Sadly, the majority of food products that end up on the dinner table today have been grown with heavy doses of synthetic fertilizers, sprayed with tons of pesticides, and then are processed to contain a seemingly endless list of preservatives.
It doesn’t take a scientist to know that the effects on our long-term health are anything but good. In fact, all of the above have been linked to a plethora of health risks from cancer to diabetes and everything in between. Maybe it’s time we all start to take charge of our own food sources – and grow a little more of our own food.
There is really only one way to ever know for sure what is in your food – and that is to grow it! And believe me when I say that the health benefits go far beyond just eliminating the harsh and sometimes deadly preservatives that are found in nearly all of the commercially grown and processed food today.
In fact – growing your own organic-based vegetable garden covers every aspect of a healthy lifestyle – from getting a dose of fresh air and sunshine (a great and NATURAL source of Vitamin D), to the exercise gained and calories burned while planting, maintaining and harvesting – to finally, putting the most nutritious, natural and fresh food into your body – home-grown produce!
The best part of growing your own food is that you don’t have to have a 100 acre farm or even a large outdoor plot to begin. Whether it’s a small 10 x 10′ raised row or raised bed space in your back yard, or a few simple planter boxes on a small patio – you can be well on your way to growing fresh tomatoes, peppers and more. Add in a small cold frame or windowsill growing box – and you can have a fresh supply of home-grown lettuce to go along with it. And trust me when I say once you have tasted the fruits of your own labor – it won’t be long until you want to grow more!
As our garden and love of gardening has grown, so has our ability to provide a larger portion of the food our family consumes. Our garden’s raised rows now account for the majority of the meals that end up on our table throughout the year – and we don’t spend every free hour we have maintaining it. On average, we spend less than 10 minutes a day in our 40 x 60′ raised row / raised bed space – and it provides hundreds of meals.
What we grow fresh, can, or freeze lets us stay clear of the “middle aisles” of a grocery store – where most everything is packaged and loaded with all types of preservatives. It’s also great to know that at any time of the year – we can head to our canning pantry for our own pasta sauce, green beans, corn, ketchup, salsa, picante, pickles, relish, ketchup, tomato juice, jams and more – and know what is in them – and most importantly – what is not!
So get planning on that garden next year – and make 2016 the year you start to kick preservatives to the curb and usher in a healthier lifestyle! Here are a few of our gardening articles to help get you in the mood: