I am a god. I am a bringer of life. I rule all those beneath me. I decide what lives or dies. It is by my hand that the fruit of my labor thrives or perishes. I am the master of all... [clear throat here]. At least that is how I feel as I tend my bountiful vegetable garden. While it is unlikely to turn a person into a deity, growing you own vegetables and herbs at home can still be a very healthy and rewarding pastime.
Although the physical benefits may vary from person to person, gardening provides many opportunities for exercise. Depending on the size of one's garden, physical tasks may include light work such as weeding or heavier workouts using large digging tools or power equipment such as a tiller. If an individual is especially worried about their health or simply prefers a more natural diet, they may seek out organic foods. How better to guarantee the healthfulness of one's own produce than to grow it at home? To do so organically merely means to grow plants without the use of pesticides or synthetic chemicals. In other words, a person can regulate what goes into their plants, and in turn, what goes into their bodies.
Many people fail to recognize that there are economical benefits to home grown foods as well. This can literally be a costly mistake. Fresh foods spoil faster than their processed counterparts. However, growing vegetables and herbs at home provides the freshest foods and may allow you to save a few trips to the store. Not only could this potentially save money on gas, but you grocery bill may be reduced as well. Another frequently overlooked benefit to purchasing less prepackaged foods is the reduction of waste. No packaging means less garbage. Also, vegetable clippings and other waste can be recycled into gardens as nutrient-rich compost.
It is beneficial not to underestimate the emotional rewards of tending a garden. Some people find time in the warm sunlight revitalizing, but everyone can profit from the vitamin D the sun provides. A great number of people also say gardening helps relieve stress. The reasons for this vary from quiet time alone to collect and organize their thoughts to a sense of peace as they commune with nature, making them feel more in touch with the world around them. In addition, because of the seemingly endless varieties of vegetation available to choose from, designing a garden can range from a window box of herbs to a wild expanse of outdoor vegetables. This often inspires creative expression, providing additional opportunities for enjoyment.
While the advantages of gardening at home are many, it is up to the individual to decide what level of interest they have and how much energy they wish to dedicate to such a venture. It is my belief that the health benefits of growing one's own food make it something everyone should try at least once in their life. Whether you purchase a plant and purely attempt to keep it alive, or go all out and work from seeds to well-tended plants, I highly recommend vegetable and herb gardening at home. One taste and you may find it hard to depend on your grocer ever again!
- "The Advantages of Having Your Own Organic Vegetable Garden - Gardening Articles - Organic Gardening." Organic-Gardening.net. Web. 18 Feb. 2010. <http://www.organic-gardening.net/articles/garden-advantages.php>.
- "Planting A Vegetable Garden Reaps Hidden Health Benefits." Buzzle.com. Web. 17 Feb. 2010. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/planting-vegetable-garden-reaps-hidden-health-benefits.html>.
- "Some of the Benefits to Vegetable Gardening." HubPages.com. Web. 19 Feb. 2010. <http://hubpages.com/hub/vegetablegardeningbenefits>.
- "Three Advantages of Having Your Own Organic Vegetable Garden." Ezinearticles.com. Web. 19 Feb. 2010. <http://ezinearticles.com/?Three-Advantages-of-Having-Your-Own-Organic-Vegetable-Garden&id=1289525>.
- "The Top Ten Benefits of Growing Your Own Herb Garden." GardeningKnowHow.com. Web. 17 Feb. 2010. <http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/herb/the-top-ten-benefits-of-growing-your-own-herb-garden.htm>.