Nutrition Articles

The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food

Boost Your Health and Your Bottom Line

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Even if you don't have big backyard—or any yard for that matter—you can still grow food. Consider container gardening if you have a sunny balcony or patio or an indoor herb garden on a windowsill. You’ll be amazed at how many tomatoes or peppers can grow out of one pot. Or find out if your city has a community garden, where you can tend to your very own plot. Check out www.CommunityGarden.org to locate a community garden near you.

If you need more inspiration, read Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which chronicles her family's yearlong commitment to feeding themselves. In beautiful prose, she describes how they grew or raised close to everything they ate, and by the end of the year, they didn't want to quit!

Whatever your motivation for breaking ground on your own backyard garden, chances are good that you’ll take pleasure in this new healthy hobby, and that your wallet, the environment, your body, and your taste buds will thank you!

Editor's Note: We'll have more step-by-step articles about growing your own food coming soon!
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • JEDDARFELIX
    My wife and I started a bit of urban gardening on our back porch. Some peppers, a mixture of greens, green onions, ginger and a bush of rosemary. Forgive the pun, but cheap as dirt to start doing it, by we were honestly surprised how just this little bit has helped us eat more vegetables and as we've expanded, helped our grocery bill! - 8/6/2014 10:24:03 AM
  • EMMABFERGUSON
    With the constant rise in food costs, growing your own fruit and vegetables is a good way to keep your money in your pockets. My friend started to grown her own vegetables in her garden and she keeps telling me how much money she has saved! I think by growing your own healthy produce, where and when you can, will also encourage yourself to eat healthily and take advantage of the produce made in your very own backyard. - 5/28/2014 11:38:28 AM
  • GARYSCHREIER
    My wife was concerned about the quality and rising costs of food and decided to create a book for our extended family to help them grow and preserve veggies as well as to utilize heirloom seeds to create a sustainable pantry. The result was that so many people asked for it that she created a book. Check it out @ www.thepertualpan
    try.com its different. - 4/22/2014 9:47:30 PM
  • GROWOWNFOOD6
    Growing your own food comes with lots of benefits. First, you get to improve the health of your family. You can also visit about Grow your own food http://growownfoo
    d.net/. - 1/4/2014 9:02:17 AM
  • URBANFIG
    Growing your own food is an great way to expand your cooking and inspire new recipes. If you want to learn how to start an edible garden, UrbanFig has step by step instructions and a library of how to articles to get you started - 5/3/2013 9:06:25 PM
  • I would love to grow my own food but I am incredibly inept at it. I literally killed a Chia Pet, that's how far my black thumb extends. I'll let the green thumb folks grow my food. I am hoping to expand my relationship with my local Farmer's Market though. Now those folks know how to grow stuff! - 5/1/2013 6:21:11 AM
  • I received my Sparkpoints for reading this article in 2010 - when are new articles in this series coming? :) - 5/1/2013 1:00:26 AM
  • My square foot garden brings me much joy, in all those ways! - 4/8/2013 11:04:33 AM
  • We've been growing our own veggies ever since I've been married. 20+ years. I always plant a salad and a salsa with other veggies we like to eat.

    My daughter didn't even know that they came any other way. Her first grade teacher called me to tell me that my daughter was lying because she said that she didn't know veggies could come from a can. I had to correct the teacher and explain that she really didn't know this because we only eat fresh and mostly out of our garden. Then the teacher informed me that she needed to know this because when she moves out how is she going to eat? I said like we do now. With her own garden! The teacher forced me to take her shopping with me the next time and show her the cans of veggies and allow her to try some. lol We bought a can of peas. Then we went and picked our peas. Heated the can one and put ours out fresh. She took a mouth full of the canned peas and they came out as fast as they went in! She looked at me in horror and said "that's not what peas taste like what are they!" lol Then she happily ate our fresh ones from our garden. See you can't even fool a first grader! - 4/3/2013 4:03:47 PM
  • We have a very small yard. My husband built two raised beds, and we tore up a 3' wide strip of turf along our back fence (which gets sun all day long). That strip along the fence produce a bumper crop of sweet corn, broccoli, and beans. The beds produce plenty of tomatoes. I grow kohlrabi & beets for myself (the Hub's not a fan). It's easy to grow loose-leaf lettuce almost anywhere.

    Burpee sells seeds for hybrid plants developed especially for containers - including corn.

    Our church offers community garden plots. If you don't have the space or the sun exposure, I recommend looking into a community garden. Ours is a part of our church's outreach to the community, so it's pretty cheap to rent a plot for the season ($10). All you need to invest is time & some seeds.

    While gardening can seem like a lot of work, some of us find it relaxing. And such rewards! (At the end of our corn harvest, the Hub picked 11 pounds of corn, which we then canned. (Canning corn is easier than freezing it, but it MUST be done in a pressure canner.) That sweet corn was unbelievably delicious, and such a treat in the middle of February!) - 4/3/2013 12:56:53 PM
  • The only thing with growing your own food is that you grow it for the entire neighborhood: deer, rabbits, and gophers love fresh veggies. - 4/3/2013 10:02:22 AM
  • Love growing my own food! It is the best feeling. Then I will freeze some of it, but mostly dehydrate, dry or can, ok ok and eat eat eat!!!! Some of it barely makes it in the door. I am trying a new way this year with planting in straw bales. I will still have my raised beds, but I like to try new things as well. Keeps things interesting and challenging!!! - 4/3/2013 9:23:51 AM
  • I live in a city and grow vegetables, herbs, and fruit in my front, side, and back yard! It is hard work and there is expense involved, but I enjoy the work and love eating something that I have grown. - 5/25/2012 10:39:26 AM
  • This year we're trying an experiment that I'm actually blogging about at http://tamsgarden
    -howdoesourga
    rdengrow.blog
    spot.com/. We're trying to see how much we can grow/how little we have to purchase at the grocery store! - 6/14/2011 10:40:12 AM
  • My mom grew her own long bean and tasted much sweeter and size much longer than the one they sold at market! And it's true about gardening is a part of workout, just watering plants make me think as if I'm doing arms workout, hehe - 5/25/2010 9:58:59 PM

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