Growing a garden can be a wonderfully rewarding experience for all involved in the gardening process. Here are the top 10 reason to grow a garden this year:

1. Save money. The average family can save an average of $500 per year on groceries by planting and maintaining an average garden. Preserve some of the produce and watch your grocery bills plummet, even in the middle of winter!

2. Fresh produce tastes better. Ever notice the difference in taste between a fresh home-grown tomato and a tomato bought at the supermarket?

3. Lose weight. All the bending and lifting involved in maintaining a garden, from planting seeds to pulling weeds to harvesting fresh produce can really have an impact on overall health. One of the health benefits of growing a garden is losing weight.

4. Get more nutrients. The reason there is a difference in taste between, as in the example above, fresh-picked tomatoes and tomatoes bought at the supermarket is easily explained by loss of nutrients. From the time produce is picked off the plant to the time it is eaten, nutrients are lost. The fresher fruits or vegetables are, the more nutrients they provide.

5. Save time. Believe it or not, growing a garden does not have to take up the entire summer. A few minutes a day can go a long way toward producing an amazing amount of fruits and vegetables. Compare a few minutes a day to the time it would take to get in the car, go to the supermarket, select produce, pay for it, and bring it home, and you'll see you'll actually save time by growing a garden.

6. Teach children with the garden. Children love to know where things come from, especially food. What easier way to show a child where green beans come from than to show them the plant the green beans are growing on?

7. Keep children healthy. Children are more apt to eat something when they are given the opportunity to prepare the food. Preparing food from seed is about as close as you can get to the basic fundamentals of food. Encourage children to come outside and help in the garden and they will not only be spending time outdoors and learn where their food comes from, but also help you to save some time in the garden by pulling weeds, planting seeds, and harvesting produce.

8. Help save the environment. Most produce found in a supermarket is not organically grown and many chemicals, including pesticides, are used to help the food grow. Semi trucks are used to transport the food from the farm to the grocery store. Most people drive a car to the grocery store to pick up the food. Now picture how much better for the environment it would be to walk outside the back door into the organically-grown garden and pick some fruit or vegetables for the family.

9. Increase your home's value. Certain well-established perenials can actually increase the value of a home. Blueberry bushes and grape vines are excellent examples of edible perenials that actually add value to the home.

10. It's easy. Growing a garden is not as difficult as some might lead you to believe. With proper planning, an amazingly productive garden can sustain a family with very little actual work done. Gardening is not back-breaking labor, but instead a fun activity the whole family can enjoy!