Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are vital for making up a healthy and balanced diet. High in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, fruits and vegetables keep your body functioning and even protect against diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease. So eating enough fruits and vegetables is hugely important, but that does not necessarily mean that everyone wants to start growing their own; after all, supermarkets stock a range of fruits and vegetables.
Whether you are thinking about growing your own food or are simply looking for a little garden inspiration, this guide is for you. The list below outlines a few reasons why you should start growing your own fruits and vegetables.
1. Growing Your Own Fruits and Vegetables is Healthier
Fruits and vegetables that are grown in your own garden are going to be healthier than the vegetables that you buy from the store. There are a number of reasons why homegrown vegetables are healthier than store-bought. Firstly, the soil that is used to grow crops can have an impact. Specifically, healthy, nutrient-rich soil improves the nutritional value of your fruits and vegetables. While the soil does not change which nutrients are in the fruits and vegetables, it does have the power to enhance the levels of nutrients present. Overused soil has fewer nutrients which will transfer to the produce.
The distance that your produce has to travel to get to your table will also have an impact on how healthy it is. Crops begin to deteriorate as soon as they have been harvested, which means that the faster fruits and vegetables get to your table, the higher the levels of vitamins and antioxidants they contain.
The last reason why homegrown fruits and vegetables are healthier than store-bought is because of the chemicals and pesticides that are used in commercial production. Growing your own fruit and vegetables means you won’t be inadvertently eating any harmful chemicals.
2. It is Better for the Planet
Growing your own fruit and vegetables is not only healthier, but it is better for the planet than buying the produce from the store. There are a number of reasons why growing your own fruit and vegetables is better for the planet.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables hugely reduces the distance that the food has to travel. The average distance that shop-bought fruit and vegetables travel from the farmer’s field to your home is 1500 miles. Growing your own fruit and vegetable cuts back on the carbon emissions that are produced transporting store-bought food.
By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you are also cutting down on the amount of plastic you are using. Plastic packaging is still commonplace in stores, as it helps food to stay fresh and hygienic. However, as plastic is filling up the oceans and creating huge landfills across the world, cutting down on plastic consumption in any way you can is ideal.
Commercial farmers typically use chemical fertilizers and pesticides to increase crop productivity. While these chemicals can be very useful to farmers, they can also be harmful to the planet. It is common for chemicals used in farming to seep into the groundwater supply. Over time, the runoff of farming chemicals can be very bad for local ecosystems.
3. Growing Your Own Produce is Cheaper than Store-Bought
While it might take some upfront investment, over time, growing your own fruits and vegetables is much cheaper than buying from the store. This is particularly true if you are buying more expensive vegetables like asparagus. Over time, if you become very good at gardening, you could even start selling the food you have grown to friends, family, or even a local store.
In order to ensure that you are able to continue harvesting your own fruits and vegetables all year round, you will probably need to invest in a greenhouse. As Halls green house explains, you should consider what type of fruits and vegetables you aim to produce before settling on a greenhouse. This ensures that you find the best greenhouse structure for your gardening needs.
4. Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables Keeps You Fit
Not only does growing your own fruit and vegetables mean that you are eating more healthy foods, but it can also help to keep you fit. Studies have found that gardening can actually burn a surprising amount of calories. For example, planting small plants can burn 120 calories per thirty minutes for a 57 kg person, 149 for a 70 kg person, and 184 for a 178 kg person. Activities like digging will burn 150 calories per thirty minutes for a 57 kg person, 186 for a 70 kg person, and 222 for an 84 kg person.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables will help you stay active without realizing just how much exercise you are doing. Gardening also encourages you to get outside into the sunshine, soaking up some vitamin D.
5. It Will Boost Your Mood
Not only is growing your own fruits and vegetables good for your physical health but your mental health too. Gardening gets you outside and into the natural environment, which can benefit your mental wellbeing. There is a Japanese expression, shinrin-yoku, which translates to forest bathing, the experience of renewal that comes from being outside. There is a wide range of evidence that suggests that being in nature positively impacts stress reduction, reduced anxiety and depression.
Not only is the very experience of being outside in nature good for your mental health, but the practice of gardening and growing your own fruits and vegetables is also beneficial. The reason why gardening is so good for your mental health is that it encourages mindfulness.
Gardening encourages individuals to be present in the current moment and to be aware of their surroundings. Since gardening does not produce instant effects, it is not an emotionally reactive activity. All of this means that gardening actually produces a state of mindfulness in the participants. To encourage this natural state of mindfulness, you could try not listening to anything while gardening. Instead, try to focus on being present and noticing the environment around you.