The Unexpected Benefits of Vegetable Gardening

Many of us remember our grandparents growing huge gardens and ?putting up? mounds of tomatoes, corn, and zucchini every year, filling large pantries with rows and rows of glass jars filled with lovely home-canned goods. What ever happened to those ?good old days? of gardening?

Thankfully, vegetable gardening is still alive and well, and experiencing a resurgence. As people become more concerned about pesticides in foods, the genetic modification of food plants, and the possibility of a catastrophe interrupting food supplies, they realize that gardening isn?t just for ?the good old days? or poor, depression-era families.

Vegetable gardening makes sense on many levels. First, you know where the food, the seeds, and the water came from?if you choose to garden organically, you can be absolutely sure it has been grown in the purest way possible.

Second, any number of things can disrupt the food supplies. If there was a winter storm, or a long-term power outage, or a severe hurricane or earthquake, how long would the food in your house?right at this moment?last?

Third, a personal catastrophe could also interrupt your family?s food supply. What would happen if your family lost its main source of income? How long could you make it?

If you have a pantry full of home-grown canned goods, any money you have saved up can be spent on bills or non-food items. And if the emergency happens to another family you care about, you?ll be able to share your harvest or your canned goods, and be able to help out even if your budget is tight.

You can also save a lot of money by gardening. The first year may require some investment, but it will pay you back in delicious, edible dividends. When food prices rise due to crop failures, your food costs will stay the same for any of the foods you grow.

Gardening has been proved in many studies to improve your health. Not only do you get exercise and fresh air, but gardening also reduces stress (which can potentially reduce blood pressure), boosts your immune system (by being exposed to friendly bacteria in the garden), eases depression, and reduces the risk of dementia.

Getting a good day?s exercise working in the garden may also help you to sleep better at night. And of course, by eating more fruits and vegetables?especially when eaten in their raw, natural state, and free of pesticides?will help your body in countless ways.

Finally, gardening gets you out in the fresh air and sun?something we often forget to take advantage of, in this age of computers, internet, video games, satellite TV, and air conditioning. It?s a great way to appreciate nature and get in touch with the earth, the animals, the weather, and the beautiful plants.

With so many benefits to your life and your health, it?s no surprise that interest in vegetable gardening is spreading like wildfire. Some people are even ripping up their front lawns to make room for more plants! There?s nothing like the feeling of knowing you grew something with your own hands, and as many gardeners find out, nothing tastes as good as food grown in your very own garden.

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