Nowadays, with high food prices and even the supermarkets seemingly selling less and less “real food”, more and more people are returning to the old tradition of growing their own produce, ranging from as little as a small herb patch right up to full self-sufficiency producing all their own fruit and vegetables.
Having your own vegetable patch or fruit garden was once commonplace, but fell out of favor as the food industry become more commercial and supermarkets began to take over. In recent years, more and more people have started to explore growing their own produce again.
There are many reasons why people decide to start growing their own fruit and veg. Here are my top five reasons why you should grow your own food.
As soon as a fruit or vegetable is picked, it starts to lose flavor and nutrients. Most fruit you buy from the shops had been picked well before it was ripe, so by the time, it gets to you the best taste is long gone. Growing your own fruit and vegetables means you can pick them when they’re at their absolute freshest – allowing you to taste them just as nature intended!
The big supermarkets bring you lots of choices, and you often pay less for your weekly shop than you would if buying directly from the farm. Commercially grown crops are often selected solely for their high yields, uniform appearance and long shelf lives to appeal to the most price-conscious consumers. But when you grow your own, you can concentrate on the quality, not on the economics.
We have all been told that if we buy fresh produce we will enjoy better quality food and lower prices. I would argue that, in reality, fresh produce is hugely overpriced in comparison to how much it costs to grow yourself. Of course, you may not crave a variety of vegetables the way you do the latest iPhone, laptop, or designer handbag, but ‘necessity’ is truly the mother of invention – you can grow any type of vegetable using small space and some effort.
More and more people are having concerns about how our food is produced, with the chemical pesticides used to produce fruit and vegetables a particular worry. This can lead to health issues such as cancer, birth defects, organ damage, and even death. Genetically modified (GM) food is also a worry, particularly with the recent news that one of the world’s largest GMO companies has found its seeds to grow uncontrollably in America’s cornfields. They’re threatening to sue.
Personally, when I’m buying fruit or vegetables from the supermarket I tend to stick with a couple of types that I know are easy to cook with and taste nice. But, did you know that there are literally thousands of different varieties of fruit and vegetables? This means that our choice is often limited to a few select kinds of apple, for example, rather than the hundreds of traditional kinds that exist. Growing your own lets you pick the varieties you like the most, and experiment to find new ones you’ll rarely see on sale.
In the end, the best thing is to just get started with growing something. There’s no better inspiration than seeing something grow out of your own efforts. With perseverance and patience, you’re sure to be rewarded with fresh homegrown fruit and vegetables that you can use to make delicious meals for yourself, your friends, and your family.
So if you’re at the beginning of your gardening adventure, or are a seasoned pro, it is worth having a think about what you want from growing your own fruit and veggies. It will help you pick the right varieties of plants to suit you, plus encourage you in achieving your goals.