Someone in your family not on board yet for planting an edible garden? Here are some things to get them thinking:
Incidentally, if you’re ready to get planting, check out this free downloadable eBook “How to Plant An Urban Edible Garden in 10 Steps or Less”.
Not all vegetables are created equally and because labeling on produce is not as informative or available as other food products, much trust is placed in farmers and suppliers to keep our food safe. The only true way to know your veggie’s complete health history is to grow your own. In recent years there has also been a significant push for consumers to “buy local.” Whether it be rocking chairs or potatoes, buying local is better for not only the local economy, but in many cases the planet as these products don’t need to be transported great distances consuming energy along the way. Specifically on the produce side, planting a garden will encourage you to embrace Mother Nature by growing varieties that are in season and native to your region. Another great benefit – freshness! Many kids will have a meltdown if previously frozen soggy peas so much as touch their mac and cheese, but the crunch of a freshly picked snap pea can be a different story altogether.
Fresh produce can be expensive. Charlie Nardozzi with The National Gardening Association recently demonstrated that you can save upto 90% on produce by growing your own vegetables in a small home garden. Less frequent trips to the grocery store will also save you money. Not only will you have delicious (and cheap) fresh vegetables as soon as they’re ready to pick, you can keep them for future use by canning, freezing, or dehydrating them.
There are inherent rewards to creating physical things with your own hands, especially things with intrinsic value such as food.. Add to that the nurturing process in which you’re actually feeding and caring for a living object and get to watch it grow and mature over time. For those of us who have little to no gardening experience, a small home edible garden is a fantastic way to learn a new skill which has proven vital to brain health to people of all ages.
Children specifically can enjoy lifelong benefits from learning about gardening at an early age: beyond exposure to healthy foods, social and interpersonal skills, attitudes towards learning and empathy have all been observed in children exposed to gardening as published by researchers at the University of Colorado.
In a more global sense, edible gardens can be great tools to be a positive force in nature. Rather than watering your lawn, use those precious droplets on your tomato plants. Take it a step further and set up a rain collection system to water your plants. You can even compost some of your food waste and work it back into your soil to give an added natural nutrient boost. Besides for just composting waste from your food, you can also compost weeds from your new garden to use later, making use of its every component (check out this article from Epic Gardening for a comprehensive how-to).
A Garden for Every Gardener
One of the greatest benefits of growing your own garden is that you can completely customize it to your exact needs and preferences. Grow whatever you want, what you actually want to eat or give away. Use materials you already have lying around or get a kit online or from your local hardware store or nursery. Design your garden to fit the space that works best for you whether that is in your front or back yard, on your deck or roof, at a community garden or even inside your home.