If you’ve been finding yourself sick of wasting money on groceries that don’t get eaten, not getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, not having time to go to the farmers market, or lacking time outdoors, then growing a veggie garden could be a great addition to your life in more ways than one.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables can have a huge impact on your health, and your mental health. Here’s why.
1. Relaxing / stress reducing
The relaxing effect that gardening induces has been well known for a long time. Similar to yoga and other sports, when gardening, the mind can enter the altered state of consciousness known as the ‘flow zone’, which allows us to think only about the task at hand, and gives our minds a much needed break from the stresses of everyday life and an overactive mind. This inevitably reduces our stress levels. In various studies, groups of people have shown lower cortisol levels after increasing time spent in the garden on a daily basis.
Gardening is known as moderate physical activity, which cultivates a healthier heart, boosts your feel-good hormones, and improves your overall fitness, including things like balance, flexibility and sensory perception. So if you don’t feel like going to yoga, tending to your veggie garden is another great option.
3. Save money
One packet of seeds can cost less than one dollar, and you will be surprised how many vegetables can grow from one plant. You will inevitably save money on groceries when you begin to stock your pantry with fresh produce.
4. Greater nutrition
The vitamin and mineral content of homegrown fruit and vegetables is at it’s highest when freshly picked, so they’re much more nutritious than store bought or imported produce. Homegrown fruits and vegetables are especially rich in phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate. Another plus - you’ll be soaking up the rays of sunshine and getting your required dose of vitamin D through the sun.
5. Better taste
Homegrown veggies are pocketfuls of flavour. And if it tastes better, you’re more likely to eat it. You can also be certain that your produce is being grown without any harmful pesticides, and in good conditions, without anything that could sacrifice that nutritious flavour! Just try and resist them!
6. Reduce your environmental impact.
Growing your own produce helps the environment by reducing the emissions and fossil fuel pollution used to transport foods to the supermarket, and if you grow your plants organically, without pesticides and herbicides, then you’re ensuring that the earth will return to it’s natural state without damaging the soil and making it harder for plants to grow in future. You can also make compost from any food waste and use it to fertilize your garden - the team at Bare Blends use wasted banana peels for compost at home, and more often than not, this compost works better than store-bought fertilizers.
So what are the best seeds to start growing at this time of year? In the warmer weather, we recommend trying tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, melons, beans, peppers, broccoli, carrots and lettuces.
Even if you don’t have a spacious backyard to build a planter, or if you live in a small area, you can still grow food. If you have a sunny balcony or a windowsill, you can still plant herbs. You may be amazed at how many tomatoes or peppers can grow out of one pot.
It’s also the perfect chance to turn any unsightly areas of your backyard into a beautiful thriving garden. While your plants grow, so will your health and happiness!