by Jade Evans
Gardening is good for you and for the planet. Here are some tips and tricks for getting started!
If you’re like me and a lot of people in the world, you’re stressed in one way or another. One of the most fulfilling ways to deal with stress – not only for your stomach, health and wallet, but also your mind, contentment and happiness - is to start a garden.
Food prices are at an all time high, and growing your own food is a great way to save money in a way that also gets you outside and refreshed. Growing vegetables does not necessarily have to be effective – you can buy seed packets most anywhere, and they generally cost about a dollar for a packet of 100 seeds. Unless you really really like cucumbers, or plan on making a lot of tomato sauce, you won’t need 100 plants. And who would have the space for 100 plants, anyway?
If you have friends who already have a garden, you can get some of their seeds or trade seeds. Collaborating is a great way to create a circle of gardeners to ask for advice in the local area, and it is an awesome way for you to try different varieties, and figure out which suits your (or your family’s) taste.
If you’re afraid to start right from the seed, you can buy mature plants. Your best bet for finding fruit and veggie plants is your local farmers market. I know I didn’t want to start out from the seed the first year I gardened. Even though I grew up with a garden in my backyard, I was wary of how green my thumb was. It was always my mother doing the planting and maintaining. It will be a bit more expensive to buy a mature plant, of course, but ‘expensive’ is relative. Many farmers will sell their spare plants for about a dollar. If you get mature plant locally – that’s the best part! It’s local, so the plant is much more likely to transplant well to your environment. Now instead of paying a premium price for your local goods, you can have your own farmers market in your own backyard!
Scientists and environmental experts have long been warning us about the harmful effects of factory farming and pesticides. The pollution of our water supply is an ever growing concern, and the carbon footprint involved in transporting produce cross country is massive. With your own garden, that isn’t a cycle that you have to contribute to. Working at home in your own soil on a small plot, you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) use any kind of herbicide or pesticide, and you get a much bigger personal gain and reward from it.
Gardening is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy in mind, body and spirit. So get out, enjoy the outdoors, give back to the earth, and know what you’re putting on your table!
Jade Evans is a freelance writer who often works with Forrest Health. Forrest Health is a company focused on keeping the body and brain healthy with natural health supplements and expert advice.
[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by aussiegall]