Have you ever thought about growing a vegetable garden? If you have, you’re not alone. According to industry surveys, 19 percent more surveyed households planned on growing their own fruits and vegetables in 2009. This was almost double the numbers from 2008. Thirty-six million households are planning to grow some food in a garden this year, and another 1 million will garden in publicly owned community plots.
There are many great reasons to grow your own vegetables. For one thing, homegrown veggies taste a lot better than store-bought ones. Putting together a garden, even a small one, and taking care of it all year is also wonderful exercise. You can burn 230 to 325 calories an hour while gardening–no gym membership required! Strengthened muscles and some pretty good aerobic exercise are the beneficial side effects of growing your very own SuperFoods.
Gardening can be a fun family experience that saves you money, too. In fact, according to the National Growers Association, a typical small, well-maintained food garden may yield a $500 return on investment. Not only that, but when you grow your own food, you know exactly what soil it is grown in, how it was fertilized, if it was sprayed with anything nasty, and how it was harvested. That’s a very “green” solution to putting healthy food on the table.
In addition to burning calories while gardening and saving money, there’s a tremendous amount of satisfaction that comes from planting, harvesting and eating your own SuperFoods. It’s super easy, and you don’t even need a backyard to make it happen. A smart guide to urban gardening — or properly using a small space in your own yard — is Jimmy Williams’ book From Seed to Skillet: A Guide to Growing, Tending, Harvesting, and Cooking Up Fresh, Healthy Food to Share with People You Love.