Imagine not having to worry about whether there’s an adequate supply of fresh produce at your local grocery store or whether it has been put on a recall list.Cygnet Brown
Imagine every night going to the garden and picking vegetables for your supper. Imagine not having to worry about whether there’s an adequate supply of fresh produce at your local grocery store or whether it has been put on a recall list. Wouldn’t it also be nice to know that you have the added satisfaction of knowing exactly how your vegetables were grown and that it’s fresh?
\That’s some of what you’ll get when you develop a seasonal garden. What is a seasonal garden you ask? A seasonal garden is a garden that isn’t just planted once in a season and then forgotten. It’s a garden that you start planting early in the spring before the last frost and continue planting over the rest of the summer so that you have a continuous harvest all the way until the last frost and beyond.
Increased Nutrition in Vegetables
You’ll love the fact that you’re picking your produce from your garden daily and eating it fresh because it increases the produce’s nutritional value. According to a University of California study, vegetables lose 30% of their nutritional value within a week of being picked and spinach can lose up to 90% of its vitamin C within 24 hours of harvest. By picking your vegetables straight from your own garden, you’ll be giving your family the most nutritious food possible.
If you raise it organically, you’ll be getting an even higher nutritional content because the soil would have more micro-nutrients available for your vegetables. Considerable evidence exists that decreases in nutrition may be related to changes in farming methods, including the extensive use of chemical fertilizers, as well as food processing and preparation. A 2004 study evaluated Department of Agriculture data for 43 garden crops from 1950 to 1999. The researchers found statistically reliable declines for six nutrients — protein, calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamins B2 and C.
An added benefit to growing your food organically is that it can cost you less than growing it using chemical fertilizers especially if you’re composting house and yard wastes and using it in the garden!
Protect the Environment
Growing your garden and eating it directly can help protect the environment and lower your carbon footprint. Recycle yard and garden waste to keep it out of landfills! Decrease transportation costs to the environment because your vegetables are not coming from other states or countries! Decreases the need for food processing for storage in things like canning supplies, freezers, and dehydrators because you’re using your vegetables straight from the garden!
Use Your Gardening Hoe as a Piece of Exercise Equipment!
Plus, if you choose to dig your garden by exclusively using hand tools like hoes, shovels, rakes, and broad forks, not only will you be lowering your carbon footprint, but you’ll benefit from increased physical activity as well. It provides healthy exercise. The bending, stooping, raking, hoeing, and digging of your garden will likely increase the amount of exercise you are getting. In addition, time in the sun provides vitamin D.
The Emotional Benefits of Gardening
It benefits your emotional and mental health too. Along with being an excellent way to fill your free time, gardening also helps to promote mental health and emotional wellness. The American Institute of Stress states that gardening can have the following mental health benefits:
- Reduces stress hormones like cortisol.
- Improves the ability to focus.
- Encourages creativity.
- Improves self-confidence.
- Reduces stress levels.
Gardening and Eating Fresh Can Save You Money!
It will save you money in many ways as well. Growing food organically and making household and yard wastes into compost saves money on fertilizer. Using produce directly from the garden daily prevents the expense of canning or freezing. It even reduces the need for refrigerator space because you’re using the produce soon after you pick it up!
Also with the price of food going up and up these days, the carrots you plant now may be worth much more by the time they are ready to harvest!
Amazing Benefits to Eating Fresh from the Garden!
As you develop your garden, you’ll get better and better at being able to eat from your garden every day. If you compost your house and yard wastes, your garden soil will become better and better, and your health will continue to improve as well because your exercise and food consumption will be of better quality. You’ll save money. You’ll be helping the planet as well by removing carbon from the air and replenishing it in the soil. It will be a win, win, win!
Can you think of other benefits for this type of gardening? Please share them in the comments below.
If you want to know more about seasonal gardening, follow this blog to learn more and about when my latest book The Seasonal Garden will be available! In it you’ll learn the how-tos of growing a garden you can eat from frost to frost and beyond. If you’re in obtaining a review copy, let me know in the comments below! Interested in what else I write? Check out my other blog How My Spirit Sings