Helloo beautiful people!
Hope you guys had a good day today. Mine was actually pretty good before I went to work. Isn’t that usually the case for most people. One day that’s going to change for me though, but that’s for another day.
During the day I got to spend time with my grandpa, going to home depot and starting up the garden. I actually never thought of starting a garden till my grandparents started living with us. My parents never mentioned it, and I always thought that it wasn’t necessary. I could go to the supermarket for everything and save time. It wasn’t till a few years ago, I started getting into farmer’s markets, seasonal, and local produce.
Well, when we got our new house and my grandparents came to live with us it was the perfect opportunity to start a small, but fruitful garden. No matter how much you are into food or plants, you learn to see the benefits and take pride in your own produce. Why start one this year?
1. Save the environment. When you go to the supermarket, you can get produce from anywhere in the world anytime of the year. I don’t know about you, but I never heard of be able to grow in the dead of winter in the Northeast coast, not without pesticides or special genes being injected in the plants (GMOs) When you’re buying produce that comes from anywhere in the world, the amount of greenhouse emissions goes up dramatically. The planes and car mileage to get from New Zealand to the US is unreal and unnecessary. If everyone would be able to plant a little something, there wouldn’t be a need to transport as much food as we do now.
2. Save money. To buy a plant to start up in the summer literally is as cheap as buying a pound of fruit for one shopping trip at the supermarket. We got 10 different plants for $20. Once they start growing and blooming. You are set for a few months. If you are lucky enough to have the space and green thumb, you can actually be growing produce 9 months out of the year (in the Northeast). If you are a summer salad lova, or a fall squash junkie, think of how much money you can save not needing to buy that every week.
3. More nutrients. The nutrients are at their peak fresh off the vine. Once ripe and picked, ideally, is when one should consume them. Once they have been sitting around or picked before ripened, they lose the nutritional value that the vegetable could have had. They actually stop producing nutrients and start a process towards spoilage. When you buy produce from the supermarket, the average piece of produce takes about 2 weeks to get from the farm to your house. Then, it doesn’t take into account when a person actually consumes it. Not only that, but you are most likely reducing your intake of any pesticides that contaminate your food. Unless you buy organic, pesticides actually hinder the nutritional value and absortion of your produce.
4. Taste better. Fresh food taste better. Period. Why does you mom’s cooking always seem to taste better than going out? It’s fresh. It’s familiar. It’s love. I’ve actually learned this from going to the farmers market. The quality of food was so much better coming from a farm 20 miles away, than a farm thousands miles away. It is crazy. Crazy good. The food that you grow is also seasonal. Jersey corn? Jersey tomatoes. Puh-lease. Never going to find anything more yummy in the summer. Taking the food from your own backyard can ensure seasonality, freshness, and deliciousness to be the best it may be.
5. Be one with nature. This is when I start getting a little bit cheesy, but seriously, I can’t express how good it feels to get out. To be able to get out in the sun, pick your plants, get the land ready, and put your hands in the soil feels amazing. Could it be the vitamin D? The nutrients of the soil between your fingers? That’s just real vitamins and nutrients doing it’s thang. Positive energy at it’s finest. Seeing the plants grow and picking them off, there is always a bit of happiness and pride that comes with it. The energy from the ground to your plate is there. Just like love is the secret ingredient in any meal, love is also the secret ingredient to a fruitful yummy life.
Do what you can. Any bit makes a difference. Try growing what you know you might use more often. Tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers are usually hits within many household. Try even having your favorite herb around. I love me some summer mint, so I’m excited to report that I brought me some for this year 🙂
I may never be able to grow peaches and corn in my yard, but for that there are the farmers markets and CSA programs. You are supporting your community and the practice of eating local. Not only can you meet different people in the community, but you get to know the people that were able to grow your food. In the summer and early fall months, a weekly trip is always necessary Walking through the markets is something I look forward to every summer. It’s a beautiful kind of therapy.
I hope this helps. Here’s a website so you may find your local farmers market or CSA program to join.