Are you a backyard gardener and wondering what to plant this spring? As a Holistic Nutritionist who is an avid amateur gardener and very much an advocate of green smoothies to improve health and speed healing, I thought I’d share these 7 great reasons to grow your own green leafy vegetables this year!
Growing a garden is not only a great idea in terms of self-sufficiency and economy, it’s also a very trendy thing to do. National surveys show that more and more households are growing their own vegetables and fruit.
Here are 7 key reasons why you should grow your own produce:
1. It makes economical sense. The cost of food constantly escalates… and the price of organic produce is prohibitive for many. If you can ensure that your soil is regularly fortified with natural compost, you can be sure that your produce is better than anything grown from a commercial organic farm.
2. It’s very local. Locally grown food is very eco-friendly, meaning almost no “carbon footprint”. But really, just think of how “green” it is to only have to walk a few steps to harvest your own food. No need to get into your car to “get groceries”.
3. It’s very nutritious. How much fresher can you get than food that’s just been picked? There’s no time for those vegetables to start wilting.
4. You know exactly where it came from. Nothing like knowing that you have total control over the soil and pest control (and hopefully you’re not spraying , because there are non-chemical ways to keep those pests away). And rabbits? I have successfully kept my close neighbour rabbits away with an inexpensive chicken wired fence that I made and wrapped around my raised garden beds. I purchased the wire at the dollar store.
5. It’s great exercise. Hauling soil and hoeing, etc. can really burn calories. Throw in some sunshine and good old getting the hands dirty helps put you back in touch with nature. I can also mention some stress relief…gardening can be a great “de-stressor”.
6. Gives a sense of independence and self sufficiency. It’s so empowering to be able to pass by the local farmer’s market on a Saturday morning and know that I’m growing my own versions of what I see there… and for a much better price!!! In addition, can you really trust your local farmer’s market? How do you know where it’s really coming from?
7. It’s a great example to teach your children/grandchildren. Just look at the great example you’re showing your posterity, relatives and friends. I just bet your neighbours are envious!! Even my worldly teenager who just loves her computer gadgets and nail polish is getting into germinating her own seeds this Spring. And guess who showed her the example? Yes, her good old mom!
Leafy greens are important foods to include in your daily diet for many reasons, including:
- They’re high in nutrients and phytonutrients, and hence build cells and help fight disease,
- They’re low in calories, and
- They’re high in fibre.
Some are more nutritious than others. The ones I would suggest this year come from the brassica or broccoli family of vegetables, and in particular I would recommend the dark leafy varieties such as kale, mustard greens and brussel sprouts. Numerous studies available on PubMed show many of these veggies have disease fighting properties.
So give it a try and share your experience with me! I love getting feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too, via the commentluv feature here on the site.
In good health,