Vegetables are some of the most amazing plants in the world. Not only do they feed your body, they also provide a wealth of health benefits including better appetite control, lower cholesterol, and a better nutrient balance. However, shopping for vegetables can be disappointing and expensive. Sometimes the quality is just not there, and stocking up on veggies for your whole family can be quite taxing to the family budget. These are two of the reasons I decided to start a vegetable garden at home. I was hoping for a cheaper way of growing vegetables that tasted better. What I got was so much more. Here are the top seven benefits I’ve experienced from growing my own vegetables.
Easy to Grow
I never thought gardening would be easy. I always pictured myself slaving away in the yard for hours on end and measuring each individual seed depth and spacing. I thought it would be really difficult to grow my own vegetables, especially since I’ve never had much of a green thumb. But as it turns out vegetables seem to have an inherent will to grow, because after throwing a few seeds down and covering them with some potting soil I started getting a lot of vegetables popping up. Now I have so many I’m wondering how I’m going to harvest them all!
Growing vegetables is a lot of fun! Every morning it’s like Christmas in a way, because I rush out to see what has sprouted, which plants have flowered, and if there are any vegetables to be seen yet. Planting is also fun, and you get to experience nature literally in your own backyard. I never thought we had a whole lot of nature in our backyard, but after finding a centipede, a hummingbird nest, and several lizards in the first few weeks I realized our backyard was more of a jungle than I ever knew. It’s so much fun to go out and plant, water, and harvest your own vegetables.
Cheaper Than the Store
That’s right, I said it; it’s cheaper to grow your own vegetables. By the price of produce you might not have figured that, but once you take out the transportation cost, harvesting cost, machine cost, and all the other costs that go into getting your produce from the farm to the store to you, you’ve only got a small cost left over. I planted six crops to start with and including the potting soil I bought I think I spent $18. Consider also that the seeds I got were organic, so they were more expensive. Those six crops will yield a substantial amount of food – far more than $18 would buy you at the store – and I later planted about 30 more crops (not organic seeds) for only about $20 more. I will end up with hundreds of vegetables. Try buying that at the store for $38.
Easier Than the Store
Not only is it cheaper to grow your own vegetables it’s also easier. Sure you have to water them and wait for the plants to grow before you can harvest, but once you start getting vegetables they seem to just keep coming. Making a salad by going out and picking fresh vegetables is so much easier than going to the store and hauling home the produce, and I think it’s one of the best parts of gardening at home.
Far Better Quality
Have you ever tasted a home-grown tomato or cucumber? If not, you need to plant a garden immediately. Even if it’s just a container on your porch, you can grow these two plants just about anywhere. Home grown produce tastes so much better than what you get at the store. In fact, I realized that I really had no idea how certain vegetables tasted until I tasted the ones from my garden.
You Can Share with Friends and Family
If anything beats the feeling of growing your own vegetables at home it has to be the feeling of sharing those veggies with others. If you’re like me you might get a little excited about planting and plant quite a lot of vegetables. All those veggie plants will likely yield a lot of vegetables, and if you harvest regularly most vegetable plants will keep on producing. You might be able to eat a lot of veggies, but chances are you’ll have some left over. Being able to share with your friends, family, neighbors, and even local charities like your local soup kitchen feels so wonderful and is definitely a perk of growing your own veggies.
The Learning Process
I love to learn about everything. If I’m doing something I enjoy and I’m also learning, it’s a doubly wonderful situation for me. I wasn’t expecting to learn a lot when I started gardening. I assumed that gardening was putting seeds in the ground, watering them, and waiting for stuff to grow. But I’ve learned so much about soil, plants, pests, natural pesticides, landscaping, vegetable varieties, and many more subjects within gardening and nature just by planting some veggies. You’re always learning something new when you garden, and that’s a really exciting thing.
So there you have it – the top seven benefits of growing your own vegetables. You might think you don’t have enough space to grow veggies, but even if you’re only limited to a windowsill you can still plant a small vegetable garden. Almost anything can be container gardened and with proper sunlight and a little love you can grow just about anything – except for corn and vine vegetables, which really do need space. Whether you’re planting seeds throughout your entire yard or planting one tomato plant on your patio I think you’ll find that planting and growing vegetables at home offers the benefits listed above along with many others.