One of the biggest questions we get from those who are gardening-curious is WHY you would put all that time and effort into gardening when you can just walk down to the store and grab a tomato any time of year?
Well, we’re going to give you some very practical reasons why we think everyone should know how to garden, but before we do, we have to say that part of that joy of gardening is completely undefinable. The connection to nature, the pride of growing your own food, the miracle that is a plant going from seed to fruit—there is no amount of words or pretty pictures that will prepare you for that feeling. It’s like becoming a parent—there is just no way of knowing until you actually do it!
So, we can’t bottle that feeling and explain it to you, but what we can do is show you the very real, very practical reasons why you should start a vegetable garden. And hopefully those will be enough to get you growing!
Veggies taste SO much better.
You know how farmers’ market veggies taste far superior to the ones from the grocery store? Well guess what— they taste even BETTER when they’re picked out of your own garden right before you eat.
Exploring all kinds of interesting varieties.
You might be able to get one or two varieties of a specific produce item at your grocery store. At the farmers’ market, a bit more, but at home? Your possibilities are only limited to how many seeds you want to buy. Blue tomatoes, purple beans, chocolate peppers, cucamelons, lemon cucumbers, black carrots—you can have so much fun experimenting with different colors, textures, and flavors!
The best nutrition for your buck.
Every second produce is off the vine, it’s losing nutrients. The best way to get the most nutritional bang for your buck? Pick it from your own yard at the peak of freshness. Bonus: plants get the majority of the nutrients from something we can control— the soil they grow in! Good quality, nutrient-rich soil equals good quality, nutrient-rich veggies for your family.
Peace of mind knowing where your food comes from.
Do you know what went into growing that tomato you got at the grocery store? Do you know exactly where it came from, what variety it is, what chemicals were used on it, what the farmer’s name was, when it was picked? Nope. It kinda seems like we should know those things about our food, doesn’t it? With gardening, you know everything there is to know about your food.
A blast for the entire family.
Gardening is a fun family project for everyone to get involved in. It’s a great way to get kids away from screens (“C’mon, kids, let’s get really dirty and play with worms!” tends to get most kids away from their tablets), and it’s a great memory to have as a group.
Peaceful, meditative time.
You may or may not feel this, but a lot of the reason that gardeners keep coming back year-after-year is the inner peace they feel when working in the soil. There is something about literally connecting our hands with Mother Earth that brings a sense of calm to a lot of us.
It’s supremely satisfying!
I’ve won major awards. I built a business that sustains my family. I graduated with honors. Nothing—NOTHING—rivals the satisfaction of eating a veggie that you grew on your own from seed. It’s primal. It’s in our DNA. We’re meant to provide food for ourselves, and wowzers, does our brain reward us with happy chemicals when we do!
You can save money (eventually!).
A lot of people think that when they start a vegetable garden, it will be a big money saver, but the truth is—it can be quite pricey to get a garden set up and going. BUT! Once you get past the initial setup costs, you can get healthy, organic vegetables for a fraction of the cost of what you pay at the grocery store or farmers’ market. This is true even if you choose to just put in an herb garden!
Vegetable haters? No more!
If you have kids that are reluctant eaters, involving them in the growing (and cooking) process just might do the trick. When they see the process from seed to harvest, their pride switch gets flipped, too, and they want to try the literal fruits of their labor. I’ve seen self-proclaimed veggie haters munch on raw asparagus and raw radishes right out of the garden.
Some basic self-sufficiency skills are good for everyone to have—and knowing how to grow your own food is at the top of the list. If you’ve ever experienced a disruption in the food supply chain after a natural disaster, you know the terror that comes from not knowing where you’re going to get your next meal. For gardeners, their next meal is in their own backyard! Knowing that no matter what happens, you have the skills to grow food to feed your family, brings incredible peace of mind.
Less grass to mow.
A well-maintained vegetable garden is a beautiful addition to any yard or patio. And bonus: it’s less grass to mow! Why waste all your time fertilizing, weeding, and mowing your lawn, when you can transform that space and start a vegetable garden that feeds your family?