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From Soil to Plate: Why You Should Consider Growing Your Own Vegetables

From Soil to Plate: Why You Should Consider Growing Your Own Vegetables

Last summer, I moved into my first “garden space included” apartment. I went a little crazy with my planting, and ended up with buckets of sungold tomatoes and more zucchini than we could handle. Even with the over-abundance, we loved having fresh tasty vegetables on hand whenever we wanted them, and growing our own came with tons of benefits!

And don’t think you can’t garden if you don’t have a yard. You just need to be a little more creative, and find a sunny porch or window sill to put some potted plants on instead!

Six Reasons to Grow Your Own Vegetables

Cost.

Buying a pack of seeds and a few gardening tools is much cheaper than buying bags of produce on a regular basis. This is especially true for vegetables such as beans, peas, spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers. The more you harvest them, the more they keep coming back and providing more food!

Taste.

Just harvested vegetables can’t be beat. Trust me. Once you’ve had a tomato straight off the vine or freshly picked and shelled peas, you’ll never go back.

Nutrition.

Plants are constantly taking nutrients from the soil to turn into energy to help them grow and thrive, and vegetables continue to require nutrients to stay healthy after they are harvested.

Because of this, the nutrients in vegetables begin to break down into sugars for energy within hours of harvesting. The sooner you eat them, the more nutrients you get from a single vegetable. And there is no faster way to get veggies from the plants to your plate than growing them yourself and picking as needed!

Family Time.

Start planting and weeding as a family. You’ll get to spend some quality time together, enjoy the outdoors, and everyone involved will develop an appreciation for the fresh vegetables on their plates come dinnertime!

Environment.

When you grow your own food, you have full control over what goes into it. More importantly, you have the final say in what stays out of it. If you want to grow your vegetables organically, you can do so by forgoing chemical fertilizers and pesticides. For example, you could plant marigolds, nasturtiums and other flowers that attract the “good bugs” (the ones that eat the pests) or drive the “bad bugs” away.

Plus, by using vegetables straight out of your backyard, you are helping cut back on the amount of fossil fuels used for food transportation. You may think that a single bag of lettuce won’t make a difference, but we have to start somewhere. Every little bit helps!

Patience.

My weakest trait is my complete and utter lack of patience. But gardening has taught me that some things just take a little time. You can’t rush the ripening of a tomato or the growth of new basil leaves. Gardeners must be patient...and my little plot of land is helping me to work on it!

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  • jessicamac By jessicamac
    05.18.11  

    We planted our vegetable garden two weeks ago in New Jersey: tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, green peppers, jalapenos, green beans, and lots of herbs in containers. It was a great family day - our kids helped pick out the seedlings at our town plant sale, and then helped plant them the following weekend. They like to go out and check on the progress and help with watering, and can't wait for the first harvest!

  • imaclutz89 By imaclutz89
    05.18.11  

    I love to grow sweet peppers, roma tomatoes, basil and oregano. I tried to grow onions, but they were very small and I thought they were not worth the effort. I also tried growing garlic. That failed miserably for me and I didn't get any! I only grew onions one year and they are taking over the garden. This year I probably will not be able to have one because of the onion plants all over. They won't go away and keep spreading!

  • Beaniesmom By Beaniesmom
    05.18.11  

    I live in Florida, so our growing season starts early. I already have tomato plants that are 5' high, and loaded with tomatoes. Also a huge cucumber plant full of flowers. I've started califlower, peppers, jalapenos. And a few years ago, I bought fresh pineapples, and put the tops in a little pot of dirt and set them on the pool deck, and now the plants are huge. I'm going to put them in the ground and see if I can get fruit from them. I have 2 grow boxes on the deck and a raised bed in the yard. I love it! I am not interested in paying a dollar for one green pepper!!

  • scentednights By scentednights
    05.20.11  

    I love gardening. We have fruits, veggies and herbs. It's so rewarding to see things growing and feeding your family. In VT our last frost date it 5/25 so our garden isn't in yet but next weekend, I'm all over it!

  • mmbabiak By mmbabiak
    05.20.11  

    I'm working on a new veggie garden this year. When we moved in there were tons of things that we wouldn't eat. I've got tomatoes and peppers in the ground already, working on green beans and cucumbers and watermelon soon.

  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip
    06.10.11  

    I used to make a lot of pesto, it got really expensive from the store so I started growing a few pots of basil out on my patio. Super easy to do. And it just grows! I had way more then I could use, soon I was supplying the neighborhood, added benefit of gardening was meeting some new neighbors. I also grew a few other herbs and cherry tomato plants in pots. They did exceptionally well and it was a joy to go out each day to see how they'd grown from the day previous.

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