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Garden Lifestyle

9 Reasons to Start a Vegetable Garden

Need convincing that growing your own vegetables is worth the time and effort? Read on.

Photo/Illustration: Ruth Dobsevage

I’ve had a garden for decades, so it’s just second nature for me to order seeds and set up the lights when winter starts to lose its icy grip. You, on the other hand, may be vaguely thinking about a small garden plot this year for the very first time. Need convincing that growing your own vegetables is worth the time and effort? Read on.

Freshness
Pick your food at its peak of ripeness, right before you prepare it.

Safety
If you’d rather not eat food that has been treated with pesticides and preservatives, you don’t have to. You can do what you want in your own garden.

Cost
A packet of tomato seeds costs a dollar or two, the same as a couple of beefsteak tomatoes. From one packet you can grow hundreds of plants, each of which will produce several tomatoes. Do the math.

Cooking
If you like to cook, you’ll relish the chance to turn your produce into tasty, nutritious dishes for family and friends.

Local eating
You can’t get more local than your own yard.

Choice
There are hundreds of heirlooms you won’t find in groceries and supermarkets. In your own garden, you can grow any variety of herb, fruit, berry, or vegetable you like.

Exercise and fresh air

  More about growing your own food …

Why Grow Your Own Food?Why Grow Your Own Food?

The Advantages of Growing Backyard Produce

Planning Your First Vegetable Garden

During the growing season, you’re outdoors on a regular basis. You’re planting, weeding, harvesting, hauling. Gardening won’t prepare you for marathon running, but in terms of physical fitness it does beat flipping channels while sprawled on the couch.

Education
Teach your children where food comes from and how it’s grown. And develop your own knowledge of weather, plant physiology, insects, soil, and so on.

Sharing
Friends, neighbors, and co-workers will appreciate an occasional garden gift, and you may even convince them to start their own garden.

Still need convincing? Read five more reasons

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