Column,  Summer 2020

Benefits of Home Gardening

Homegrown vegetables, whether grown in an in-ground garden, raised bed garden or container garden, is the best way to get healthy, organic, fresh, chemical, and pesticide-free vegetables.

It’s a rewarding feeling to harvest fresh vegetables right from your backyard, patio, balcony, or rooftop. It is as farm-to-table as it gets. Additionally, growing your vegetables lowers the cost of buying organic vegetables and, best of all, knowing they have not been sprayed with chemicals and pesticides.

Another cost-saving technique for gardeners is seed saving. Instead of buying a packet of new seeds or pre-sprouted vegetables every single year for your home vegetable garden, seed saving allows you to properly dry and store seeds from your current garden to replant the next year. Unfortunately, this is not true for all vegetables. That is, open-pollinated, heirloom, and self-pollinated plants are the only varieties that will grow true from seed, meaning the seedlings will be exactly like the parents. The seeds that cannot be saved with success are hybrid ones. When grown from hybrid, the seeds from these plants will not produce the same plant the following year. They carry the genetics from both parents and may display different characteristics than you are expecting.

Urban gardening by Marcus Spiske

It has been said that organic foods may help to reduce chronic diseases, such as heart attacks, cancer, and strokes. Eating organic vegetables have health benefits, gardening also has health benefits such as, stress reduction because you’re outside and closer to nature, which gives you a chance to focus on something and put your mind to work with a goal and a task. It strengthens your heart and hands, with all the digging, planting, and weeding. It gives you a boost of vitamin D because of your exposure to sunlight, which increases your calcium levels and benefits your bones and immune system.

Gardening has mood-boosting benefits because you experience the joy of watching your vegetables grow from seed to maturity, and it makes you happier. Ready to garden? It can be daunting, as all good things in life require a bit of work, but it’s one of the most rewarding hobbies you can start. Even experienced gardeners make mistakes, so novice gardeners shouldn’t be the least bit intimated.

Start reaping the benefits a garden can add to your life!

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