Most people don’t give much thought to the food they buy at grocery shops, but things have started to change. With several food recalls in the past decade and particularly with the latest COVID pandemic that has kept us mostly sheltering at home, growing an organic garden that produces fresh and healthy food has become more important than ever.
Food safety might be just one of the reasons to start your own organic garden, but there are many more – it’ll keep you active, you’ll be saving money, you’ll always have fresh, tasty food and herbs at hand, and you’ll be making your mark in environmental preservation.
A better taste
Rarely anything can compare to having delicious fresh carrots and baby tomatoes plucked from the garden just 10 minutes before. Such authentic flavour is one of the many pleasures you’ll enjoy by having your organic garden.
A large variety of veggies and fruits you buy in shops has been adapted for the purposes of commercial farming so that more produce is yielded from one plant, ready in time for harvest, having the right shape and size and longer shelf life. This type of cultivation can compromise the outcome, both in texture and taste as well, which highlights why store-bought produce can never compare to that grow in your garden.
You call the shots
Starting your organic garden means you’ll be in charge – you will form your nursery and start your seedlings which will allow you to select those plants that will offer better texture and flavour than the produce at stores. Since you call the shots, you can choose those plant varieties that are best suited for your growing area and can mature in a shorter period.
You also get to control your garden’s growing environment which means there should be no need for using chemicals or pesticides. If any pest or disease problem arises, you’ll be able to find an organic remedy for it. If nothing works, you can simply remove that patch and write it off as a loss, and then plant something else in its place. In the end, you will have some produce and you’ll know exactly how it was made and what it is that you’re eating.
There’s fresh food at hand
One of the basic lessons you’ll learn from growing your organic garden is to eat in season when all the nutrients and flavours are at their highest concentration. When you consume vegetables and fruits that have ripened naturally within days of harvesting them, you’ll benefit from all the nutrients they contain, unlike the store-bought products that have been picked early and spent a lot of time in storage, in transit and on shelves before you finally get to consume them. Over time, their natural nutritional value and flavours inevitably decline.
With fresh food at hand and plenty of it to consume, you’ll come up with creative ways of preserving them. Since you harvest them fresh, all those natural flavours will be locked in without the need for any additives to enhance their taste.
Organic gardens are eco-friendly
Among the most important benefits of organic gardening is its low environmental impact. Organic waste is the largest source of methane emissions and the second biggest in landfills. About 20 pounds of food per person each month is wasted which amounts to 30% of all food supplies.
However, in your own organic garden, nothing is wasted. All of the food is either eaten immediately after harvest or preserved for the winter months. The food waste such as scraps and trimmings can be used to feed any animals (should you have them) or you can start composting which is a great eco-friendly practice and a low maintenance chore. If you still have an excessive harvest, give it away to those in need. All of this will help you understand the value of growing your own food.
Also, without the chemical run-off, no small animals, birds or insects will be in danger. And with constant soil build-up with organic matter, there will be less erosion of the top soil layers which will have a positive impact on the entire area.
You’ll be saving money
Many people claim that organic gardening is expensive because once you’re hooked, it’s easy to constantly buy new pots and gardening gadgets. But if you manage to stick to the basics, the initial costs are balanced with the amount of food you produce in the end and all the healthy exercise you do being outdoors.
Organic produce at farmer’s markets often costs up to 50% more than in regular supermarkets, but if you grow your own food, it will save you money – you won’t have to drive to the store, the food you preserve will last you through the winter and you’ll get to enjoy fresh, healthy produce all year round.
There are so many benefits to starting your own organic garden, ranging from personal to environmental. Even if your organic garden is tiny, applying these basic steps and principles, will make it a hugely rewarding experience in the end. And what better way to enjoy the fruits of your labour, than with some fresh and healthy produce that’s within arm’s reach in your very own backyard.