Eight Reasons to Grow Green Leafy Vegetables in Your Backyard Garden
Are you a backyard gardener and wondering what to plant this spring? As a Holistic Nutritionist who is both pretty keen on gardening and also very much an advocate of green smoothies, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on why it’s good idea to grow your own green leafy vegies 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 8 key reasons why I feel you should grow your own produce:
1. It makes good 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 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 has just been picked? There’s no time for those vegetables to start wilting and lose nutritional value.
4. You know exactly where it came from. Nothing like knowing that you have more control over the soil and pest control than your average organic farmer (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 wrapped around my raised garden beds. I purchased the chicken wire at the dollar store.
5. It’s great exercise. Hauling soil, digging 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. Can I 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? Most of what is sold at my local farmers’ market is grown in the Bradford/Holland Marsh area, and as far as I know, that soil is pretty much dead by now. My garden soil is regularly and lovingly enhanced by my own compost.
7. It’s a great example to teach your children and 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!
8. It encourages a greater variety of produce. Have you noticed how few varieties of vegetables and fruits you are able to buy at your local grocer? Growing your own vegies and fruits enables you to choose seed varieties of produce that are not available at your local store. For example, my seed catalogue offers 15 varieties of broccoli, over 10 varieties of cabbage, and over 7 varieties of boston lettuce.
So these are some reasons why I grow my own food… If you have more reasons to add, please let me know!
By the Way, In My Humble Opinion, There’s No Better Vegie than a Leafy Green Vegie!
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 brussels 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,