smiling gardener carrying vegetable harvest

Benefits of Growing Your Own Food

Herb and vegetable gardening is a relaxing and fulfilling activity that has a host of benefits. Growing your own food allows you to provide food security for you and your family even through financial crises. All you need are a couple of seeds, a good plot of soil, and a bit of time and effort to achieve all of these incredible benefits. 

Better Nutrients

Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables that naturally ripen in the garden are much more nutritious. Commercially sold fruits and vegetables are usually plucked ahead of ripening so that they do not overripe, soften, and rot during transit and handling. Therefore, although still healthy to consume, these produce are usually less nutritious compared to homegrown variants that are allowed to ripen while still on the plant.

Additionally, people who engage in herb and vegetable gardening at home are less likely to use pesticides or potentially harmful chemicals. This is usually not the case for commercial produce. Home gardens are generally smaller and are therefore easier to monitor. Still, commercial harvest comes from vast lands that are harder to watch over and maintain without the help of pesticides and chemical-based plant boosters.

Tastier Meals

As it seems, the more nutrients a produce has, the more flavor it packs in. With home gardening, you get the advantage of having better-tasting food. This might even encourage you to eat healthier meals that include a lot of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Perhaps you might also change your mind about your most hated vegetable once you taste it while it’s very fresh and flavorful.

The difference in taste is mostly thanks to the freshness of the produce. Since it ripens on the plant and most likely plucked just right before preparation, it is probably the freshest you can get from a crop. Most fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets and even local markets have possibly been sitting on shelves for how many days. This can have a high negative impact on the freshness, and therefore the flavor of the produce. 

herb and vegetable gardening tools

Sun Exposure and Fresh Air

If you don’t get to spend a lot of time outdoors, herb and vegetable gardening can significantly encourage you to spend a healthy amount of time with nature—even if it’s just your backyard. Spending some time outdoors allows you to get the right amount of sun exposure. It will enable your body to absorb more Vitamin D, which contributes to healthy bones and teeth and prevents other illnesses such as cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and muscle weakness.

To achieve the maximum benefits of sun exposure through vegetable gardening, make sure you observe some safety guidelines that experts recommend:

  • The optimum time to get Vitamin D from sunlight exposure is midday. The sun is at the highest point, and it is safer than exposure to sunlight in the afternoon when the risk of cancer is highest.
  • Although it is safer to bask in the high noon, you should limit your sun exposure between ten to thirty minutes.
  • Go for shorter periods if you are light-skinned and more extended periods of exposure if you have darker skin.
  • Scientists recommend exposing at least a third of your skin for this duration. Wearing a tank top and shorts produce adequate results.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your head and eyes. Since the head is a small part of the body, it will help little to produce Vitamin D.
  • If you need prolonged exposure, start earlier to prevent the harmful afternoon sun. Also, wear sunscreen to avoid burning.

Productive Exercise

Herb and vegetable gardening is a productive way to get some exercise. You’ll immediately notice an increase in your pulse, breathing, and sweating minutes into gardening. Gardening is an excellent example of non-exercise activity thermogenesis where you burn off a good amount of calories without hitting the gym or consciously exercising.

Just like deliberate exercise, vegetable gardening has the following physical benefits:

  • Improvement of fine and gross motor skills
  • Better heart health
  • Stress reduction
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Improved flexibility and physical strength
  • Energy boost
  • Prevents anxiety and depression

Food Security

Imagine how much you can save if you don’t have to rely on your grocery store to produce heavily. All you need to spend are a couple of dollars on seeds. If you have a good plot of soil at home, with some elbow grease, you can produce several pounds of healthy food that you can feed yourself, your family, and even your neighbors. 

An additional benefit to growing your own food is that you know exactly what is going into it. Product recalls, damage, and contamination are virtually non-existent in a home garden. When everyone else needs to make do with what is available in the market, you can enjoy anything you want, even the most coveted superfoods, for as long as you can grow it.

Eco-friendly

As mentioned before, home gardeners rarely rely on harmful chemicals that not only can contaminate the produce but leech into the soil as well. On top of that, you also help the environment by reducing the demand for fossil fuels used in transporting produce from farms to markets. Since your food source is right in your backyard, all you have to do is to go out and pluck it for use. 

Another way you’re helping the environment is by reducing the amount of food waste. You’re less likely to toss out food that you’ve painstakingly cared for and waited to grow. Home gardeners who grow their own food try to consume everything and avoid anything from going to waste as much as possible.

Sense of Fulfillment

You won’t be able to deny the sheer sense of pride when you get your first harvest. Herb and vegetable gardening at home is incredibly fulfilling. You get to grow the very food that fills and nourishes you and your family. Some farming communities hold annual harvest competitions where the healthiest and most beautiful crops are featured. That only goes to show how proud a farmer or gardener could be when it comes to their homegrown produce.

To find out more about growing your own food, check out Easy-To-Grow Vegetables And Herbs Plus DIY Stackable Planters on Skill Success.

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