It is a goal of mine to grow as much as food as possible for my family and I’m often asked why I bother when carrots and potatoes are “so cheap”.
There are four reasons for my food-growing obsession:
Being less reliant on the supermarket is an enormous plus for me. Even if we can only grow enough food to feed our family one or two meals a week, this is no small thing and is something I am immensely grateful for. At different times of the year, the garden gives us different types and quantities of produce, but I’m learning to preserve and enjoying working with the seasons to use what grows well at a particular time. It’s a nice way to work on accepting the natural ebb and flow of life in general.
I find gardening to be incredibly therapeutic and is reflective of so much of the human struggle to weed out faults, fertilise the good intentions and learn what did or didn’t help things grow last year. Spending time outdoors – unplugged, creating, growing, playing, getting dirty – is crucial to our mental and physical health. Planting a garden is a wonderful way to create something with your children and to spend more time outdoors with them.
We eat better
My sugar snap peas are growing just outside the backdoor this year and I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve walked past and snacked on one or half a dozen. Having good food accessible means that’s what we eat more of. Young kids get a huge kick out of the whole garden-to-plate thing and I’ve found it encourages the small people in the house to eat their veggies. Plus it’s a lot of fun.
Growing our own food – or at least some of it – means I get to control what is used to support the growth of our food (usually home-made compost mix) and keep out the weeds (good old-fashioned hard work).
Growing your own food is not a burden or a hassle or a waste of time. It’s an incredible way to slow down and appreciate that food doesn’t fall out of the sky; that it must be worked for and nurtured and enjoyed.
Do you grow your own food? What’s your main motivation for doing so?