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Monday, 22 August 2011

Why grow your own food?

If you have started to Grow Your Own or already do so, here are our top reasons why we like growing our own food!

1. Growing Your Own saves you money by cutting your food costs. It's amazing the amount of vegetables that can be grown from a packet of seeds.  And you can further reduce your costs by saving seeds to replant the next year, foraging and swapping surplus fruit, vegetables and herbs with family or friends. 

2. Growing Your Own reduces your carbon footprint.. Food grown at home does not have to travel anywhere. Compare this to food that is flown in from all around the planet and driven round the country in lorries. Also supermarket vegetables and herbs come wrapped in plastic packaging which go to landfill sites.

3. By Growing Your Own you can avoid the nasty chemicals in pesticides and fungicides used when growing our food. You know exactly what goes into the food you grow. The bottom line is that pesticides and fungicides are poisons designed to kill living organisms which can also harm humans. If you can, be organic as possible and if using chemicals try to use natural ones.

4. Growing Your Own is very relaxing and good physical exercise. There’s nothing nicer or more relaxing than spending a couple of hours tending to your plants. Garden work brings those stress levels right down and the exercise you get from digging, bending, lifting and moving will burn off lots of calories.

5. Growing Your Own allows you to taste new produce. For example, there are around 7500 different varieties of tomatoes available, compare this to the few varieties on a supermarket stand.  If you grow your own there’s no need to stick to the same old varieties,  you can grow all kinds of exotic crops and unusual vegetables. You can even help revive forgotten native species by growing them yourself, or grow your own favourite foreign crops without the usual air miles.Growing Your Own also inspires you to cook more and discover new recipes to use.

6.  Growing Your Own is a brilliant lesson for children.  Getting them involved shows them the food on the plate does not just come from a supermarket shelf and that actually it’s from the ground and we need to look after the land.  

7. Growing Your Own will help keep you healthy. Freshly picked organic vegetables are packed full of nutrients.  Transfer vegetables straight from the garden to kitchen to plate and you benefit from all those freshly picked healthy vitamins. Vegetables start losing nutrients as soon as they’re picked, so by growing your own you avoid the long, vitamin sapping journey of some supermarket bought produce.

8. Growing Your Own means you can share your home grown crop with friends, family and work 

9. Growing Your Own saves energy, farms have changed drastically few generations, from family-based small businesses dependent on human energy to large-scale factory farms. Modern farming uses more oil than any other single industry. Oil is used to drive farm machinery, produce synthetic fertilizers and to transport  produce around the planet.

10. Growing Your Own promotes biodiversity. Mono-cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land with the same crop year after year. While this approach expanded farm production, the lack of natural diversity of plant life has left the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients. To replace the nutrients, chemical fertilizers are used and often in ever increasing amounts. Single crops are also much more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides and some insects have become genetically resistant to certain pesticides and stronger pesticides have become necessary.

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