Grow Your Own

Have you thought about starting your own garden and growing some fresh produce, but your green thumbs are non-existent? There are many benefits of growing your own, but for today, let’s look at:

garden

1. Cost
Purchasing seeds from your local nursery can set you back a couple of dollars at best, and buying seedlings or developed plants range from about $3.00 to $15.00. If you’re extra savvy though, you can dry the seeds of your favourite vegetables, such as tomatoes, pumpkin or beans, and plant them when the season is right. Growing your food is great for your wallet – think of the money that can be saved making less trips to the store!

Image: SIBC

2. Quality
You won’t taste produce fresher than those you pick straight from your garden. Literature tells us that fruit and vegetables are the most health-promoting when they are harvested at peak maturity [1]. However, the time between picking on the farm, to being sold on supermarket shelves is a bit of a grey area. When fruit and vegetables are separated from their plant, they undergo higher rates of respiration. This can result in moisture loss, degradation of vitamins and minerals, and potential spoilage. All of these factors do not apply when you are able to eat fresh produce straight from your own garden!

3. Seasonal
Watch your garden blossom based on produce that is suitable for the season. If you’re in Australia, follow the guide below to get the most out of your crop.

Image: Seasonal Food Guide

4. Nutrition and taste
Changes in nutrient composition when a fruit or vegetable is harvested is dependant on how the product is handled, stored and the commodity itself. Often, in a supermarket environment, perishables are stored in refrigerated conditions and store life can range from 8 days to 8 weeks [1]. It is for this reason, that canned or frozen products are often recommended, because they are snap frozen quickly after picking, sealing in the vitamins and minerals. Growing your own produce, allows you to control when you are picking your product, and when you are consuming it, so you are able to get the most from your crop. Nothing beats the taste of a freshly picked fruit or vegetable!

Image: Young Wife’s Guide

5. That sense of pride when you can eat what you’ve grown!
This one is pretty self explanatory. It is a great feeling of achievement growing plants from scratch, and it is an added bonus being able to eat them. Studies have shown that children who work in a garden are more willing to try and taste fruits and vegetables, so get the entire family involved!


 

[1] Barrett, D. M. (2007). Maximizing the nutritional value of fruits & vegetables. Food technology.

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