Fresh fruit and vegetables are essential for nutrition and health. However, with the pressures of life, many of us find it a challenge to make time to source and prepare fresh fruit and vegetables. Combined population expansion and environmental factors mean that a growing proportion of the population live in a food desert.
A sustainable way to access fresh produce is through growing your own produce. Gardening is a great way to grow your own and spend time outdoors exercising. With the rise of Urban Farms, Hydroponics, and Rooftop Gardening, we have seen that space is no longer a limiting factor. Preparing an area to grow your own produce requires no more than a small tub, a few seeds and healthy soil to get started - Green Fingers are not essential. As your plants grow and eventually flourish into delicious harvests, many benefits can be reaped. These include:
Finding Mental Quiet
Time spent gardening outdoors, whether it’s on a balcony, rooftop or in a backyard, can lead to a wealth of benefits. Watching as your seeds grow and harvesting a small bounty of your efforts can provide feelings of gratitude and impact your outlook for the better. Creating and maintaining your garden can provide excellent acute stress relief and meditative benefits.
Preparing and maintaining your garden means that you are on your feet, lifting, stretching and walking while breathing in fresh air. Just half an hour of gardening, such as tilling soil, raking or mowing the lawn can lead to a calorie burn of around 200 calories. Using an activity tracker on your phone such as Argus can show how active you are while gardening.
Conscious, Mindful Eating
Tilling soil, nurturing the plants, and harvesting a bounty gives you time away from the pressures of daily life including the immediate demands from smartphone devices. These activities provide time to reflect on the process of food production and provide opportunities to explore accountability for the environmental impacts of production. Through choosing to grow your own, you establish a mindful relationship with your environment and reap the ‘fruits’ of your labour.
Sustainable Source of Nutrients
Anyone with a bit of extra space can grow basic kitchen crops such as mixed salad leaves, tomatoes, and herbs. These crops can be planted in anything from small containers to large beds. For example, repurposed cans three quarters filled with nutrient rich soil can be used to sow tomato seeds or saplings.
Positioned in a windowsill or small balcony with access to sunlight and regular water will give the plant all it needs for growth. Nurturing and harvesting fresh produce for a meal can be a delicious reward for time and effort invested into your crops. Fresh harvests also provide an excellent source of fruits and vegetables which can be picked when needed, keeping produce fresher for longer.
Patricia founded AWS in 2008 as a means of sharing and documenting her health journey. Diagnosed with familial hypercholestrolemia as a teenager she has worked with nutritionists and sports professionals to holistically alter the expression of her epigenetic markers. Out of AWS grew the Urban Farmer which showcases her passion for gardening and self sufficient living. When Patricia is not gardening you will find her cooking, rock climbing and hiking.
Third Photo Credit: sugarless/shutterstock.com