Starting a garden may be one of those things you’re always thinking you should do. But you haven’t yet pulled the trigger, or dug in the spade so to speak. Life is busy, and sometimes those great ideas and intentions fall to the wayside. My husband can tell you of a roadside treasure (read: an old console tv) that sat under our carport for about a year while I “planned” to make it into a bookshelf. It eventually ended up back on the side of the road in front of our house. Alas…
So maybe what you need is an incentive or some really great reasons why you should garden, because there are quite a few out there. It’s one of the only hobbies you can pick up that produces multiple returns for your efforts and can be shared by the whole family. This short list only covers some of the benefits of jumping in and starting a garden!
1. There’s no time like the present- We’re still in January, the month we’re typically the most motivated to get things done and start our year right. It’s never too early to start thinking and planning for your spring garden; so go ahead and start thinking about where you’d put a garden, or how many pots you’d want (if you’re leaning toward a container garden). Spring will be here before you know it! I’ll have posts coming in February about how to start your planning. (Need help planning? Grab our free Kitchen Garden Planner!)
2. Seeing the fruits of your labors- There’s no greater feeling than watching a plant grow and produce before your eyes. The beauty of a tiny seed growing into a plant that then yields food is truly a gift from God. I’m still amazed every year; it never gets old! And if you have kids living at home, they will be just as amazed. Start those seeds indoors and let them track the growth for a built-in science activity. (Here’s a great seed starting activity in egg cartons.)
3. Taste and see- There’s a huge difference between the fruit and veggies you grow yourself (or get from a neighbor) versus what you buy at the grocery store. Now, I’m not knocking the grocery store; I’m there every week, and it’s a huge blessing. But, if possible, I like to know where my food comes from and what’s on it (i.e. wax, pesticides, etc.). Try growing one of your favorite fruits, veggies, or herbs and notice the difference yourself. And the fact that you can pick that produce at the peak of freshness is awesome!
4. Excellent exercise- Getting outside and planting, weeding, pruning, and harvesting your garden is a great way to work those muscles! And the best part is that you also get food for your “workout” efforts. Win win! There’s also the mental health component. Spending time focusing on nurturing something and getting out of the house works wonders for your mood and stress levels. Think of it as free therapy.
5. Set the example- Particularly if you have children, showing them the connection between what they eat and where it comes from is an awesome lesson. Also, showing them how they can be involved in growing food is so empowering. I remember watching my dad grow turnip greens in the fall. And I loved to go outside, pull one up, and chow down. Now my kids love to explore in the garden, snacking on beans and spinach while playing in the backyard. (You could even grow a bean teepee for playtime or have a small children’s garden for them to tend.)
So, I hope you’ll take the plunge and start that garden this year. It doesn’t have to be big, in fact, just start with a pot or two. You’ll be amazed at what you can grow! I have all kinds of resources for help growing vegetables and herbs in your garden. Have a specific garden question? Ask away in the comment below!