Organic Gardening Produces Healthy Foods and Living
One of the fastest growing hobbies has become home gardening. Whether its vegetable gardening in a large front or backyard plot or container gardening off a balcony, the trend continues to increase in popularity in both urban and suburban areas. There are several good reasons why home gardening is one of the most enjoyable and practical hobbies that many people feel compelled to pick up.
Part of the popularity of home gardening is a result of the ever-increasing cost of food. Consider that a great part of the cost of fruits and vegetables as well as grains and meats is the transport costs. Thanks to the rise in the price of petroleum, those costs have increased to the point where many farmers can’t make a living selling to the wholesalers that grocery stores purchase from.
Instead, farmers, horticulturists and orchardists are making a living selling fresh or value-added products at farmers’ markets and other local outlets. For most, the distance that constitutes local is 50 miles or about an hour. By way of comparison, most people won’t travel more than 6 miles to purchase food while it now travels over 1,700 miles to reach the store. No wonder it’s gotten so expensive.
Purchasing Organic Foods
This is often the case in organic produce. People have made an increasing effort to purchase organic foods in the ‘aughts. It’s no surprise, given what a documented negative impact pesticides have on environmental and human health, as well as the increasing real cost it has on continued agricultural productivity.
However, organic produce can sometimes travel even further to get to grocery shelves in places where there is very little commercial fruit or vegetable being grown. The increasing number of farmers’ markets are a very good alternative, but they can be expensive if you purchase all your produce or a significant amount of your food there.
Produce shouldn’t be a boutique food. Having good, healthy food is very important for human health. Studies have shown how the access to fresh produce, that is a real and serious problem among the poor and those living in depressed areas. It decreases lifespan and increases morbidity. The incidence of severe respiratory problems and diabetes in these populations is skyrocketing.
At the same time, countless studies have shown that home gardening in the form of growing your own produce drastically increases the intake of vegetables for most people, decreasing the likelihood of developing a great many degenerative disorders. Vegetable gardening can actually improve your quality of life in a very real sense with both fewer trips to the doctor and fewer trips to the grocery.
One of the most appealing things about home gardening for many is that you always know exactly what you’ve put on your crops. Organic gardening is best accomplished in small spaces, in many regards. For starters, you can grow things much closer together in an intensive organic garden than is possible in commercial fields. Most suburban or urban gardens will be just a few cubic yards, at most. In such a space, it takes less than an hour per week to use organic and cultural methods to plant and tend a home garden.
Organic methods can be something as simple as just pulling the occasional weed or planting into a paper mulch. Organic gardening is impractical on a thousand acre (400 hectare) plot, but very scalable to a distributed network of people growing small amounts of produce on their own plots.
If you either have a greenhouse or are able to eat seasonally and can, you can save nearly your entire produce bill in a given year by simply growing and saving your own. Container gardening can give you fresh herbs that save money by encouraging you to eat in more often.
A typical produce bill in the United States doesn’t reflect the true cost of what a home-made and lightly processed diet that is required to turn around the “obesity epidemic” that the CDC has identified as a target of public health action. Eating produce from your home garden not only saves the carbon dioxide from airlifted produce from South America but also, can save the expense of lost wages as well as the massive cost of a processed-food induced medical emergency.
Home gardening is an enjoyable hobby for many as well as a great way to improve your health, enjoy the outdoors and save money. It has become very popular in recent times due to the practices and true cost of fruits and vegetables from the supermarket becoming common knowledge. As the price drives people into greater local-ism, the food chain is not far behind. Get ahead of it and plant your own garden for a change and save some of your own in the process.