With the cost of everything going up these days, we're all looking for ways where we can save a dollar or two. One of the essential parts of everyone's budget is their food budget, so if you could grow a lot of your own food, you'd save some serious money. Sure, there is the initial investment of purchasing your seeds, plants, and soil, not to mention raised beds if you need them, but this investment can literally pay off for a lifetime. Let's look at some reasons why starting a garden this spring might be the best hobby for you.
Your Health Is #1
The most obvious place to start as far as reasoning to create your garden is your health. When you control how your food is grown, you know what chemicals are on it and how it was cared for. Even if you don't go the route of complete organic gardening, you're likely to have cleaner ingredients than things that were shipped to your local grocery store. Not to mention, eating a plant-based diet has been shown to have some profound health benefits when it comes to your heart, your body's inflammation levels, and your overall longevity. Even if you’re confined to an apartment and don’t have a lot of outside space, there are plenty of options to choose from like organic sprouting seeds that you can sprout in your home.
It's Great Exercise
Piggybacking on the health aspect of eating your bountiful harvests, gardening in itself is an excellent form of physical exercise. From the squats you get into the carrying of bags of soil and everything else, it's nothing but good for your body. Plus, spending time outdoors gives us the ever-important Vitamin D that our body needs to stay healthy.
It's a Family Affair
If you have children, getting them involved in gardening not only teaches them a lifelong skill that they won't learn in school, but it makes them more likely to be less picky about eating vegetables. When children take part in the process from the beginning of sprouting seeds all the way up to the time of harvest, they're proud of what they've accomplished and will want to eat what they created. If you don't have children, it's still a great time spent outside with your furry family members. Dogs and cats, even pet rabbits, love spending time outdoors basking in the sunlight while you do your gardening, and it's a cute way to bond with your pets. Make sure you're up to date on tips for pet-safe gardening, though.
Give Back to Your Community
Many people who start small gardens quickly realize that tomato and pepper plants produce a lot more than expected! You'll likely find you have more than enough food to not only feed yourself and your family but others as well! You can make the healthy habit of giving away your surplus fruits and veggies to friends and family members, or you could offer them to local nonprofits or shelters. Most organizations like those are severely underfunded, so every donation helps. You can make a critical difference in the lives of others in your community simply through a hobby you enjoy!
Maybe you are struggling to make ends meet, and that's a motivation for starting the garden in the first place. While being generous with some of your leftover harvest is always advised, if you are producing a ton of fruits and vegetables, you could consider turning it into a side hustle to earn you some extra income. Maybe you even make a killer salsa out of the ingredients you grow. You never know what could turn into a small business that could make you some serious cash through your efforts.
If you want to make money on what you're growing, the best place to start selling your products is through natural food markets. Check with the local natural food stores in your area and bring samples of what you're growing. If your product is good, they'll likely take a chance on you. Many cities also have farmer's markets that simple application and small rental fee will allow you to sell on the weekends and make some serious cash!
Gardening is a hobby that takes trial and error and a whole lot of patience. However, once you get the hang of it, you'll quickly see how much money can be made or how much of a difference you can make in the lives of others. Not to mention the healthy changes it will bring to your own life. So, here's to your health, now get growing!