As we move forward from the pandemic, people will look back at 2020, as a dividing line between, how life was before Covid 19 struck, and how life is, afterward. Even through all of the loss and isolation, it helped us to see that we can no longer rely on aspects of our lives that truly felt constant: grocery stores, gas stations, seeing friends and family, going out to dinner, etc. Technology, and constant progress, tend to put blinders on people. The pandemic, effectively, took them off.
Growing your own food, or at least some of it has never been more popular. People find themselves asking questions like, what would happen if food weren’t available? What if lockdown is required again, and there is a severe scarcity of necessities?
These questions have prompted the idea that perhaps being co-dependent on external sources for everything required to sustain life, is not a good thing. It also makes more sense, financially, and environmentally, to do what can be done, on your own.
In addition to that idea, people are becoming genuinely concerned about their health. Chronic illness, cancer, arthritis, a disease that is born from inflammation, virtually every known disease, can be lessened, or even completely nullified, by eating the right foods. Translation: Eat healthily and stay healthy, by growing your own fruits and vegetables.
The amount of land dedicated to a garden is going to largely influence your crop choices. You may have room for corn, potatoes, peas, and tomatoes if you live in outlying suburban, or rural areas. If you are a city dweller, you might have room for just tomatoes, which can climb vertically, carrots, string beans, and pepper plants.
Regardless, you’ll want to choose plants your family will eat, that will grow in your soil, and that will thrive in the space available.
Even more important, is keeping your crops safe. Being outdoors, it is practically impossible to keep track, 24/7, of everything going on in your garden. There are organic ways to help ward off pests, like scarecrows, and brightly colored ribbons, which flap in the wind, creating a diversion.
These are temporary solutions to ongoing challenges. By far, the most successful, effective, and environmentally friendly option, is deer fencing.
A deer fence will last decades, and it humanely keeps critters out of the garden, that you are working so hard to maintain. You will no longer have to worry about walking out to a crop of half-eaten cabbages, or tomatoes that are ripped open, and not viable for harvesting.
The Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Family Time
A family that gardens together stays together. While technology has fascinated, and encouraged families to constantly be looking at their cell phones, even while sitting at the dinner table; in gardening, there is no opportunity for this to happen.
Gardening is life happening in a “hands-on,” real-time effort, which produces sustenance for everyone. There is a valuable educational aspect in gardening for the whole family. Getting children involved in:
- The soil composition and enrichment
- Climate analysis, determining which plantings are the heartiest crops for the area
- Numerous organic methods to propagate and safeguard the plants
- Making seed choices that work in your gardening space, that the family loves to eat
- Planting a seed, and nurturing it into an edible, delicious fruit is magical
Research has shown that letting little fingers plants seeds and seedlings, water, and witness the delicious results, offers them a sense of accomplishment. The process instills an interest in harvesting their home-grown foods, which leads to healthy vegetable and fruit consumption.
Planting Seeds is Evolutionary
Gardening develops cohesion, and a family bond that elicits a sense of belonging, patience, and caring. Its benefits are not limited just to humans. It also contributes to the nurturing of the environment.
From the initial planting strategy to the sowing of seeds, planting of germinating sprouts, and ongoing maintenance of the crops; the whole gardening process is a wondrous evolution.
From it, all gardeners, from newbies to experts, engage in constant enlightenment, succeed, fail, and try again, as in the normal human maturation process. Experiences and conversations shared, harvesting the fruits of your efforts, together, and being your own source of sustenance, is life-enriching. Incorporating these healthy foods into your diet adds to your well-being.
Health-Dense Foods are the New Medicine
While it’s true that human beings may never be able to live without antibiotics, there is a growing movement toward disease prevention. Nutrient-rich foods, which can be grown in a personal garden, are full of antioxidants and vitamins.
Processed foods just can’t compare. Getting into the habit of planting and eating healthy foods, helps displace those processed foods to the point where they may only be an every-once-in-a-while temptation.
Organic Prices Remain High
Due to the increase in the desire for organic fruits and vegetables, prices at the farm markets, and grocery stores, continue to be high.
People are willing to pay for organic food because of the health benefits, however, economically; it makes sense to grow your own, when possible. With a growing concern for animal, human, and environmental welfare, growing your own garden, and taking the steps to keep it safe, provides a healthy, and financially friendly solution.
Moving into 2021, we are learning that to keep meals fresh, healthy, and delicious, we need to turn toward a mindful, educational, and family-oriented approach to home gardening.