your vegetable garden, but pests or extreme weather can easily damage a whole garden almost instantly.
The hard work involved in growing vegetables can make it heart-breaking when your vegetables are damaged and cannot be used, even if you can easily go to the store and buy as much as you need.
Growing your own vegetables will make you appreciate just how much of a physical and mental struggle farmers who grow vegetables and other food for a living must undergo to make sure we all have food, especially because a damaged crop can mean losing their only source of income.
8. Provides an opportunity to spend quality family time
Vegetable gardening can be a fun, free, and educational activity for the whole family. Growing vegetables together will help you teach your children about where their food comes from, provide them with a safe environment to directly interact with nature, and learn the value of spending time in nature.
When you use completely organic methods in your vegetable garden, you can also be sure that your whole family is safe and not exposed to harmful chemicals while having fun.
9. You’ll eventually get free food!
Vegetable gardening can save you money, but only eventually. You can enjoy the mental and physical benefits that gardening provides from day one but you’ll have to invest some money for gardening tools and a few other inputs. For example, even if you decide to only use compost as fertilizer, you may have to buy compost until you have made enough.
Additionally, organic vegetable gardening is usually more of a trial-and-error process. Regardless of how much you learn online or from books, it;s first-hand experience that’ll help you intuitively handle any pest, nutrient, or other issue affecting your plants.
Eventually, as you become more experienced and produce more vegetables, you could reduce the amount of stuff that you purchase, and you will start to save money because the food that you produce can be virtually free!
Growing your own vegetables will not only provide you with an abundance of fresh vegetables whenever you need but it can also help you improve your overall health and well-being, help you reduce food waste, help you appreciate farmers, provide you with quality family time and will eventually, save you money.
The best part is that you don’t need to have a large backyard or garden to reap the benefits. You can easily start growing vegetables in pots or containers on your balcony or even on a window ledge.
Has this post convinced you that growing your own vegetables is right for you? Then, check out this post – Plant, Grow, Harvest: Your Guide to Starting a Vegetable Garden for Your Home on Redfin that we were recently featured in to find out how to start.