By Kevin Rodrigues, a developer-turned-blogger, blogging at Gardening Mentor
It’s your dream. You want to grow an awesome vegetable garden and reap the benefits. But, growing a vegetable garden is much more than just getting vegetables.
Sure you’ll be enjoying a harvest of wonderful food on your plate. But, planting a vegetable garden can improve your life as well. Your health and well-being will be transformed for the better. And, you’ll save some money in the process.
So, I hope you’re ready for the wonderful benefits of growing a vegetable garden.
1. You’ll start hating vegetables
Yeah, really. But only the ones that you buy from grocery stores. Once you grow your own vegetables, you’ll wonder how you could have eaten the store-bought ones. The problem with them is they’re grown for a profit. And growing for profit tends to compromise on the quality and flavor of the vegetables.
That’s because these vegetables are harvested days before they ripen, then transported across the country to a grocery store near you. And, the more time a vegetable spends on the shelf, the more it loses flavor and nutrients.
When you grow your own vegetables, you’ll harvest them when they are ready and not before. So you get to eat the vegetables when they’re the most nutritious and flavorful.
And, once you experience the awesome taste of fresh vegetables, there’s no going back to the store-bought ones.
2. You’ll have to buy new clothes
Just hear me out on this one. We all know that eating vegetables is good for our health especially if we need to lose a few pounds. But, there’re plenty of distractions to prevent us from eating veggies.
Grocery stores are smart enough to put the processed food sections in the center of the store and locate the vegetable section on the side. They want you to buy the unhealthy stuff because the more you buy the more they profit.
And, even if you do end up buying some vegetables, they don’t taste very good. So you end up throwing a lot of them in the garbage.
Things change when you grow your own vegetables. You harvest the vegetables when they’re ready for picking. This makes them tasty and nutritious and you’ll enjoy eating them.
There’s another reason you won’t throw away your garden vegetables. Gardening is tough work. You need to plant the seeds, tend to the soil and plants, prune them, water them, and harvest the vegetables when ready.
When you do harvest the vegetables, you’ll end up eating most of them. You don’t want all of your effort to go to waste, do you?
So growing your own vegetables means you end up eating more of them. The more vegetables you eat the better your health will get, and the more weight you’ll lose.
You might have to buy new clothes as your old ones may not fit. But, isn’t that a good problem to have?
You’ll also get exercise and fresh air as you tend to the plants every day. And, gardening will also help you relax and get rid of the stress you may face in your life.
3. You’ll be spoiled with so many choices
It can get boring, eating the same kind of vegetables all the time. That’s a problem with the store-bought vegetables. The corporations that grow them do so for profit. They grow vegetables that are resistant to pests, diseases, and have a long shelf-life. This limits the variety of the vegetable they can grow, and you keep getting the same old types. They give you the vegetables they grow rather than the vegetables you want to eat.
But, when you grow your own vegetables, the world is your oyster. You can get vegetable seeds from local farmers that have intense flavor and are nutritious. You may never see these varieties in the grocery store, but you get the luxury of growing and eating them from your own garden.
You don’t need to worry about them being affected by diseases because you’ll consume them as soon as you harvest. You’ll get to enjoy a variety of flavors, sights, and senses that’s only possible when you grow your own vegetables.
4. You may need to carry a bigger wallet
Saving some money is always good, right? And planting your own vegetable garden is something that will help you with that.
Every year the cost of vegetables tends to go up. Maybe there is a pest problem, water shortage, or rise in transportation costs. You don’t need to worry about these things as much when you grow your own vegetables.
If you plant your vegetables starting from seeds, you save even more money because seeds are quite cheap. And, you can grow a lot of vegetables from a handful of seeds. If you manage to save some seeds from the previous harvest, you won’t even need to buy more seeds.
Sure you do need to spend some money on your vegetable garden. You do need to buy the seeds, seedlings, topsoil, fertilizer, and maybe compost. But that’s still a small investment considering the amount of vegetables you’ll be able to harvest for years to come.
Harvesting vegetables from your own garden is a pleasure in itself. But it’s even better because you save the gas you’d need to drive to the grocery store, which means more money ends up in your pocket.
So get ready to keep a big wallet with you as your vegetable garden will save you money.
5. It’ll protect your family from disease
Health is wealth. And, it’s important that our family is protected from diseases. Every so often we see the news about people infected with something like E.coli from infected vegetables. That’s because vegetables could get infected when they’re mass-produced then harvested and transported in unhygienic containers.
When you grow your own vegetables with tender loving care, you don’t have to worry about such problems. There’s no transportation involved because you can harvest the vegetables right from the yard, prepare them in your kitchen, and serve them.
Because you protect the vegetables and grow them carefully, they’ll protect you and your family from diseases.
In addition, mass-produced vegetables could be laced with pesticides and insecticides used to kill pests and insects. You may be consuming these vegetables without realizing what goes into growing them.
You don’t have this problem when you grow your own vegetables because you know exactly what goes into the soil, air, and water you provide to your plants.
6. It’ll make you a role model for your children
Children are the future of the world. But, the children of this generation are forgetting how food is grown. For them, it’s either the grocery store or the McDonald’s nearby that’s the source of food.
But having your own vegetable garden will show them the truth. They’ll realize not just the effort needed to grow vegetables but also the immense satisfaction one gets during the harvest.
You’ll be able to teach them to grow their own favorite vegetables, which will make them enjoy eating them even more.
They’ll learn the skills necessary to grow their own food and become self-sufficient in life. And, involving them in gardening means you get to spend more quality time with them where your bond grows stronger.
7. It helps protect the environment
Mother Earth is calling out to us. And, what better way to protect her than to plant your own vegetable garden.
When vegetables are mass-produced they need to be transported across the country or even continents before they reach a store near you. Just think about the amount of gas needed for such transportation. That puts an immense strain on our natural resources.
Growing your own vegetables means you rely less on such store-bought vegetables. That means there’ll be a less demand for them and the amount of gas used for transportation will be lowered as well.
Plucking fresh, ripe vegetables from your garden will not just give you a wonderful feeling but it’ll also reduce the gas you’d use driving to the grocery store.
Another good way of saving the environment is making your own compost for the vegetable garden. Compost is the dark organic material containing the essential microorganisms and insects that will enrich your vegetable garden.
This ensures that most of your organic waste gets recycled and will be used to feed the plants in your garden. Just imagine the amount of waste you avoid sending to landfills that are already beyond their capacity.
Your vegetable garden will also help you create an ecosystem that supports organisms. This includes the microorganisms in the soil, the plants themselves, and the insects, birds, and animals that thrive in the garden.
8. It’ll help you build a community
Remember the good old days? Ages ago when people had their own farms and gardens, fresh fruits and vegetables were grown and harvested every year. There was a sense of community as people worked together on their farms and shared the fruits of their labor with each other.
Sadly, with the age of mass food production, this sense of community from growing our own food disappeared. We became completely dependent on the mass-producing corporations for our food supply.
But that sense of community isn’t lost forever. Planting your own vegetable garden can bring it back. Not just with your family and friends but in your neighborhood as well.
Imagine planting a community vegetable garden where folks help each other growing different kinds of vegetables and then sharing the bounty of the harvest.
When you grow vegetables, you’ll have a surplus that you can share with family, friends, and neighbors. You could also share vegetables with the needy by giving away vegetables to a soup kitchen nearby.
And, having a vegetable garden in your front yard will give your neighbors a good reason to strike up a conversation with you.
9. You may need to throw food away
Don’t worry. You won’t waste any food. Having your own vegetable garden means you’ll usually get a surplus.
After you share vegetables with others, you may have some left. Don’t be concerned. Mother Nature takes care of it. Your vegetables will end up as waste in the compost pile where they’ll decompose and turn into rich, organic material and provide nutrients to the microorganisms, insects, and plants.
What are you waiting for?
You can follow your dream. You can grow an awesome vegetable garden. And you can reap the benefits of enjoying healthy, fresh, and nutritious vegetables on your plate.
All you need to do is begin this amazing journey of planting a vegetable garden. And the time to do that is now.