People usually associate growing their own food with roughing it (a la Swiss Family Robinson) or living in the countryside where it’s not unusual to see backyards with a couple of fruit trees and a vegetable patch.
In the city and even in suburbs, it’s uncommon to find people growing their own food because if homeowners do decide to cultivate plants, they’re usually ornamental.
However, your location shouldn’t limit or stop you from fulfilling your goals of self-sufficiency, including planting fruit trees, vegetables, root crops and herbs and raising your own livestock.
Growing your own food provides several benefits, including the following:
4 Benefits of Growing Your Own Food
1. Reduce Your Environmental Impact
People’s consumer mindset has alienated them from the story of the food they purchase from supermarkets or eat in restaurants. Most of us don’t really ask or wonder where our food comes from, other than look at the brand stamped on the packaging.
And even with imported food, we don’t think twice about buying pears from Peru, Italy or China. We’re so used to having fresh produce all year round, regardless of the season. We no longer care about the fact that for that food to reach the supermarket, it has to have traveled thousands of miles, used up a lot of fuel and lost a substantial amount of nutrients along the way.
Nobody asks about the carbon footprint of every pomegranate they buy that comes from Turkey, India or Greece, or the Arabica coffee beans from Vietnam, Colombia or Brazil. It’s the same with most consumer goods, whether it’s fish, meat, clothes or footwear.
But by producing your own food, you’ll be removing your environmental impact as a former conventional consumer who depended wholly on the mass food production system.
You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint in terms of food consumption and no longer contribute to food packaging waste.
2. Cut Down on Your Grocery Budget – Make Gardening A Family Hobby
A very practical benefit of growing your own food, whether it’s in your farm, vegetable patch or container garden in your city apartment, would be money savings. And it’s something you can do with your kids or the whole family.
If you grow your own spring onions, tomatoes, celery or lettuce, you’re sure to enjoy your first harvest from the sheer novelty of it. But once you have an established garden, you will find that you can save real money from no longer needing to buy some vegetable ingredients for your salad. If you have a decent-sized garden, you can grow more – whether it’s herbs, berries and vegetables.
You can even raise your own chickens and other livestock if you have the space and if it’s permitted in your area. You won’t need to buy eggs nor depend on the butcher or supermarket to supply the meat you consume.
3. Enjoy Better-Tasting Food
Homeowner gardeners usually don’t resort to using pesticides and chemical fertilizers commonly used in large-scale agriculture. This means that even without any effort on your part, you’ll be growing organic fresh produce.
Most fruits and vegetables taste best and are at their most nutritious when they are allowed to mature naturally and are newly harvested. With your food growing right at home, you can pick tomatoes, beans and berries off of their stems when they’re in season and enjoy their freshness and full flavor.
4. Make Your Health A Priority
Since you’ll be growing organic produce and/or raising livestock that’s not fed processed feed or injected with hormones, you know that what you’ll be eating is all-natural. You’ll also be feeding your family food that’s healthy, fresh and nutritious.
Of course, a big advantage of eating mostly organic, fresh and unprocessed food is their beneficial health effects. You’ll find yourself to be at a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and other health conditions associated with convenience food. You can enjoy a better quality of life, too.
Time To Start Growing Your Food
The thought of growing your food may seem like a fanciful idea or a novelty.
However, if you’re determined to lead a sustainable lifestyle or one that’s not wholly dependent on mass-produced consumer goods, then all you need to do is take the first step.
You don’t need a big budget to start. You can just try growing celery and lettuce from cuttings, or throw your rotten tomatoes in a compost pile to see seedlings sprouting in a few days. All that it requires to start is a bit of earth and some patience.
Soon, you’ll find the experience of growing your own food not only gratifying but a compelling lifestyle change that can save you money, help the environment and keep you healthy.
Read Also: How To Live A More Sustainable Life
Author Bio: Jonathon Deakins is a digital marketing consultant who works with a number of brands to develop and produce results from quantitative research on consumer behavior. Visit his website One Choice.