Growing your own vegetables is a fairly easy way to save money on your food bills, but there is more to gardening than just saving money. Growing your own food allows the gardener to have complete control over what they eat, and control over the growing process of that food. In short, if we are what we eat then there is all the more reason to grow what we eat. Gardening is a excellent way to decrease the cost of foods found in your local market. With a little bit of effort, gardeners can save a lot of money. Last year my 12 foot by 12 foot garden produced enough food that if bought in the supermarket would have cost over $700. So my garden saved me $700 in food costs. That is a lot of money!
What is more, astonishing than saving $700 is that the quality of the food produced in my garden was higher than what was available in the market. We are talking about vine ripe as compared to store ripened produce. As gardeners, we are able to go to the garden and pick what we want to eat. Growing food organically has a direct boost to health. Better quality food equates easily to better quality vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Those are what the human body requires from food. So gardening not only saves the gardener money in the cost of food it adds a positive contribution to the entire gardening family. So not just the gardeners health benefits, but the whole family.
Tools that are needed to garden
- A space: Choose a space that gets full sun because vegetables and flowers like to have at least 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
- A Shovel: A good shovel costs about $30, but they can be found around at garage sales for cheap. Gardeners need a shovel to dig the dirt where the garden will be. Garden soil should be dug and turned a minimum of 1 foot and preferable 2 feet deep.
- Water Source: A hose costs about $15 plus or minus. Gardens should be watered slowly over a period of a couple of hours each day. Some plants like to be watered deeply a few times a week. Tomatoes like to be watered less often but deeper then most plants.
- Seeds or seedlings: Some plants grow easily from seeds and some do better once well established. Choosing seeds is cheaper than buying seedlings so if saving money is your goal then consider seeds. Squash, peas, carrots, beets, etc grow easily from seed, but tomatoes for beginning gardeners do better if the gardener buys seedlings.
That is all that gardeners need to begin to garden all that remains is a little hard work and your garden will be off to a great start. Amending soil can add additional nutrients to the ground. This is easily achieved by buying manure or even bagged compost. By your second season of gardening, the waste byproduct from the garden will be enough to sustain a compost pile. Compost is an excellent garden amendment.
Why Do We Garden?
Gardening produces foods that are cheaper in cost, but that is not the only reason to garden. Many gardeners grow their own food out of love for gardening. This is something that will develop as gardeners begin to harvest your own food. Having complete control over the growing process is also another reason why growing your own food is essential. Eating what we grow is an excellent way to bring the healthy aspect of organic foods to your own table! Growing a garden helps the environment too. Plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen so growing plants helps to eliminate green house gasses from the air where we live. This not only improves your local environment it helps to improve your health, as well.
Another fundamental reason why more people should grow their own food in an organic garden is that small private gardens benefit bees. The news has been full of stories about colony collapse and the pending doom of the honey bee. Small private gardens help to take the stress off of bees because the garden provide easy resources for the bees to consume. What do bees consume? Nectar and pollen are what bees consume. So while, an organic garden helps to save money each month, helps to improve the health of the gardener and family, helps to clear up the environment, it also helps to sustain one organism that every person is indebted to…the Honey bee. Certainly in this list of positives is a reason why every reader should start their own organic garden. Remember, gardens come in all sizes and shapes. Gardens can be started in an old coffee can, or they can take up three acres.