19 Jul 4 Healthy Benefits of a Summer Garden
Summer is here, and there is no better time of the year for enjoying the many seasonal fruits and vegetables available. Whether you have a small balcony or a large backyard, you can enjoy the many rewards that come with planting a garden.
A Source of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Imagine walking into your garden and picking a tomato to eat right off the vine. Having a source of fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables will encourage your family to eat healthier, providing them with valuable vitamins and minerals from natural sources.
It is easy to grow cucumbers, lettuce, corn, pumpkins, green beans, squash, carrots, and any number of other vegetables on even a modest plot of land, providing you with fresh food throughout the summer.
Planting a garden can also save you money. The price of fresh produce at your local market seems to continue to rise year after year, making it harder than ever to eat well. Growing your own vegetables provides a low cost option for including vegetables in your diet.
Grow too much? You can share your harvest with your neighbors or donate fresh food to the local food pantry or soup kitchen.
Increased Physical Activity
A home garden will not just benefit your waistline by supplying a steady source of healthy vegetables. It can also help keep you active all summer long. Pulling up weeds, toting bags of dirt, or even just harvesting ripe vegetables – time spent in your garden will get you outdoors and moving around.
Although there will be less work towards the end of the growing season, early on, the hours spent preparing your garden will provide as good a workout as time spent in the gym and will leave you feeling accomplished when the work is done.
Gardening can also boost your mental health as well. The quiet time spent working with your plants can be meditative, helping to reduce the negative effects of stress and allowing you to create balance in your life.
You Can Choose to Grow Organic
When you grow your own fruits and vegetables at home, you have greater control over what you feed your family. This can include avoiding foods that have been treated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. When planting your own garden, you can choose to grow organically instead.
As we learn more about chemicals used in farming and their negative impacts on both our health and the environment, many with to take greater control over the source of their food. Simple actions like using organic compost, beneficial insects, and non-GMO seeds can help you ensure that the produce you feed your family is healthy, safe, and free of residue from harmful chemicals.
Instilling an Appreciation for Gardening in Children
In our fast food culture, it is easy for younger generations to lose a sense of where their food comes from. The accomplishment tied to growing their own food will create a connection in your children’s mind between healthy food and healthy living. Inviting your children into your garden can help them learn more about our food systems, give them an appreciation for nature, and show them how to eat healthy, sustainable food for the rest of their lives.
There is still time to plant a garden this summer in many U.S. climates to enjoy its benefits. You can also grow produce indoors with specialized grow lights or hydroponic systems for a source of fresh produce all year round.
Discover more ways to enhance your wellness on our education page.