The grow your own food movement just continues to go from strength to strength. More and more people are joining the revolution and taking control – taking responsibility for the food that ends up on their plates and having great fun in the process. A polytunnel makes it easier than ever before to succeed in your home growing endeavours. If you are not yet convinced that you should grow your own food – here are just some of the reasons why growing at least some of your own food is a wonderful idea:
Grow Your Own For Your Own Health and Well-Being
Producing fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from your own garden will make it easier to eat well. When you grow organically, you can rest easy knowing that you are not ingesting chemicals that could be bad for your health.
Organic food can be expensive, but growing your own means you will be able to eat well for far, far less. Saving you money on your household bills is just one of the ways in which growing your own can reduce stress.
The very act of gardening has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental as well as physical health. Beneficial bacteria in garden soil can even make you happier.
Grow Your Own For Your Family
It is not only you yourself who can benefit from the edible garden you create. Growing and eating fresh, healthy produce from your garden year round can have a positive impact on the health and well-being of your whole family.
If you have kids, giving them the opportunity to learn and grow alongside a range of plants and wildlife will give them a great start in life. Many kids will love tending their own little section of your garden, and helping to harvest and prepare delicious recipes using the things you have grown.
Tending an edible garden can be a fun bonding experience for the whole family – a great way to get them away from those screens and to spend more quality time together.
Grow Your Own For the Planet
Looking beyond the personal benefits, growing your own is also great for the planet. If you grow your own you can:
- Reduce your carbon footprint. (By reducing your reliance on large scale agriculture, which comes at a huge carbon cost, and reducing the transportation required to get food onto your plate.)
- Help to safeguard our soils. (Much of the food we eat is not grown in a sustainable way. If we do not change, our topsoils may be degraded beyond repair. Growing organically at home is one way to help shift the tide and solve this problem.)
- Help to safeguard our waters. (Fresh water around the world is wasted and polluted at an alarming rate. The agricultural industry takes much of the blame, so growing your own food at home is one small way to contribute to a solution to this problem.)
- Help to protect wildlife. (Pesticides, herbicides and poor farming practice often mean that wildlife suffers. Growing food organically at home can help you do your bit for the creatures with whom you share your space.)
- Reduce waste. (Plastic packaging is a major problem. Growing your own food means relying less on supermarkets or other shops and significantly reducing the plastic waste you generate in your household. Gardening can also allow you to reduce food waste, and to recycle cardboard and other things at home.)
Do you already grow your own food at home? If not, why not? The benefits are undeniable and it is easier than you may imagine to get started. Anyone can grow at least some food at home. Any tips to share to help novice gardeners? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.