Perhaps the saying “we were made from dust, and to dust, we will return” is more than just a reminder of the brevity of life, but also a reminder that at the end of the day, we will all return to the Earth for our basic needs.
When supermarkets suddenly experience a shortage, when there is a disruption in the global supply chain, and when the systems that we trusted to protect us end up failing us the same way they did during the height of the pandemic, the only place we can turn to for our food is the ground.
All of this is to say that we will all benefit from learning how to garden and grow our own produce. If you are thinking of starting a home vegetable garden, here are some undeniable benefits to motivate you to start today.
It encourages a healthy lifestyle
If you and your family live off fast food, takeouts, and even unhealthy meals, having your own home garden will encourage you to begin healthier eating habits. If you want to change your lifestyle, healthy foods, ingredients, and recipes should be your priority, and having your own home garden will be a great way to ensure that you never run out of your favorite vegetables and fruits.
Another way a home garden improves your health is that it requires physical activity, sometimes even strenuous ones. It also provides you and your family with your daily dose of vitamin D, which can help enhance your calcium levels, which then advantages your bones and immune system—a necessity in the time of COVID-19. Studies also found that gardening helps burn calories, so if you find that regular exercise bores you and your family, gardening might be a more suitable alternative.
It benefits your kids
Several research and experts keep reminding parents that too much screen time for kids is harmful. Whether it’s through television or smaller gadgets like a smartphone or tablet, giving them unlimited screen time might negatively affect their behavior, learning ability, weight, sleep hygiene, and sensitivity levels to violence.
If you truly want your kids to experience life outside of the internet and television, allowing them to help you do some work in the yard is one of the best ways. Moreover, teaching them how to garden might help them gain a new appreciation for their privilege and that they don’t always have to work themselves to the ground to eat. It’s a teachable moment—one that will allow you to emphasize the value of agriculture and supporting our farmers.
But most importantly, it can be fun! Giving them small tasks like watering the plants or preparing the soil can be a fun bonding activity for your entire family, especially during summer when they might appreciate being out more.
It’s a great conversation-starter
Growing your own vegetable garden can be a wonderful way to start conversations, especially if you love sharing your family life on social media or whenever you have guests over. You might be surprised by how easily a conversation can flow when someone becomes curious about what you’re trying to grow in the garden or when you post a photo of an interesting plant or vegetable that not many people might know about.
Starting a home garden is also a wonderful way to advocate for local farmers and agriculture. There is a debt crisis among American farmers with smaller lands, and they face the threat of extinction, and they need our support now more than ever.
If you find yourself being passionate about this cause, starting a home garden might be a great way to gently educate the people around you about this issue. You can also consider meeting farmers in your area to ask how you can help them even through this small project.
It can help fight loneliness
If the pandemic has been rough on your mental health like it has been for many people, a home garden might be a great way to combat the effects of loneliness and loss. According to horticulturists, gardening can be a reason to spend time with others and meet people, so if you want to feel a little less lonely, invite family and friends to start a community garden with you.
There is no better time than now to appreciate the Earth and all it has to offer. Start a home garden and allow this project to improve your and your family’s overall health and well-being.