Most people don’t enjoy going to the grocery store. It’s a mundane chore you put off all week, and when you finally venture out on Saturday, all the produce is picked over.
The muted, pinkish tomatoes sit blankly in their rows. The wilted lettuce doesn’t look very appetizing. You can’t even find an apple without an ugly bruise.
Now try getting your kids to eat those fruits and vegetables.
But when you wiggle your fingers into the warm soil in a garden that you’ve lovingly grown yourself, anything could happen. You might find a monster potato or a tiny carrot that your child will beg to keep as a pet. It’s never dull, and best of all, everything is as fresh as it gets.
Image: ProBuild Garden Center, via Flickr (CC license)
Planting your own garden isn’t just entertaining and tasty. Giving in to your green thumb can transform your home, your family, and your lifestyle.1. You'll Eat Healthier.
By growing your own produce, you can be sure that you and your family are eating fresh, nutritious food. Buying a week’s worth of produce from a supermarket can be challenging on a budget, but the only expenses of a food garden are the seeds, the soil, a little work, and luck. Plus, when you grow your food, you can ensure your veggies have been grown without harmful pesticides.
Your plot can be harvested and recycled, providing your family with years of good stuff. Tomatoes, peppers, green beans, zucchini, and herbs are particularly easy and fun plants for beginners.
2. Get Some Exercise
Looking after a garden is a great way to stay active. Tending to your plot will bring you outside at least a few times a week for weeding, watering, and reaping the fruits of your labor. If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, these sessions will help you burn calories without even noticing you’re doing it. And the great outdoors smells a lot better than the gym.
3. You'll Bond With the Family
Just like eating dinner together helps strengthen family bonds, growing the food you eat from scratch is an easy way to feel connected and work together. Sharing gardening with children will help them develop good eating habits, and they’ll learn about the rewards of hard work and patience.4. You'll Save Money
Growing your own fruits and vegetables and saving your produce in the form of jellies, preserves, and pies can dramatically reduce your supermarket spending. Not only that, but having a functional, well-kept home will add value to your property. Even if you’re not looking to sell anytime soon, cultivating your garden with edible delights like a fruit tree or berry bush is a smart investment in your home.5. You'll Get to Know Your Neighbors
What better way to introduce yourself to your neighbors than by offering them a bunch of fresh carrots? You never know when you’re going to need your neighbors to feed the dog, lend you some milk for your morning cereal, or grab the mail while you’re on vacation. Creating a good vibe is very important, and nothing says “welcome to the neighborhood” like fresh garden goodness.
The best part about starting a garden is that it can be customized for any size or shape of plot, any lifestyle, and any dietary requirements. If you’re too busy to take care of a large plot or your outdoor space is limited, try making a container garden or filling a hanging structure with herbs or strawberries.
Once you’ve mastered a small project, the world’s your food garden: You could grow pumpkins for Halloween, edible flowers for cake decorating, or turn your whole garden into a feast. You’ll be like the Willy Wonka of vegetables. Sounds more exciting than going to the grocery store, doesn’t it?
Elizabeth Dodson is the co-founder of HomeZada, a cloud-based home improvement and organizational software tool. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home improvement projects, maintenance, inventory, property information, and property value. Check out HomeZada’s blog for more helpful tips!
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