Eight Great Reasons to Grow your Own!
20 March 2018
What are the benefits of growing your own food?
- Improve your families health - By growing your own fresh fruit and veg, you and your family will surely be more inclined to eat more of it - when you've grown it yourself, you're going to want to reap the rewards! This is a really important way that you and your family can stay healthy especially if it is something you get your children involved in. In fact, a study found that preschool children who were served home-grown produce were more than twice as likely to eat the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Also important to note - when you responsibly grow your own food, you don't have to worry about contamination from chemical use that may occur at the farm, manufacturing plant or transportation process. You can trust that your food is safe and healthy to eat.
- Save money - You may find that your shopping bill will shrink as you start to fill your kitchen with fresh produce grown at home. Seeds won't cost you an arm and a leg and ff you learn how, you could even preserve your summer or autumn harvest meaning you'll be able to feed yourself even when the growing season is over!
- Reduce your environmental impact - Gardening and growing helps the planet in many ways. If you grow your food organically, without pesticides or herbicides, you'll spare the earth the burden of unnecessary air and water pollution, for example. Attracting birds or bats to your garden can help as they are natural pest controllers due to the volume of insects they eat. Many plants such as herbs also emit their own chemicals into the air and soil that repel bugs. By planting pollinator-friendly plants you will also increase activity in your garden without the need for any artificial help.
- Get outdoor exercise - Planting, weeding, watering and harvesting all add purposeful physical activity to your day. If you have children, we recommend getting them involved too! It is really important to get children actively involved in outdoor excursions to improve their health, well-being and connection to nature and growing is a way to do this! Gardening is also a way to relax, de-stress, centre your mind, and get fresh air and sunshine (when it visits). Be sure to lift heavy objects properly and to stretch your tight muscles before and after strenuous activity.
- Enjoy better tasting food - Fresh food is the best food! How long has the food on your supermarket shelf been there? How long did it travel from the farm to your table? You cannot compare the taste of home-grown fruit and vegetables and if they taste better you'll be more likely to eat the healthy, fresh produce that your body needs.
- Build a sense of pride - Watching a seed blossom under your care to become food on yours and your family's plates is very gratifying. Growing your own food is one of the most purposeful and important things a human can do - it's work that directly helps you thrive, nourish your family and maintain your health. Caring for your plants and waiting as they blossom and 'fruit' before your eyes is an amazing sense of accomplishment.
- It can be done almost anywhere - If your outdoor space feels small on the floor, a simple change of perspective is all you need. You can try a vertical ‘pocket’ system using a trellis which is easy to attach to walls and fences and ideal for herbs and salads. Fill with bedding, strawberries, herbs or even peas and beans to tumble down the side for a pretty and productive feature that takes up hardly any room at all. You can also create crate-shelves to triple the number of containers you can squeeze in and shelving with slatted wood allows water to drain through. If you don't have any outside space then you can always grow veg/herbs in a windowsill box and most vegetables have smaller versions for this reason!
- Reduce food waste - Almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes. We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year and more than half of this is food and drink we could have eaten. The hope is that when the food is 'yours', you will be less likely to take it for granted and more likely to eat it (or preserve it) before it goes to waste!
(*Some information sourced from http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1275&page=2)