9 Reasons to Grow Your Own Garden Vegetables 

(WellnessNova.com) - Sure, you could go to the supermarket or local farmers market for your seasonal bounties. Maybe you even get a CSA farm box delivered to your door every week. But do you know what you’re missing out on when you don’t grow your own garden vegetables?

If you crave the freshness of the seasons—be it sweet, juicy summer tomatoes, light, leafy spring greens, or the comfort of a warm and creamy autumn-ripe butternut squash–even with the smallest of outdoor spaces, you can grow your own favorite garden vegetables. And you totally should—even if you’ve never even owned a houseplant before! Growing food is much easier than it sounds, and so much more rewarding, too.

1. Selection

Nothing spoils an appetite like getting to the market just to find your favorite fresh veggie is all gone! When you grow your own garden vegetables, you can ensure your faves are always in stock (usually overstocked!) and in your belly.

2. Save on cash

You’d think seasonal fruits and veggies would be cheap—they’re abundant when in season, after all. But no! Those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes can cost you some serious cash at the markets—sometimes over $5 per pound! But grow your own? Sure, you’ve got some upfront costs like soil, fertilizer, and the seeds or seedlings, but then it’s just juicy, sweet goodness…for free.

3. Beautify

It may seem trite, but a productive garden is (typically) a beautiful one! Studies have shown there are numerous benefits to spending time in nature; and we’re more likely to spend time in places we enjoy. Even if it’s a small outdoor space, it’s better than no space. And what’s more relaxing than just sitting around watching green beans grow?

4. Support your local ecosystem

Growing food can also bring pollinators like honey bees and butterflies into your garden. And that’s helpful particularly if you don’t use chemical pesticides or herbicides that have been linked to the decline of some of our key pollinators.

5. Support the environment

Growing your own food is about as local as it gets, and that means you help reduce your carbon footprint by foregoing the transport of food to you. You also help conserve resources including energy and water that are much more intensive in commercial farming.

6. Support your community

Chances are, if you grow your own garden vegetables, you’ll be wondering what to do with them all! First-time gardeners: you will be stunned at just how much a single plant can produce. That means you’re likely to be overstocked, and what’s better than giving excess to friends, neighbors, or even a local food bank or shelter? Fresh garden-grown fruits and veggies are always a welcome treat that help you connect with your community.

7. More family time

Kids who grow their own food are more likely to eat it. And add to that the benefits of a family spending time together outside in the garden. It’s the stuff great memories are made of—and healthy ones at that.

8. Garden-grown tastes better

You probably know the let down of buying a gorgeous-looking tomato at the market only to have it taste like cardboard. Growing your own always tastes better, making for better meals, and more excitement about growing more of your own food every season.

9. From hobby to lifestyle

Once all that delicious seasonal goodness gets hold of you—and it sure will!—you may soon quickly realize that gardening isn’t just a hobby; it can be a legitimate lifestyle. And with all the benefits in growing your own, you may soon find yourself looking for more outdoor space to fill with soil—patios, windowsills, the grassy patch on the sidewalk—grow your own garden vegetables and you’ll find they’re growing you, too.

Written by Jill Ettinger
Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist, editor, and marketing consultant. She is the senior editor and featured columnist on sister sites EcoSalon.com and OrganicAuthority.co,. Jill has been featured in The Village Voice, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Global Rhythm, as well as the anthologies "Towards 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age" (Tarcher/Penguin) and "What Do You Believe?" (Outside the Box). Jill spent more than a decade as a sales and marketing manager in the natural foods industry and regularly consults with emerging brands and organizations in creative communication, social media, and marketing strategies. For more info, visit www.jillettinger.com. See more articles by this author
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