George Washington said “Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man”. These days, however, more and more Americans are living in denser urban environments, making it challenging to have a constant garden. This trend has widespread environmental, health, and social implications. Without being able to dive into each of these important areas, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the benefits we’ve found in home gardening.
Access to more natural produce:
What’s better than taking a bite of a tomato that you know for certain has not been genetically modified, treated with pesticides or shipped half-way around the world?
The sad fact is that even if you do focus on buying organic or local, many of the fruits and vegetables you find in grocery stores still travel very far, may contain pesticides or GMOs and likely lack much of their original nutritional content.
Whether you are considering plastic packaging from Trader Joe’s or the carbon footprint of a strawberry imported from Mexico, one thing is for certain: anything you grow at home will be much more environmentally friendly than something you buy at the store.
Spending a few hours per week tending a home garden can reduce stress and increase your quality of life.
We all spend too much time sitting at our desks or in front of TVs, smart phones or other screens. Instead, spend some time gardening and get those few extra hours of exercise that we all need.
Always have a constant supply of healthy snacking options around the house so that you can avoid those overly processed, salty, sugary or fatty snacks between meals.
Lower Your Grocery Bill:
Over time, the amount of vegetables or herbs cultivated in a home garden will more than compensate for the money spent in the grocery store. And if you can’t use all your herbs and veggies, try making sauces, preservatives or pickling your excess produce.
Gifts are another great use for excess produce. At your next dinner party or birthday, surprise your friends and family with fresh, home grown tomatoes, leafy greens or herbs grown in your home garden.
Improving Food Security:
There is no better way to improve food security for at-risk populations than the introduction of home or community gardens. With every new garden, we increase the resiliency of our communities.
Whether you are learning about nutrients, lighting or how many varietals exist of a certain vegetable or herb, the opportunities for learning in a home garden are endless.
Have you ever had a bite of a perfectly ripe, red cherry tomato fresh from the garden? Yep, we rest our case.
Do you have your own home garden? Notice any other benefits that we didn’t list here? Comment below to add, and we’ll be sure to include.