10 Good Reasons to Grow Your Own Food

Related Topics: Apple, Cycle, Depend, Canada

10 Good Reasons to Grow Your Own Food:

1. Great tasting, fresh, and nutritious food right outside your door.

There is no doubt about it, home grown food tastes better and is more
nutritious than imported foods. In fact, the nutritional content of
fruits and vegetables begins to decline the moment they are harvested.
Considering the typical weeks or months it takes for much produce to
get form the field to our plate, it is no wonder that both taste and
nutritional content have highly declined.

2. Practice good economy.

Both economy and ecology come from the same Greek word oikos
meaning “household.” When we grow some of our own food, we are
beginning to bring together both the ecology and the economics of our
household. Many urban dwellers find that they are able to save a
substantial amount of money every year by growing some of their own
food. The value of one apple tree producing bushels of fresh, organic
apples year after year cannot be underestimated. Such a practice also
reduces many of the “hidden” environmental costs (use of fossil fuels,
water, pesticides, soil erosion) of the food that we eat. Furthermore,
much of the food we import is grown by underpaid workers in difficult
conditions on land that is much more needed to sustain their local

3. Nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

The therapeutic benefits of gardening are many. The physical activity
involved in regular gardening activities contributes to general health
and well-being. The pride and satisfaction that comes from harvesting
one’s own produce is hard to match. Growing and consuming our own food,
however, goes one step further – it connects us to the earth in a
fundamental way that has been lost for most of us. Thomas Berry says
that “Gardening connects us to the deepest mysteries of the universe”
and many gardeners find that this is so.

4. Create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing spaces.

Gardening is a very creative activity and growing your own food is no
exception. Developing a landscape with diverse food producing trees,
shrubs, perennials and annuals adds tremendous colour, texture, smells
and tastes to the local environment and in turn attracts many insects,
birds, butterflies and other creatures. Such a beautiful landscape
nourishes both the body and the soul.

5. Conserve wilderness, natural areas, and bio-diversity.

As world population and consumption increases, the pressures on our
little remaining wilderness and natural areas builds. When we grow some
of our own food, we help to reduce the pressure on yet uncultivated
lands. This is particularly critical as the available agricultural land
on the planet is finite and is degrading at a very alarming rate. Our
own gardens can contribute to supporting bio-diversity both by
decreasing pressure on wilderness areas and by providing additional
habitat for local flora and fauna.

6. Connect with your own bio-region.

One cannot help but learn about their own ecosystem when actively
gardening. Gardeners, and particularly food gardeners, are invariably
more attentive to the seasons, the weather, the water cycle, and the
local flora and fauna. Our gardens and we ourselves, become active
participants in the bio-region in which we live.

7. Learn and preserve endangered wisdom and essential knowledge for living.

While most of us are the descendants of small farmers, there are
relatively few people who now know and practice the essential human
activity of growing food. With close to half of the world’s population
now living in cities, it will become increasingly important for
urbanites to play a role in learning and passing on this critical
wisdom. From Africa to Asia to Latin America, city dwellers in the
Southern hemisphere are leading the way in developing intensive urban
agriculture. Many cities in North America are beginning to rise to this

8. Contribute to world food security.

Most of us depend on others, usually “far away others” for all of our
food. When food production is far removed from where we live, we are
vulnerable to events or circumstances that could interrupt this flow of
food. The inevitable decline in the availability of fossil fuels will
spell great changes for world food production and distribution in the
coming years. It will be in all of our interests to invest in local
food production – from our own yards, to our communities, to the farms
that surround our cities.

9. Help to preserve diverse seed stocks.

The diversity of world seed stocks have been rapidly declining
over the past 100 years. As more and more agriculture is controlled
by transnational corporations whose primary agenda is to exert control
over food production for profit, fewer and fewer strains of many
fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes are now available. The development
of genetically modified crops further threatens the integrity of
our food supply. By planting and collecting diverse seeds, you are
helping to protect our common heritage created by countless generations
of small farmers over the past five thousand years. (For information
on seed conservation in Canada go to Seeds
of Diversity

10. Reduce climate change.

Growing our own food is a tremendous way to reduce our impact
on climate change (see
The Earth Policy Institute
). Most large scale, conventional
farming uses tremendous inputs of fossil fuel in the form of fertilizers,
pesticides and herbicides, fuel for machinery, and other indirect
means. Fruits or vegetables grown thousands of kilometers away must
be refrigerated and shipped from the field to our community. Much
of the food (some estimates are as high as 50%) never gets eaten
as it is lost due to spoilage at various stages of the production
and distribution chain.

When we choose to develop a yard lush with fruit trees, shrubs,
vines, and diverse annuals and perennials, we are reducing our own
use of fossil fuels and are also contributing to the absorption
of CO2. This very simple act can be a major step in redirecting
our path towards a more sustainable future.


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  • strawberry 2010/03/07 06:23:09
    My family in early 1950's and mid 1960's owned several acres on Long Island, N.Y., did grow their own corn, peas, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and fruit trees. They bought meat from stores and still had to buy store products. My brother and his wife have their own grape orchids on Long Island, N.Y. where they bottle and sell their own wines and champaigne. They have a thriving business plus both are practicing attorneys with many law firms. CA has to truck too much of their fruit, meat and vegetables from the midwest and east. The eastern seaboard is very self reliable due to citrus fruit from Florida, apple orchids Upstate, N.Y. plus cattle from Upstate N.Y. with Long Island, N.Y. very self sufficent growing vegetables including a large supply of fish from Montauk and Hamptons from the Atlantic Ocean. New England is a huge fish supplier and Maine extremely so.
  • Mejink strawberry 2010/03/08 01:18:23
    That's splendid! I hope your family continues to have a bountiful harvest year after year! :)
  • strawberry Mejink 2010/03/08 07:17:46
    The older generation of my family are all dead now Mejink. That land was partly sold in late 1960's by my family to a builder. Houses were built on it. The rest was sold to a builder when my mother died in 1997. It makes me sad thinking back how I picked strawberries, selling them at a stand in front of our house. We played on that land as children; my father had so many barbecues with dozens of friends. We had beautiful trees. It was also tough work planting.
  • Mejink strawberry 2010/03/10 04:59:36
    I'm so sorry to hear that. Too often fruitful land is sold to make way for new residential areas and community commons. Our population is still rising and as it does, the populations of our native animal brethren are dropping at an alarming rate. Luckily, it doesn't take much to restore land. Just a little TLC. I think we could all use a little of that right now.
  • strawberry Mejink 2010/03/10 06:38:48
    Our natural wooded forests should not become available to builders. This takes food and land away from wildlife. This is one reason people find more wildlife in their backyards. Far too many trees are chopped down; we have far too much wasted paper, mostly junk mail winding up in trash. The United States needs population control. Not only should we get illegals out of America, all immigration to the U.S. should be halted. It is ridiculous; more people are having more children then they can't afford. There is so much birth control. What is far worse are drug addicted women having babies born drug addicted. This is a tremendous financial burden. The United States cannot afford to have a too far liberal govt. anymore where anything goes. On the other hand Republicans waste billions creating useless wars to keep the Pentagon busy.
  • Mejink strawberry 2010/03/11 05:20:18 (edited)
    It's definitely not about political party, it is about expressing views which actually consider the state we are in, as you've done here. I agree with you 100% that we must preserve our forests, and stop cutting them down for residential areas, which means we must find some way to control the populus. I've been hearing some things about Agenda 21 lately that people are becoming enraged about, but honestly, it talks about exactly what we're saying here. The population needs to stop rising, and we need to preserve nature and biodiversity.

    I haven't read the document yet, but I am working on it (there's a few references in the beginning of the document which I've had to look up first) but I think despite the public outcry against it, Agenda 21 may actually be just the thing we need to support. If you get a chance to take a look at the real document (read it for yourself instead of others passed along views on it), let me know what you think.
  • strawberry Mejink 2010/03/11 07:52:41
    Was Agenda 21 recently put out by our govt? I never heard of Agenda 21.
  • Mejink strawberry 2010/03/11 07:57:26
    I just checked and actually it was 1992. However, you'll see a lot of what's going on today has to do with that document. It's concerned with sustainable development.
  • Vaius 2010/03/06 04:42:36 (edited)
    Grow my own food?

    Where am I supposed to raise cattle, huh?
  • Mejink Vaius 2010/03/08 01:16:28 (edited)
    You are a cattle herder? Good news! The grass that is appropriate for cattle grazing is usually not appropriate for humans.

    How is this good news, you may ask? Well it takes very little room to grow your own vegetables, or create even a backyard habitat for local wildlife such as butterflies and bees (both important vegetable garden pollinators), as well as a wide variety of birds, lizards, hummingbirds, squirrels, spiders, and even bats!

    There is also nothing like growing your own edible landscape, to go right outside your home and pick fresh leaves for your salad or fresh fruits and vegetables to add to your favorite meal! If you don't have spare dirt, you can always keep plantings in containers on your porch or front yard, just make sure they are getting the right amount of sun/shade, and the right amount of water.

    Native plants will make this even easier, requiring little to NO care at all! Check the local climate zone for your native bioregion to get some great ideas on what plants grow naturally in your community!

    I hope you will consider growing a plant or two to liven up your property and spice up your dinner table ;) I'm in the process of planning my own garden right now if you need any help!
  • Vaius Mejink 2010/03/08 02:58:51
    Not what I meant.
  • Mejink Vaius 2010/03/10 05:00:17
    Then pray tell, what did you mean?
  • Vaius Mejink 2010/03/10 14:23:03 (edited)
    I meant...

    "Growing" my own food would be great, but I don't have anywhere to raise a cow.

    HINT: As far as the food pyramid goes, my diet consists entirely of foods from the Dairy, Grain, Meat, and Sweet sections.
  • Mejink Vaius 2010/03/11 05:24:07 (edited)
    Ah, you are saying to grow all your food, you would need your own cow. Gotcha. That is a whole other ball field. Maybe you would consider going in with some people on buying an acre. A shared plot is just as good as a privately owned plot, besides, more hands. More mouths, but more hands.
  • strawberry Vaius 2010/03/08 07:41:26
    Start with seeds and planting pots. Get large pots; put a few drainage holes in the bottom. Use Miracle Grow potting soil for vegetables, with added food. You can't go wrong with Miracle Grow. You can buy tomato plants, plant them in large pots also. Don't over water. Feel the soil. If dry between your fingers add water, half gallon. Test soil for dryness once a week. Part sun and shade best. If you have any land at all dig shallow rows test soil dryness week sun shade land dig shallow rows test soil dryness week sun shade land dig shallow rows test soil dryness week sun shade land dig shallow rows test soil dryness week sun shade land dig shallow rows test soil dryness week sun shade land dig shallow rows test soil dryness week sun shade land dig shallow rows
  • Vaius strawberry 2010/03/08 13:20:16
    ...that wasn't related to my answer at ALL.
  • Mejink Vaius 2010/03/10 05:01:45
    Lol, then your answer wasn't related to the question. This IS about growing your own food, and you asked about cattle. o.O Come now.
  • Vaius Mejink 2010/03/10 14:21:38
    Raising cattle is essentially "growing" meat.

    So my answer was related.
  • Mejink Vaius 2010/03/11 05:24:56
    Sorry, it just wasn't very clear.

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2008/09/28 08:18:15

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