Consumers are feeling the pinch and many are turning to planting vegetables in their backyards to cut down on their grocery expense. As per one estimate, 20% more households this year will start vegetable gardening, mostly in their backyards, giving rise to the term recession gardens. Growing your own vegetables has a terrific return on investments. Some estimates say every $50 spent in seeds and garden supplies, returns $1250 in form of savings in the grocery bill. For people who regularly buy organic produce, the cost savings are even greater. As long as you are thinking of growing your own veggies, you might as well consider growing organic with little extra cost. For the last few weeks, we have been planning our backyard garden where we will be growing organic vegetables of many different varieties and discussing what we want to get out of this garden.
Here are the 10 reasons we believe everyone should consider planting a organic vegetable garden this year.
- Cost savings: We have spent approximately $50 in supplies and seeds, with an estimate of $100 for additional spending in the future to outfit the garden with a composting system as well as any additional supplies as needed. Contrast this with $40-$50 we spend on veggies every other week.
- Great tasting nutritious food and peace of mind: It is great to know exactly how your vegetables are grown and not having to worry about pesticides and other toxins. Besides, freshly harvested organically grown veggies taste great!
- Energy savings: Your veggies are grown locally, by you, and does not need to be transported 3000 miles from a farm to your table. Consider the amount of fossil fuel that can be saved if a significant proportion of us started consuming locally produced vegetables
- Environmentally friendly: Using organic methods of growing veggies is environmentally friendly as no toxic chemicals are mixed into the soil. Additionally, composting the scraps of your garden returns the organic material back to the soil
- Exercise: Working in a garden is a great form of exercise that can be performed by almost everyone.
- Clean air: As long as you are working outside, you are getting fresh clean air. But most of all, replacing a part of your lawn with a vegetable garden can produce greater amounts of oxygen for the atmosphere and reduce greenhouse gases.
- Reducing landfills: If you compost, you will be using up most of the organic kitchen waste, grass clippings, dead leaves, etc from the yard to feed your garden. This means less garbage to put out, less use of plastic garbage bags and paper garden waste bags. A great review of different composting techniques can be found at Amy Stewart’s blog.
- Getting back to the nature: Yes, we have lost our touch with the nature as we navigate out way through the material world. Working in a garden forces you to look at nature in a new light and with greater respect.
- Stress relief: Gardening is a great stress reliever as you are focus on the task at hand you leave behind your worries from work and business. Atleast for some time.
- Bonding and education: For many of us who have small kids, getting them to help out with the garden is a great way of spending time together and strengthen our bonds. It also allows us many teachable moments with our kids.
If you are someone who is planning to start your own organic vegetable patch this year, or someone who has been doing it for many years, please let us know your main reasons for doing it and the biggest benefits you get out of it.