I always joke that years ago I would say I had a “black thumb.” I had no ability to keep any sort of plant alive, even a cactus. However with a little bit of determination, and the power of Google and Youtube, I was able to teach myself how to start a small herb garden. Once my confidence grew, thanks to my hardy rosemary and mint plants, I was ready to tackle some bigger challenges: vegetables.
My first few attempts were less than stellar. I couldn’t get my eggplant to fruit, my strawberries were getting eaten by pests, and my kale would wither within days of being planted outside. But again, I stuck through with my garden and eventually began growing my own delicious food, right in my backyard. Suddenly I was making tomato sauce and salsa from my own ingredients and enjoying some of the most delectable produce I had ever tasted.
Unfortunately, I hear from some that a barrier to eating organic, plant-foods is cost, but with your own garden that issue can be a thing of the past! Take a look below at some of my other favorite benefits of having a home garden that hopefully inspire you to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty:
1. Clear your mind.
There is something calming about sitting in my garden. Whether it is weeding my beds, watering my plants, or simply sitting back and looking at my garden as a whole there is a serene atmosphere that can’t be replicated. Whether I had a hectic day at work or dealt with stress in traffic I can sit in my garden and literally feel the weight of my negative thoughts leave my body and instead become infused with positivity and happiness. And I’m not alone. Gardening has actually been scientifically shown to improve mood.
2. Hit your exercise needs.
Did you know that we need an estimated 30-minutes a day of physical activity in order to maintain our current body weight? So, if weight-loss is your goal, you’ll need to log more than 30-minutes a day. Gardening can be a great medium to rack up that workout time, not just because of the physical labor associated with all of that weeding, watering, composting, and trimming but also because you are working towards a goal. In a matter of weeks you’ll have a physical end product in your hands, so you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labor!
3. Enjoy delicious food.
I alluded to this in the introduction of this blog post, but I had no idea how delicious a tomato sauce could really be until I made my own. Prepared from my own garlic, basil, Roma tomatoes, and onions, the taste was not like anything else, and it was not only because my plants were extremely well taken care of or that they received proper nutrition, it was that they were also picked at the peak of their ripeness. Growing your own food means enjoying produce as soon as it becomes ready, meaning even more taste for you!
4. Connect with nature.
When I was a little girl, I was a bit of a tomboy. Much to the surprise of those that know me now, considering my love for heels and red lipstick, but I digress. When I was young I would love playing in the dirt, planting my mother’s flowers without gloves, and even making a mudpie or two, and trying to convince my younger sister they were safe to eat.
Being in my garden helps me to reconnect with my younger self and helps me to recall those memories. I am reminded not to take myself too seriously and able to connect with my environment and all of those amazing memories I have with nature.
Also, whether it be from the beautiful colors of my marigold or calendula, the smell of my basil once the water hits it, or the soft feel of my lavender plant, being in my garden excites my senses and amazes me how magical nature can be.
5. Give back.
In the beginning, you might just feel lucky to grow enough food for a single meal, but as you grow your green thumb, and you will if you stick to it, I promise, you’ll start to produce more. Before you know it you’ll have more parsley than you know what to do with or tomatoes you can stomach. Having a garden gives you the amazing ability to share your harvest with your community. Whether it be your friends, family, or those in need.
You can also give back to your environment by using safe gardening practices. Planting non-GM (genetically modified) flowers for the bees, avoiding harsh chemicals and reducing your carbon footprint by eating as local as you can get.
Have any of these reasons for starting your own garden stuck with you? Share with us below! 🙂