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Who doesn’t love fresh fruits and vegetables? If you think you don’t have the time to grow your own, then think again. Backyard gardens have been a fundamental part of our culture for a very long time. It’s a highly rewarding hobby that does a lot more than just saving money.
Why Start A Garden?
You might be thinking that you don’t have the time or space to grow your own food. Well it’s true that a large garden can take a lot of work and time, but you don’t necessarily have to do this on a large scale. Even a tiny garden can supplement your food pantry with nutritious and flavorful fruits and vegetables. It’s so flexible that you can grow just a few plants in containers, a small bed, or even in a window seal.
Source: Agriculture & Food Security
Home gardens are an integral part of local food systems and the agricultural landscape of developing countries all over the world and have endured the test of time.
Fresh And Full Flavored Food
The difference in flavor between a store bought tomato and home grown is stunning. Just take a look at this tomato I grew. Look at the incredible red colors, it makes you just want to take a bite out of it.
This yummy tomato weighed in at 1.1 lbs and fed the whole family. Wow. It was a lot of fun to grow and not that difficult at all.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a tomato like this at the grocery store. Most of store bought varieties are pale, hard, and tasteless. The difference in flavor and nutrition are obvious.
This is probably my favorite reason to grow your own food. You can buy small plants or opt for seeds. Seeds are dirt cheap but they do require some planning in order to time it right for the growing season. I do both methods but try to use seeds as much as I can. I also buy heirloom varieties and collect the seeds myself.
Great Kid’s Activity
If you have kids then you know that they get bored easily. This is why I love backyard gardening. It’s a fun and educational activity for kids that teaches them valuable lessons like sustainability. It also teaches them to be independent and think for themselves which are important for their future success in life. Sure beats plopping them in front of the boob tube.
Gardening Is Fun
Everybody needs activities to unwind and forget about the daily work grind. Gardening is a fun and highly rewarding activity. It’s good exercise too.
There is evidence to suggest that home gardening can improve nutrition on pre-shoolers. Home grown food is harvested when it’s ready to eat which gives the plant time to fully develop the fruit or vegetable. This means better nutrition for you and your family. In addition, there is better access to healthy food which plays a role in overall nutrition.
I already showed you an example of my tomatoes, but that is just the start. Home grown food just tastes better. Some of the best carrots I’ve ever had were grown in my backyard. They were dark orange that packed a powerful flavor punch when bitten into. It was remarkable and gave me a new appreciation for what a carrot should taste like.
This leads to another point. Your cooking can improve if you grow not just staples, but your own herbs too. The reason is simple. Sure you can used dried herbs out of jars, but fresh herbs taste better. They have better aroma and flavor since they have not been stored or gone through a de-hydration process. Each step in the preserving process degrades flavor, bit by bit – so fresh is best.
How To Get Started
The great thing about gardening is that you can start as big or small as you like. It’s highly flexible. Doing your homework is important so that you have the best chance of success. This low cost Shoestring Gardening ebook is a good place to start. It will teach you how to grow an abundant, organic crop and avoid some common mistakes.
The book gets good reviews like this one.
The ebook is easy to navigate. There are seven chapters on everything from starting and growing plants to making practical garden art. Within each chapter are descriptive links that take the busy gardener right to the chosen subject. I love that. No hunting. No scrolling. I’ve got a head of steam up. My hands are dirty and I want to check something. I go right to it. I find the answer. I complete my project. Then I wash my hands using one of Claudia’s great eco-friendly cleansers (Chapter 5).
The next step is to get a plan together, prepare your soil, and start planting. Now if this is in the winter time, then consider easy to grow herbs in a bright windowsill. More on that later.
If you haven’t started your garden already, give it a try. Even a modest sized garden will help to improve your lifestyle, reduce your food budget, and help you eat more healthy food.