While shopping for greens at a supermarket might seem like the most convenient way to eat a little bit healthier, growing your own food in a garden can be much more fulfilling. From fresh herbs to homegrown tomatoes, a garden is a perfect way to step up your food game!
Reasons to Grow Food in a Garden
1. You know exactly what’s in your food.
Since the 2018 outbreak of E. Coli infections related to romaine lettuce, people are starting to question the quality behind their produce. Experts at Homegarden.org.uk say that, by growing your own food, you have complete control over what goes into its production. As a result, you can rest easy knowing your food is 100% organic and healthy.
2. It’s cheaper.
If you want to save a few pennies, maybe the garden is the way to go! Growing your own food actually saves you money, since you are not paying for the import, taxes or markup of store-bought foods.
3. It’s better for the environment.
Plenty of mass-produced food uses heavy machinery to keep up with the production, which produces a lot of CO2 emissions. Not only that but the fields also occupy huge amounts of space, leaving little for mother nature to take its course. A home garden has no negative impact on the environment.
4. You feel accomplished.
Growing your own delicious, healthy, organic food can be very fulfilling. Why do you think so many people like growing plants in their homes?
The United States and Their Habits
Did you know that a whopping 35% of American households grow food in a garden? The National Gardening Association (NGA) released a report in 2014 titled “Garden to Table: A 5-Year Look at Food Gardening in America”, which shows a 200% increase in home food growth since 2008.
While England is not too far behind with statistics, there is one difference: In the US, the average person with a home food garden is significantly younger. However, these statistics should not be too worrying, as the general gardening population in the UK is rising as of 2019.
Since both the US and the UK have an obesity epidemic, with 39.8% of adults in the US being obese and 28.7% in the UK, growing your own food is a great step in realizing the health benefits of organic foods. While growing your own tomatoes won’t cure obesity, it might raise awareness of the dangers of a bad diet. Besides, your household will certainly thank you for it.
What Should I Grow?
If you find yourself asking this question, you are on the right track! Growing food in your own garden can seem like a daunting task, but knowing which vegetables to grow makes it much easier. Here are some suggestions:
Tomatoes are ideal for those who don’t have a big garden to work with, as they require very little space to grow. You can even grow them on a balcony! Tomatoes take 12 weeks to harvest after they are planted, which is a relatively short time. A fresh tomato every day sounds good, doesn’t it?
Kale seeds are incredibly cheap, at just £1 per packet. Kale is also incredibly healthy for you, packed with vitamins and low in calories. Just remember how much store-bought kale costs and growing your own for just £1 should be a no-brainer.
If you don’t like broccoli (as many don’t), that’s fine! If you are, by chance, one of the few who do – why not grow it yourself? One plant offers a kilogram of broccoli, and it’s definitely cheaper than store-bought.
Arguably the most popular vegetable on the list, next up is lettuce! Just one packet of lettuce seeds will feed your household for 5 months (yes, you read that right!). By rough estimates, you will save £40 every year by growing your own lettuce versus buying it at supermarkets.
One of the most versatile vegetables on earth is super easy to grow in a garden since just one plant produces around 10 potatoes! A packet of seeds is dirt cheap and can be found for as little as a quarter.
With herbs, you can pick and choose whatever you want. Parsley, oregano, mint, or basil are some great options, as they are easy to grow for beginners. Using fresh herbs in your kitchen is completely worth it, and your food is going to taste much better as a result.
In conclusion, the downsides of growing food in your garden are slim to none. It is cheaper, healthier and better for the environment. While the process itself might be slow and tiring, it is worth it at the end, which many gardeners can attest to.