Having been an avid gardener for most of my life, my bias will show with these “14 Reasons to Grow a Backyard Vegetable Garden”. But hear me out!
It wasn’t that long ago in our country’s history that everyone had a backyard vegetable garden. The plethora of grocery stores that we have on every street corner today simply didn’t exist.
Food wasn’t shipped from thousands of miles away like it is today, it simply wasn’t possible at the time.
People grew from seeds, not from the convenient starter plants that are available today. Vegetables were nurtured and managed, every single day until harvest time.
Weeds were pulled. Insects and dead leaves were removed. Fertilizer was applied at just the right time.
Great care was given to make sure that every single vegetable made it to the family meal table.
Because if they didn’t, the family might not be able to eat! If the garden failed, food wouldn’t be preserved for the colder winter months. People could starve! Growing food in the backyard garden was just that critical.
In modern society, most people expect that someone else will grow the food they eat. They expect that the growers will ship the food they grow on a semi-truck, destined for our local grocer. Then stock people will unload the food, give it an affordable price and then place it decoratively out for display.
The average American consumer shops at these stores, expecting that all of the previous steps to have happened and yet rarely giving the entire process a second thought.
But have you ever asked yourself what would happen if even one of these steps didn’t happen? The entire system fails.
That’s where we find ourselves today, folks. We can no longer depend upon our food distribution system as it stands today. We simply must take back control of our food system!
Skyrocketing inflation is a part of our lives today, like it or not. Inflation is a tax imposed upon consumers that reduces the purchasing power of our earnings.
Prices on everything from fuel to groceries have increased drastically this year, to the point that some folks can’t afford to drive to work or even buy their medications.
By spending a couple of dollars on a pack of seeds, you can grow dozens of plants in your backyard vegetable garden that will feed you all summer long!
From the minute a plant is harvested, it begins to deteriorate and lose nutritional value.
Farmers will often pick crops before they’re ripe and then spray them with chemicals that make them mature more slowly. This allows the produce to retain an ‘appearance’ of freshness, although it is days (sometimes weeks) old.
We often over-pay for old produce that’s covered with chemicals. What a great deal.
Who wants that? I don’t.
When you walk 10 feet to your garden and clip fresh produce for a meal, you are getting all of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes in that food! Maximum nutrition from our foods keep us healthier and full of energy!
If you’ve ever eaten a home-grown tomato, you already know that the taste cannot be compared to a store-bought tomato.
Rich, full flavor is your reward every day when you grow your own vegetables in your backyard!
Grow without Chemicals
I have always grown my garden organically. I do not want any type of chemical on my food if I can help it.
By incorporating methods like companion planting, I can attract the good bugs to my garden and repel the bad ones.
In addition to inflation making good food more difficult to afford, there are so issues with the supply chain.
Frankly, many empty shelves in the grocery stores are appearing across the country. Grocers are trying hard to rearrange shelves to make it look as though the shortage isn’t real….but it is.
When you grow a backyard vegetable garden, you create your own food security. No one can take that away from you!
Reduce Pressure on Farmers
Farmers are under a lot of pressure to produce more food these days. There are a lot of farming families where I live and I hear about the struggles they go through, trying to keep up with the demands of the market.
One farmer, who is the husband of a good friend of mine, told me one day that if everyone would take the time to grow a little bit of their own food, it would take a lot of pressure off the farmers of America. He went on to say that they wouldn’t need to use as many chemicals on the food they grow, if the demand for food wasn’t increasing every year.
I had no idea.
More Diversity in Your Food
When was the last time you saw a Cherokee Purple tomato at the grocery store? Or maybe a Mr. Stripy tomato?
How about a Pusa Asita Black Carrot, full of antioxidants???
I’m quite sure that I never have and I’ll bet you haven’t either.
When you buy your own seeds to plant, a whole new world of vegetable varieties will be opened up to you!
Support Beneficial Insects
Attract beneficial insects like honeybees with your own backyard vegetable garden!
Get Outside and Exercise
Spending time outdoors, digging in the dirt is so good for you and your physical health.
Go ahead, get dirty and let the sun shine down on your face! Get your steps in everyday while you hoe and pull weeds.
Preserve Food for Winter
While I love gardening, I probably love preserving food even more.
Cracking open a jar of tomatoes, that I grew last summer, to put into my homemade chili is such an incredible feeling.
Eat from your garden while you can and then preserve for the colder months!
Growing food almost always presents the opportunity to share with others.
I always have grow more food than we can eat and I love sharing it with the food bank, neighbors and of course, family.
Teaching others how to grow food is one of the greatest gifts you can give!
You don’t have to be a Master Gardener to share tips and ideas!
You’ll waste less food when you only pick what you’ll be eating or preserving that day!
In addition to that, any peels or scraps can be composted and used as fertilizer later on in your garden!
Backyard Gardening brings Better Mental Health
Many studies have been done on the mental health benefits of gardening and there’s no doubt that digging in dirt makes us happier!
Serotonin is released when we work productively in our backyard vegetable garden, by coming in contact with a little bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae.
How cool is that?
If you’re still not sure about a backyard vegetable garden this year, I hope I’ve encouraged you to give it a try! It’s so worth it!