Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homegrown Benefits

Rob and I recognize the benefits of homegrown produce. My parents have always had a huge garden so I grew up with lots and lots of fresh veggies, herbs, and fruit. Last year Rob and I planted basil, tomatoes, and green peppers in pots on our front porch. We had great luck with the basil, but our tomato and green pepper plants didn't do as well as I had hoped (due to a Tomato Horn Worm invasion). As most of you know we live in Delaware so it gets pretty hot here in the summer and my yard doesn't have any shade so we plant in pots and put them on the front porch. This year we went with all herbs (since we loved having fresh basil all summer last year). This year we planted a mixed pot of basil, oregano, and parsley and two catnip plants for baby. Next year we might put in a full garden, after we get some trees planted for a little shade from the hot sun.

Some of the benefits of growing your own vegetables and/or herbs
  • You are assured fresh vegetables. A lot of vegetables lose at least some of their vitamins as soon as they are gathered, so being able to take them from the garden to the table in a matter of minutes, ensures you gain the maximum possible health benefits from your homegrown vegetables.
  • Value for money.It is cheaper to grow your own vegetables and herbs at home. When you first start there will be some expenses such as pots, soil, fences, or other materials, but in most cases these are things that you can use year after year.
  • You can grow organic vegetables.You are guaranteed that your produce is organic because nothing is going on them unless you put it there. This is a huge benefit if you have people in your family with allergies.
  • Children actually learn where vegetables come from, how they grow and what they look like.  Growing vegetables yourself is providing them with a valuable life skill and education - while they have fun and plenty of fresh air! 
    Top ten most popular homegrown veggies according to The Gardeners Rake website:
    1. Tomatoes
    2. Peppers (hot peppers con be used to aid in colds and cayenne pepper can help heal a deep cut)
    3. Cucumbers (the inside of a cucumber can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the outside temperature. This is where the saying cool as a cumber came from)
    4. Onions (used as a cold remedy and they are said to help cure many ailments)
    5. Beans (Snap beans grow in both green and yellow varieties. There is a purple wax bean that turns green when it is cooked)
    6. Lettuce (Americans consume about 30 lbs. of lettuce each, per year)
    7. Carrots (English women in the 1600’s often wore carrot leaves in their hats in place of flowers or feathers)
    8. Sweet Corn (Corn is the most widely grown crop in America but only 10% is used at the dinner table)
    9. Radishes (radishes were originally grown for their size and could be as large as 50 to 100 pounds each)
    10. Cabbage. (Babe Ruth uses a cabbage leaf under his ball cap to keep cool. He changed it every two innings)

    So get out there are start planting, even if you start out with only a few plants you will see the benefits!


      1. I've planted my first garden this year, and I'm enjoying every minute of tending to it and watching it grow. I'm in Louisiana, so it gets extremely hot here, but I have a nice little corner of my yard that gets some shade. So far, I have lots of small tomatoes, green peppers, cucumber blooms, basil, cilantro, onions and parsley. :) I'll be happy when I can finally harvest something!
        Good luck with your garden!


      2. This is my second year of gardening and I've learned so much from my first that this year could be big! Great tips!

      3. i love gardening! i'm taking this year off because we just moved to an apartment, but maybe next year i'll try working with container crops. good luck this year!

      4. Nothing tastier than fresh veggies out of the backyard. I can't wait till all my goodies ripen up.

      5. Ooooh I can't wait to one day have a yard and a garden- nothing beats fresh veggies!

      6. Good luck with your gardens everyone!! It is starting to get pretty hot here so I spend quite a bit of time watering now. I love being able to cut fresh herbs and use them in my cooking though. Keep me updated on your gardens