Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a fun and rewarding hobby. Not only does it open up a whole new world of fresh, seasonal vegetables, but it makes you more in tune with nature and helps you to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables dramatically reduces your food’s carbon footprint. Your food will be grown in your back garden or local allotment, which should only be within a couple of miles from your home. Not only will your food have no food miles, but also it will not be responsible for releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere via exhaust fumes from cars, ships and planes.
The food you grow is also less likely to have involved the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which harm the environment and interfere with the eating patterns of local wildlife. Therefore, by growing your own food, and growing it organically, you are improving the quality of the local environment for wildlife (including bees, birds and bats), and preventing chemicals being leeched into local rivers (which can kill fish).
If you grow your own food, you are more likely to eat it within a few hours of harvesting it. This means there will be a greater number of nutrients in the food, and therefore in you. A greater number of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals will boost your immune system and help expel harmful free radicals from the body (free radicals attack the body’s cells, and can lead to the development of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s).
The physical activity of digging, caring for and harvesting your food will also make you fitter and healthier. What’s more, growing your own fruit and vegetables gladdens the heart, and so you will be more relaxed and happy (which will improve your health).
Perhaps the best thing about growing your own fruit and vegetables is that the food your grow tastes better. This is because it is grown without the pressure to perform beyond its natural means, and it is usually consumed a very short time after it has been harvested.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables also increases the types of fruit and vegetables you eat. Only a few varieties of fruit and vegetable are available to buy in the supermarkets and they are usually chosen because of their storage abilities rather than how good they taste. There are many varieties of strawberries, apples, potatoes, courgettes and tomatoes, to name but a few. Each one has a distinct flavour and balance of nutrients, so by growing a few different varieties you will be eating a more varied diet.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables is something fun you can do with friends and family. People of all ages can grow their own food. Children will love to help planting and harvesting food, and there are plenty of thriving allotment communities that will happily welcome you and help you learn the best methods of growing your own.
Once you have started growing your own, you will not want to stop. Growing your own food will bring you more in tune with nature and real, natural food. It will make you healthier and happier, and open up a whole new world of flavour.