Katie Bulmer is a former junk food addict turned into one of those green freaks that used to get on her nerves. She “does weird things like cloth diaper my kids, garden organicaly, make my own laudry detergent and other tree hugging type adventures”, but don’t worry, she still takes showers and eats cheetos. You can find her blogging at Imperfect People.
So you want to have a garden but need a little extra motivation to get started this year? Spring is here and if you ever thought about gardening now is the time to get started.
I compiled the top 10 reasons to get out there, get digging, and grow your own produce this year!
- Cost/Savings: The average family with a vegetable garden spends just $70 a year on it and grows an estimated $600 worth of vegetables. (source) Thats a 850% return on your investment!! Try getting that at the bank!
- Nutrition: Produce is at it’s peak nutritional value when ripe. Fruits and veggies that have to travel to the super market are picked well before they are ripe. While it may become ripe by the time you eat it, the nutrition comes from the stem of the living plant. Once harvested, a vegetable is as nutritious as it is going to get. Nutritional value actually decreases each and every day past harvest.
- Organic: When you grow your own, you decide what goes in the dirt, what goes on the plant and more importantly WHAT DOESN’T. Organic famers do a great job, but with all the politics surrounding the term “organic”…you never really know exactly how it is grown UNLESS you do it yourself.
- Education: Gardening is an incredible activity to do with kids. Many kids have no idea watermelons don’t grow on trees! What’s more YOU learn a lot too! Did you know lemons are ripe in december? And Brussels sprouts grown in the winter?
- Exercise: Gardening provides all three types of exercise: endurance, flexibility, and strength. burning up to 500 calories per hour! (source)
- Convenient: Yesterday I was in the middle of making dinner when I realized, “I have no cilantro!!” But then…Eureka! I realized I have some outside in the garden! Having fresh ingredients in your backyard beats a trip to the store every time!
- Immune system booster?: Joel Salatin mentions in his book that getting in the dirt can actually help boost your immune system! A little dirt don’t hurt!
- Taste: Due to many of the reason listed in #2, homegrown taste SIGNIFICANTLY better than store bought.
- Variety: At the grocery store and even at many famers markets there are maybe two varieties of every type of fruit/veggie. But when you grow your own you can choose seeds from an endless list. Do you know there are over 100 varieties of squash?
- Put your yard to use: Don’t let precious real-estate go to waste. Grass takes water and nutrients and gives very little back. But herbs and veggies earn their keep like none other. They produce a bountiful harvest for you to enjoy!
I hope these reasons convinced you to get out there this year! What do you love most about gardening? Do you plan to have a garden this year?