Vegetable gardening is something that I have done for many, many years now.  When I was a kid my family had a large vegetable garden.  My grandfathers entire backyard was converted into a vegetable garden.  I honestly can't imagine not growing my own vegetables and here is why.

Where is Your Food Coming From?

When you grow your own vegetables, you always know where they are coming from.  In these days of food coming to us from all over the world, you never truly know what you are getting.  What pesticides, herbicides, and farming practices are being used?  These are questions that you can immediately answer because you grew the food.  You have the choice of growing organic or choosing to go the non-organic route.  It is all up to you and not forced upon you by your local supermarket.

My Garden
Credit: Tim O'Neil


The quality of the vegetable you will produce from a home garden will be far superior to anything you can get at the supermarket.  The vegetables produced for the consumer market are created for one thing only, getting them to the market.  This means that the strains grown are ones that mature quickly and keep well after they are picked.  Taste and nutritional value do not figure into this equation.  Once you taste a home grown vegetable and compare it to one  bought from a supermarket, you will cringe every time you have to eat store bought.

Health Benefits

There are many health benefits from growing your vegetables.  Home grown vegetable are more nutritious than those grown using traditional big agriculture techniques.  Over the years, traditional big agriculture farming techniques have depleted the soil of nutrients which in turn means less nutrients for the plants.  Studies have shown that vegetables 50 years ago have more nutrients than vegetables grown today.[1]

Additionally, there is a growing body of evidence that having a vegetable garden has a positive impact on mental health.  Anyone who has a garden can tell you how much of a stress reliever it is to go out and work in it, but now there are studies to support the claim.[2]

Finally, given that gardening does require some work, there are benefits of physical activity.  The nice thing about gardening is that you can make it less physically intensive by implementing different techniques such as raised beds and using mulching to keep weeds down.  If you need to limit your physical activity this is a great option.

Sense of Accomplishment

When growing a garden, it is hard to not have a sense of accomplishment when you see what you have created.  You will have failures, but when the plants you put in start flourishing, it is a great feeling.  Then the first time you pick a vegetable that you grew, it is something you will always remember.  You will be holding something in your hand that is the result of your work and effort.  Something that you can use to feed yourself and your family.

Growing a vegetable garden is a rewarding experience that everyone should take part in.  The benefits mentioned in this article are more than enough to compensate for the effort that does need to go into it.  Having your own garden also makes you a bit more self-reliant.  You won't need to depend on the supermarket for all your food.....and who knows, you might end up loving it.