Growing a food garden is beneficial in many ways, I would encourage you to do so, read to the end to see what you stand to gain.
What is a Food Garden?
A food garden is a garden that exists to grow fruits and vegetables and other plants useful for human consumption,
in contrast to a flower garden that exists for aesthetic purposes.
A food garden is the ideal place where you are sure to get fresh food,
growing your own food provides fresh ingredients for your meals and assures food safety,
and food gardens can range from a pot of cucumber plant to a large garden.
Growing your own produce is a simple solution to many health, environmental and economic problems.
Whether you are growing a single plant or you have a large garden,
It is beneficial to your health and well-being, as well as the environment.
Growing your own food isn’t rocket science anyone can learn to grow food pretty well.
“Backyard garden can inspire you to take an interest in the origins of your food and make better choices about what you put on your plate” Dr. Helen Delichatsios
Health Benefit of Growing Your Own Food
- It helps you eat more nutritious food in its freshest, rawest form. It is not only the tastiest way to enjoy food, it’s the most nutritional,
fruits and vegetables grown in your garden will promote health because they are rich in nutrients,
especially in phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamin c, vitamin a, and folate.
- You decide what kinds or amount of fertilizers or manure and pesticides come in contact with your food making them healthier.
- It lets you control when to harvest your food, vegetables that ripen in the garden have more nutrients than some store or market bought vegetables picked early.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables from your own garden are higher in nutrients than the ones that have travelled several thousand miles to get to the market.
- Most fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value when stored for lengthy periods.
Applied Chemical preservatives and chemicals to ripen fruits , do nothing good for your health.
- Having your children assist you in the garden can increase the chance that they will eat more of the fruits and vegetables they helped to grow.
- Gardens increase physical activity. Food gardening is a gentle, relaxing and stress-lowering form of exercise,
It is a great way to engage the whole family in physical activity and let them help to take responsibility for the garden.
- Gardening is a great way to absorb vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is crucial to maintain healthy bones and teeth, and it protects against certain diseases.
- The fruit and vegetables in supermarkets bred for appearance, a long shelf life and resistance to bruising during transport.
The fruit and vegetables best to grow in your own backyard, are for being nutritious and delicious.
- You have reduced your carbon footprint by reducing the food miles of what you eat.
Personal Benefits of Growing Your Food
- Gardening gives you a real sense of appreciation and joy when you can see the bounty of your effort.
- Growing a garden gives you a new appreciation for nature,
When you have the opportunity to see how things grow, this helps you see the awesomeness of God in his creations.
- Gardens can lead to new skills and knowledge for you and your family.
It may stimulate many new interests, you may want to learn more about botany, landscape architecture, photography, nutrition.
- Gardening gives you the opportunity to give back when you have an abundant harvest you might give some produce to neighbors and friends.
- This can be a great time to create memories with your children, memories that can last a lifetime.
- It teaches us character such as patience, care, discipline.
Environmental Benefits of Growing Your Food
- Tall fruit trees provide shade.
- Less use of pesticide or natural pesticide there will be less contamination to the environment
- Produced peels and waste can create a lot of green waste and takes up a lot of space in the trash can,
Having a garden will prompt you to recycle them to make your own compost. It is less expensive than buying fertilizers.
- Turn lands into attractive landscapes and a good use of excess land.
- It enhances the environment around you, giving you fresh and clean air.
Financial Benefits of Growing Your Food
- You don’t have to worry about the prices of vegetables, herbs and fruits continuing to rise,
Growing your own fruits and vegetables will help save money, by growing your own food you cut costs on your food expenses.
How to start a food garden
To start a food garden there are a few steps listed out here for more details see things to consider before starting a garden.
- You need the right location for your garden to get started
- Choose the right garden approach that works for you
- Understand your climate zone in your area
- Decide on what you want to grow
- Find out where to source seeds or seedlings in your area
- Get some basic garden tools to get started
- Learn how to plant crops the right way.
Foods you can grow in your garden
We encourage beginners to start with vegetables.
The reason is simply that most vegetables are easy to grow and they do not take too long to harvest,
For example green (amaranthus) takes about a month to get ready for harvest.
This helps to boost your confidence as you get more accustomed to growing your own food.
Then some crops like banana, plantain are not difficult to plant.
For fruit trees it all depends on the space available to you, you would like to consider trees that do not grow too big except you have a lot of space.
Trees like the ugba (oil bean) tree, date palm, would take up lots of space except for improved varieties.
An orange tree is lovely to have at home.
Let’s get in to a brief list of crops you can grow at home
- Green (amaranthus)
- Ugu (fluted pumpkin)
- Scent leaf
- Bitter leaf
- Jute leaf (ewedu)
- Sweet potatoes
- Water or java apple
- Avocado pear
- Coco yam
- Lemon grass
I can’t exhaust The list. These are a few examples to guide you, make your own list and start.
Get inspired, get creative, take full control of what you eat, and start a food garden today.
Draw some inspiration from my gardening journey.