For most of us, food comes from the supermarket. Maybe the corner market. A restaurant. A food truck. Perhaps a Sunday afternoon farmers market. We can think of growing our own vegetable garden as an impossible hurdle, a cause for an unflattering new wardrobe of overalls and big hats. But growing your own doesn’t mean selling your house in the city and buying a farm. Quite the contrary.
The truth is, there are many reasons we should all grow our own food—at least a portion of it, anyway. You don’t have to be a farmer, or even all that skillful at growing a vegetable garden to give it a go. Need a little inspiration? We’ve got it:
- Freshly grown food is healthy food: You pick it and minutes later, you eat it? What’s healthier than that?
- Homegrown food tastes better: Simply put, there are tomatoes and there are tomatoes. If you’ve ever tasted a garden-grown one, you know the difference. Taste is not an indulgence. It’s an important part of our relationship with food. And when food tastes good, we savor it. We share it. We appreciate the process so much more.
- Growing food is cheaper: Money might not be an issue for you, but why would anyone spend money on something they can easily get for next to nothing? Growing your own food can save you a lot of money, especially on expensive items like tomatoes, melons, peppers and berries.
- If you love the planet, grow your own: Food is transported all across the planet to get to your plate. This uses an abundance of fossil fuels, which are damaging to the environment. Shorten that distance by being your own delivery truck! What you grow decreases the environmental toll of your foodprint.
- Be a better sharer: What’s more exciting than a tomato plant that won’t stop fruiting? Or a bursting apple tree? Of course, you can preserve what you can’t eat, but it’s also great fun to share the food with friends and neighbors, too, right?
- Are you beholden to corporations? Much of our food comes to us via large multinational corporate conglomerates. These companies control a lot more than the food on our plates. They also hold sway over the food system, including powerful influence on regulations and subsidies.
- You are what you eat, really: GMOs, pesticides, additives, colorings, waxes, flavorings, sweeteners, stabilizers—these ingredients are common in our food supply. But they’re anything but healthy. When you grow your own (organically!) you guarantee yourself the very cleanest and healthiest foods, which eventually become part of you. Isn’t that so important?
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger