Why you should grow your own fruits & vegetables

1) They taste better!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that grocery store vegetables and fruits just can’t compare to garden fresh produce in terms of flavor. Tomatoes and strawberries I am looking at you in particular. I’ve gone through whole depressing seasons when I was almost convinced that these two were not worth eating, that my fond childhood memories must have been a lie… and then I was blown away by the kaleidoscope of flavors in a fresh cherry tomato, or a little alpine strawberry grown in my backyard.

2) You can try foods that are not available in the grocery store

I relish the opportunity to try something new every year. Blue potatoes? Parsley root? Elephant garlic? Sign me up. Since there is no need for shipping, there is no need to chose conventional veggies or fruit varieties that are bred primarily for transportation. Instead, you can grow varieties known for their flavor or aesthetics.

3) You save money

Shopping for produce in your backyard can save a pretty penny. For maximum effect on the pocket book, grow those things that cost the most money to buy. When a single bell pepper retails for a dollar or more, putting in a few bell pepper plants just makes sense. Other plants recommended for thrifty gardeners include raspberries and blackberries, quince, and tomatoes.

4) It’s good for your health and happiness

Gardening makes for great moderate impact exercise and gets you out of doors to get some fresh air and sunshine. Also, there is just something about watching things grow that is good for the soul. Soil has even been shown to contain microbes that work like antidepressants! Finally, there is nothing that encourages increased vegetable consumption like growing them yourself.

5) It’s easy

You don’t need your own farm or even a particularly big yard to grow some produce. If you don’t have room for a garden bed, use a pot on the patio or even a balcony. Start with one or two low-maintenance plants you know you like. Herbs are easy and a lot of fun to grow, or put in a tomato plant or two. You can even mix in ornamental edibles in your front yard. I sometimes sow pumpkin seeds in my front flower bed. The attractive pumpkins appear just when everything else is done blooming.

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