Why You Should Have Vegetable Garden?
Have you ever looked out over the grassy expanse of your backyard or that barren bit of concrete on your patio and felt like something is missing? It is, and that “something” is a vegetable garden. If you have never grown a vegetable garden before, then 2016 is the year to start.
Food prices are constantly on the rise and we find ourselves paying more and more for products that barely taste like anything at all. Why pay for poor-quality produce when you can easily grow your own right in your own backyard?
Starting a vegetable garden may seem like a daunting task, with many not knowing where to start at all. However, if you start small this year, you will definitely find yourself expanding your garden area next year.
But why start your own vegetable garden?
It Tastes Better
I grew up with vegetable garden veggies so I have always known this dirty little secret, but for those who have never experienced anything outside of supermarket produce, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Even Farmer’s Market fare doesn’t hold up to a homegrown tomato fresh off the plant.
Seeds Are Cheaper than Produce
You can go to the supermarket and get a single onion for about 60 cents, or you can get 100 onion seeds for about two dollars. It is pretty clear which is the cheaper option there. You have to wait on grow time, but you’ll have an abundance of any vegetable in no time that will start to save those dollars and cents.
It Is a Step Towards Self-Sufficiency
You don’t need to start raising your own livestock to get a grasp on a little self-sufficiency; a vegetable garden will do just fine. If you can’t make it to the supermarket for some products, you will have them growing right in your own backyard. Having a little freedom from supermarket markup is never a bad thing, at the very least.
It Is as Organic as You Want It to Be
Don’t care about GMOs and pesticides? Well then you can keep the pests away any way you want to, but if you are trying to go all organic, then a vegetable garden is the best way to do so. It will also free up funds for that expensive organic meat, too.
It takes some trial and error to find natural ways to enhance the soil and keep pests away, but in small-crop vegetable gardens, the methods are pretty easy.
Vegetables start to lose both flavor and nutritional value the minute that they are picked. This is why fresh vegetables from your garden outclass the Farmer’s Market as well as the supermarket. If you want to get the most out of your vegetables, they need to get to the table as soon as possible.
Gardening is a Great Workout
Weeding, lifting, and digging in the hot summer sun is hard, sweaty, and dirty work, but it burns those calories away as moderate cardiovascular exercise. You’ll be exhausted, but gardening is an exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. Isn’t that what we all want?
It’s Educational for the Kids
Kids this day, am I right? They have no idea where their food comes from, but with a backyard garden, they will begin to learn. Not only will you be able to enlist a helping hand to do some of the weddings, but by involving the pups in the garden, you are teaching them about the natural growing process. It is also a good lesson in responsibility since if you don’t care for a garden, it will die.
It’s Education for Adults, Too
You don’t have a need to learn about crop rotation, soil nutrition, and natural pesticides without a garden, but you sure will know all about it after a few seasons of growing. It is a good skill set to have.
It Is Something to Be Proud Of
When was the last time you felt really good about the products you picked up from the grocery store? Probably never, unless you found a really awesome sale. A vegetable garden is a “visible” achievement, one where you can actually see (and eat) the fruits of your labor.
It Can Expand Your World of Vegetables
When was the last time you nipped down to Walmart or Kroger and saw red carrots? Kolrabi? Yellow Tomatoes? Grocery stores don’t stock those odd niche vegetables because there is no demand for them, but in your backyard vegetable garden, you can grow whatever the heck strange vegetables you want!
An Effective Form of Stress Relief
The majority of our modern life involves a lot of “direct attention” activities; these require us to focus and try to avoid distractions. However, as anyone who has tried to focus for a long period of time will know, you get burned out from it. Gardening is an indirect attention activity.
You can let your mind wander to the birds chirping around you or what your dog is digging up by the fence. It’s soothing, and, while physically tiring, it is mentally refreshing.
It Can Be an Art Project
Whether it is making a cute fence to help keep out nosy rabbits or painting rocks to use as vegetable markers, your garden can be an art project for your family to put their effort into. Worse case, you can always create vegetable markers by yourself at night while binge-watching House of Cards.
It Helps the Environment
You’re cutting down emissions by taking fewer trips to the grocery store. You’re not encouraging or using pesticides that seep into the water table. You’re preventing soil erosion in your yard. The environmental benefits of a backyard garden are myriad.
Beautify Your Yard with Vegetables
Sure, corn is no Peruvian lily or blossoming lilac bush, but a vegetable garden helps add depth to an area where there was once nothing but boring grass. The complex greenery accented by dots of red tomatoes or the changing hues of your pepper plants is beautiful in its own right.
An Excuse to Get Some Sun
Vitamin D is closely tied to our own personal happiness. It is the one vitamin we can both ingest and produce by being in the sunlight, and a lack of it is why we are so sad in the winter. You can go sit out on the patio and absorb some rays, but why bother when you could just watch some TV, right? Gardening gives you a good reason to go outside.
It Provides Food to Share
Always wanted to talk to that new neighbor, but now it is months later and you are not sure how to break the ice. Give them some veggies from your garden. They are the best icebreaker and a good way to earn a little good karma with friends, family, and neighbors.
It is a Way to Prevent Fussy Eaters
No one wants a fussy eater, but once your kids discover Cheetos or Oreos, it is an uphill battle. However, with a vegetable garden, you gain a secret weapon in the war on good nutrition. Try getting them involved in the growing process because it is pretty hard to beat tasty snow peas fresh off the vine, plump cherry tomatoes, and super sweet strawberries.
It is Addictive
It starts with onions and potatoes, but before you know it you have green beans growing up the trellises, a whole area for strawberries, and a melon patch that threatens to take over your yard. A planting addiction is the best addiction to have.
It’s a Hub for Wildlife
Birds, bees, rabbits, and even deer will be coming to your yard in droves to enjoy your produce. Of course, deer and rabbits stop seeming so majestic when they start to eat your fresh sprouting, but they are nice to look at until the veneer wears off.
You Can Reap the Benefits All Year Long
No matter whether you take up canning or simply start yourself a winter garden, your backyard growth space is a gift that keeps on giving all year long.