Urban Farming

See what you’ll benefit when growing your own food

Benefits of growing your own food are numerous.

I was just like you before, I mean, I was always busy so I just grabbed some fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. Then I watched a show on TV featuring a nutritionist who talked about pesticides and chemicals lurking in our veggies. The point is, we don’t know where the vegetables and fruits that we buy from vendors are coming from. They may be grown with loads of fertilizers and pesticides and I don’t want that. So, when I started my own garden, the first plants I grew were vegetables. That said, I discovered that the benefits of growing your own food are numerous. Curious? Read on to find out!

Related: Starting a Garden from Scratch: Tips for Gardening Success

It is an interesting fact that tomatoes or peppers need just a single pot to grow. Currently, cities opt for a community garden, which allows people to have their own plot. Starting your own garden, so growing your own food will have many advantages and it is a healthy hobby.

1 – Makes Your Food Nutritious and Tastier

Various studies have demonstrated that organic fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and minerals that we need, than food grown in industries. To make food taste good, many chefs prefer organic vegetables and herbs. Organic plants rely on soil nourishment which results in the good nutrition of plants which, eventually, can also supply nutrients to our bodies.

2 – Lets Your Family’s Health Improve

To stay healthy, you and your family should consume fresh vegetables and fruits on a regular basis. If your garden yields vegetables, you should eat them, as they are nutritious and fresh.

One study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association revealed that preschool children like to eat home-grown fruits and vegetables.

Related: How to Start A Garden: 8 Incredibly Easy Tips

3 – Saves Money

Yes, you read it correctly; by growing your own food you can save money. Your grocery expenses can be reduced to a significant extent. We all spend hundreds of dollars in grocery supplies that are not really fresh and nutritious. Spending time in the garden can be an outdoor activity, a good exercise and an exciting way of growing plants.

A packet of seeds will be the initial cost for all your harvests. This means that you spend less than a dollar for home-grown vegetables. You can get seeds from fruits and vegetables and dry them so that they can be used for the next season. Preserving vegetables can lengthen food shelf life after harvest periods.

4 – Make You Enjoy Fresh Food

Fresh food is tastier than the food you buy in the supermarket. It takes a long time in travelling from the farm to the market and to your table.

When you taste home-grown fresh vegetables, you will never like to buy other foods because of its rich taste, freshness and good nutritional value.

5 – More Fun in the Garden

If you want to try something new that will offer you satisfaction, relaxation and excitement, then growing your own vegetables is the right choice. Most gardeners start a small garden as a hobby and they end up addicted to it. You can say that it is a healthy addiction!

For kids, it will be fascinating to make them see and experience the various stages of plant growth, so you can have a fun-filled time with your family right from planting till harvest.

6 – Healthy Outdoor Activity

Our world is confined to the internet and indoor activity nowadays, so gardening can be a perfect outdoor exercise. Multiple activities like planting, watering, weeding and harvesting are done in gardening which can make your day purposeful. Make sure you do some stretching first before you lift any heavy objects from your garden. In the course of time, gardening will be a good way to de-stress, relax, and get sunshine and fresh air.

7 – Gratification Time

It will be a gratifying moment to see vegetables from your own garden to your table. If you are growing your own food, it implies that your family will get proper nourishment and stay healthy. Taking care of your garden is a wonderful sense of accomplishment, especially when blossoms turn into fruits.

Soon you will realize that your grocery needs will be reduced and you will have control over what you consume. Your gardening knowledge will increase as the days pass by and can even be carried over to your children and friends.

8 – Mindful Gardening

You may feel that your life is in a new dimension when you start a garden, since you should wait patiently for harvest and have to be careful in pruning. Growing and taking care of your garden can offer excellent stress relief and meditative benefits.

9 – Conscious Eating

You may be very busy with your clients, your work and your smartphone, but in your garden all those pressures of everyday life can be cast away. Nurturing plants and tilling soil will make your food appear more valuable to you. By the moment you started a garden, you will realize its good environmental impacts on food production. There will be a conscious relationship with your efforts, food and the environment.

10 – Learn More about What You Eat

By cultivating food in your garden, you can learn more about the gardening process. You will be the one to plant, nurture, fertilize and water your plants. In the case of food bought from grocery stores, you cannot find out how they were grown. There may be harmful chemicals used to maximize their yield.

There are other risks like salmonella and E. coli outbreaks in supermarket foods as they might be grown in poor sanitation. You can avoid these illnesses and enjoy healthier food by having a garden. Remember, you should also practice good hygiene and sanitation in your garden especially when you grow edible plants.

11 – No Worries Regarding Food Safety

A gardener who grows his or her own food will have no worries regarding contamination that may happen at the farm, during packaging or during transport. This denotes that while the whole country is omitting tomatoes, you can still eat them since you can trust your own food in terms of safety.

12 – Having an Elegant Backyard

When you have a garden in your backyard, you will realize its added benefits. Apart from offering food, your vegetable and fruit garden can alter your backyard and transform it into a colourful lively place where you can spend your afternoons with your family.

Related: DIY Gardening Ideas For Your Urban Backyard: 6 Effective Tips

13 – Vitamin D Production

Sunlight promotes the production of vitamin D which is important to our bodies. Gardening activities that last for 30 minutes each day can offer you good sleep and positive energy. However, make sure that you use sunscreen when you head over to your garden.

14 – No More Food Wastage

You will be surprised to know that $600 worth of food is wasted every year. When you become a gardener, you will realize its value and the efforts behind your vegetables. Hence there will be no wastage, as you will preserve and consume what you have harvested.

15 – Gardening Community

Community gardens can be seen in cities where everyone can get their own plot for gardening. This way of gardening allows people to share their tips and expertise with each other effectively. It even serves as a place for socializing with neighbours, parents and teens within their local area.

As a result, people share their fresh fruits and vegetables in community gardens and they do not rely on vendors for food.

16 – Healthy Future Generations

A child is exposed four times more than an adult to a minimum of eight commonly-used cancer-causing harmful pesticides in food. So, organic farming can save our future generations from these health hazards.

17 – Garden as a Classroom

Kids and teens should learn more about plants, the origin of food and their environment at a young age. A backyard garden can act as a classroom for them to learn and experiment with plants. Kids can help adults during various activities like watering, harvesting etc. Ensure that they follow security measures and that they stay away from sharp hardware tools.

Kids will naturally be encouraged to do gardening as they witness and eat the fruits of their efforts.

Related: Fall Garden Experiment for Kids: Why do Leaves Change Color?

18 – Avoiding Soil Erosion

According to an estimate from the US Soil Conservation Service, above three billion tons of topsoil get eroded from croplands in the US alone every year. Thus, soil erosion happens seven times faster than soil buildup. Gardens can prevent soil erosion to some extent.

19 – Safeguarding Water Quality

Organic farming eliminates the use of pesticides and helps preserve drinking water quality. As per estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency, some cancer-causing pesticides contaminate water in 38 states of the US.

By shifting to organic gardening, we can minimize the use of pesticides and prevent water contamination.

20 – Gardens Can Save Energy Too

Present farming needs more petroleum and consumes about 12 percent of the US total energy supply. This energy is used for producing chemical fertilizers. If people start producing their own vegetables and fruits in every city, the energy used for transportation as well as the resulting environmental pollution can be reduced significantly.

21 – Control over Food

Whether you do full organic farming or use just a small amount of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, you can have full control over what goes to your plants. You can replace organic compost and earthworm manure with fertilizers. Know the common pests in your local area that will likely affect the plants that you will grow and avoid them without the use of pesticides but only with fencing, meshing etc.

22 – Avoid Chemicals on Your Food

Most of the approved pesticides nowadays were registered before detailed research was done on their connection to diseases. Various types of cancers are linked to pesticides use. As pesticides are meant to kill living organisms like pests and insects, they can also affect human health.

When you grow your own food you will have complete knowledge about the nature of pesticides that you use and stay away from potential health issues.

23 – Save Farmers and Farm Workers

According to a study by National Cancer Institute, farmers were six times riskier than non-farmers to get cancer. Pesticides are also a major problem across the globe because more than 1 million people are affected by pesticides every year.

Though we can grow our own food, we still have to rely on farmers for many vegetables and fruits. Farming industries should switch to organic pesticides to save farmers and to avoid contamination of soil and ground water.

24 – Preserving Biodiversity

It is a fact that certain plants can only grow based on climate and soil fertility. Because of this limitation during the 1950s and 1970s, mono-cropping was practiced. This is a method by which the same type of crops will be planted over and over again. This practice resulted in loss of soil nutrients, which then encouraged the use of chemical fertilizers. Chemical pesticides were used to kill pests and insects.

All these issues can be solved by crop rotation. By planting different crops, soil fertility can be retained and pesticides can be avoided as pests often vary from crop to crop. Also, crop rotation helps preserve biodiversity.

25 – Smaller Garden, Greater Benefits

In the urban environment, finding a place for gardening may be difficult. But many people find innovative ways of growing plants even on very limited spaces. Even small containers can accommodate many plants. You can choose the type of garden that you want and the plants that you like according to your available space and its access to sunlight.

Learn more about starting your garden from our blog to find out which one is suitable for you. Your area and your number of plants may be small but the benefits are limitless.

To summarize, having a garden in your house or apartment is essential. The benefits of growing your own food are endless. You are not only producing fresh food but also enjoying physical, mental and environmental benefits. Now, you may realize that gardening has many benefits not only to the owner but also to the community and the environment.

You can start gardening as a hobby and can improve with the help of the gardening community in your area and of online gardening communities. There are many ways of starting your own garden. Read more from our DIY gardening ideas. People start something and do not practice it regularly; this applies to gardening as well. When you are in touch with our gardening community, you will be more motivated, get recognized and perform better.

Related: Do you want a 30 Minute Plan to Define a DIY Urban Garden? Here is our Proven Method to Get Things Right the First Time. Click here now.

We all have time for social media at it can be used to discuss and share experiences with the gardening community. Urban Gardeners Republic is the right place for a person who is interested in gardening and who needs some support. Follow our Instagram page and the tag #urbangardenersrepublic to stay updated. Let’s make our blue planet have enough greenery!

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