There’s something to be said about eating a vegetable that you have grown from seed. Starting with the earth and how you prepare the soil leads a person to reconnect with one’s very soul. There’s tending and weeding and watering and spraying and worrying if your little seed will germinate one day. And when it does, how do you keep it alive and producing? Until one day, your little seedling pokes it’s little head up out of the ground and grows big. It’s so strong, it eventually feeds you. Your veggie plant offers you the most freshest, toxin-free food possible. You’ve grown it, by yourself, so you are certain of it’s authenticity. Once you make that connection back to Mother Earth……..and you have filled your soul with honest, good food…….trust me, you won’t be opening up a bag of Pringles anytime soon!

Honest-to-goodness string beans! From Cindi’s garden to Cindi’s table to Cindi’s plate!

How could you? You just made your body a sanctuary. It’s ingesting pure food. Why would you want to mess it up with some manufactured, over processed, heap of junk, the powers-that-be deemed edible? Because it’s not! You’re feeling something you haven’t felt before: good. And if you’re like me, you want to keep that clean, healthy feeling for as long as you can.

All I want to do now is eat good, clean food. I do not want to contaminate my interior body with anything less than healthy. I nurtured my veggie garden and now it is rewarding my efforts with a sustainable lifestyle. The taste and texture of a home grown veggie (i.e tomatoes) are far superior to anything you could purchase commercially. And because your vegetable choices were grown mostly in your own backyard, patio or container, the produce is local. It didn’t have to travel cross county for days on end, thus lowering its quality through compromise.

long shot of my container gardening

This year I grew spinach, arugula, green beans, pea pods and peas, beefsteak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, canteloupe, green peppers, cucumber, broccoli rabe, summer squash and several herbs, such as basil, rosemary, parsley and oregano. I also started a peach tree and an apple tree. It will take another 1 to 2 years before they produce any fruit.

I already have plans for next spring, as I will be expanding my garden. It’s not big enough and the square foot gardening beds are too small. My watermelon has outgrown its bed and is flowing out onto the lawn. I put up a bench to keep the animals away. For now. But once I start sprouting those melons, the deer may come back. I’ll keep you posted.

If you still aren’t convinced, consider these benefits of backyard gardening(click here):

  • Improve your health.  Consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. When you pick vegetables right from your garden, the vitamin content will be at its highest. Also, you are reducing the risk of eating vegetables that contain harmful chemicals–you know exactly what you’re eating. In addition, getting kids involved in the gardening process will make it more likely for them to try the vegetables.
     
  • Save money on groceries. One of the benefits of enjoying garden vegetables is a reduced monthly food bill. You can grow organic vegetables for a fraction of the cost in the stores.
     
  • Get outdoor exercise. Gardening is a physical activity and pulling weeds, planting, and digging can burn up to 400 calories per hour. Gardening is also a good mental exercise and helps keep your mind sharp.
     
  • Gardening is a natural stress reliever. Being outside in the fresh air and sunshine can improve mood and make you feel rejuvenated and overall happy.  Growing your own produce also gives you a great sense of accomplishment.