5 Benefits Of Growing Your Own Edible Plants

5 Benefits Of Growing Your Own Edible Plants

Updated April 8, 2023

a collection of vegetables that can be grown at home including carrots, zucchinis, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, eggplants and cucumbers.

There are many advantages to growing your own edible plants in your backyard, courtyard or balcony. This is apart from the satisfaction and pleasure which can be derived from producing your own food. Here are five benefits of growing your own:

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1. Always Have Fresh Vegetables And Fruit

You can harvest fresh vegetables and herbs as you need them. This means they will contain a greater amount of valuable nutrients (which do deteriorate over time especially when the produce is stored for lengthy periods) and will always taste great.

Most commercially produced produce is derived from specially bred varieties for long harvest life rather than taste. This means that the produce is stored for long periods of time in cool rooms, sometimes artificially ripened and then transported enormous distances to arrive in the store you purchase it from.

This is why your store-bought veggies don’t last very long after you get them home.

2. Home Grown Edible Plants Taste Amazing

The taste of your homegrown produce will be amazing. You will actually enjoy eating fruit and vegetables a lot more when they taste fantastic. These days it’s quite easy to source heirloom or old variety seeds which haven’t been genetically tampered with and which produce the most delectably tasting vegetables.

Plus you can grow some really interesting varieties that you won’t normally find in stores like green cauliflower and purple broccoli (2 varieties currently growing in my garden). Also when you use heirloom seeds it’s quite easy to let a couple of plants go to seed, collect the seeds and plant them again for the next crop.

3. Helps The Environment

The Community Gardening Handbook: The Guide to Organizing, Planting, and Caring for a Community Garden (Hobby Farms)

Reduce your carbon footprint.   As mentioned previously fresh produce is often transported over great distances to get to your local grocery store. So, if you grow your own you will be doing your part in reducing damaging carbon emissions and helping to keep the atmosphere a little cleaner.

You may think that one person can’t make that much difference, but just imagine if you and all your neighbors grew some of your own food and perhaps even traded excesses with each other.

This can recreate true community spirit between you and your neighbors. You’ll find that there are probably 1 or 2 varieties that you are really good at growing while your neighbors may have different favorites that they like to grow. Just grow more of the foods you enjoy to grow and swap them for other varieties your neighbors have grown.

4. Saves Money

You can purchase packets of seeds or punnets of seedlings, some fertilizer and pea or sugar cane mulch for just a few dollars. This can give you a whole harvest of delicious fresh herbs and vegetables just by investing a couple of hours a week in your garden.

Plus if you love fresh fruit, you can purchase deciduous fruit trees bare-rooted in winter, which makes them cheaper. Once you plant and fertilize them, they will produce fruit for the family year after year with only minimal care.

5. Gardening Is Great Exercise

a father with his daughter planting a tree in the garden

You’ll get fresh air and exercise while tending your vegetable garden. Plus working in the garden reduces stress and can be very therapeutic.

Also, gardening is a fantastic form of exercise so you’re burning calories at the same time. Not to mention the enormous satisfaction and pleasure you will get when the food you put on the table came from your own garden.

More Benefits Of Growing Your Own Food

If you’re still not entirely convinced that growing your own lovely fresh produce is a good idea, here are some additional benefits to growing your own edible plants.

  • It enhances your mental health and reduces stress
  • Gardening connects you to nature and increases your appreciation of how plants grow
  • Growing your own food reduces food waste and also reduces the amount of packaging you have to dispose of
  • It’s a great activity to enjoy with the family and an important learning experience for children
  • You can explore new varieties of vegetables you’ve tried before
  • Your cooking skills will improve as you learn different ways to cook with your harvested produce
  • It can lead you to discover the benefits of dehydrating or canning your surplus produce
  • You might make new friends by sharing your surplus with others

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I save money by growing my own food?

You can definitely save money by growing your own food. Especially for vegetables that might be expensive to purchase but are easy to grow in your own garden, on your balcony or in your courtyard. Herbs are a good example of this. They can be quite expensive to buy fresh and don’t last all that long once you get them home. However, if you grow your own, you can just harvest what you need on a consistent basis.

What types of plants are easy to grow at home?

There are so many easy-to-grow vegetables and herbs. It all depends on what your family enjoys eating and how much time you want to spend tending your garden. Some of the easiest vegetables to grow are greens such as lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard or root vegetables such as carrots and beets. Most herbs are also very easy to grow and require minimal care.

Do I need a lot of space to grow my own food?

You don’t need a lot of space to grow your own food. I’ve written numerous articles about growing edible plants in small spaces whether you have just a raised garden, a balcony or a patio. Check out a recent article about square foot gardening to give you some ideas.

How do I get started with growing my own edible plants?

All you need to start growing your own edible plants is some soil or potting mix, a few seedlings or a few packets of seeds. You can gather all the other tools along the way as you start growing.

How much time and effort does it take to grow my own food?

Even busy people can grow their own food. Generally speaking, I only spend a few hours on the weekend tending my vegetable and herb garden. This time is mostly spent doing a little weeding, adding some fertilizer if needed, cutting back plants that are overgrowing and, of course, harvesting the fresh produce I’ve grown.

Is it healthier to grow my own food?

Vegetables and herbs that you’ve grown in your own garden are definitely healthier than those you can purchase from the supermarket. Especially if you limit your use of chemicals. Plus, they taste so much better and are super fresh.

What are the environmental benefits of growing my own food?

One of the main environmental benefits of growing your own food is that you’re reducing your carbon footprint. Primarily by not buying food that has had to travel long distances to finally get to your door.

Can I grow my own food if I live in an apartment or have limited outdoor space?

Absolutely and many people are doing just that. As long as you have a small space outdoors that gets around 4 to 6 hours of sunlight daily, you can grow your own food. Nowadays, there are even indoor gardening systems that use grow lights. Using these means that you don’t even have to have any outdoor space to grow a few healthy greens.

Final Thoughts

So why not give growing edible plants a go? It may take a little bit of trial and error to work out what grows well in your garden. But, soon you could have a wonderful meal of freshly grown vegetables that you will be proud to serve to your family – or just enjoy all by yourself!

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