Tuesday, May 19, 2009

10 Good Reasons To Plant A Garden

My daughter-in-law Karina with her raised bed garden, Portand, Oregon.

Day 19
of our “One Month Raw Food Cleanse”
We’re 19 days into our raw food cleanse and there is no better raw food than that which is plucked from your very own garden. So I thought today I would try to tempt you, assuming you are not already hooked, on growing some of your own food.

OK, I’m pretty lucky, I live in a sunny, warm climate that screams gardening. But it doesn’t really matter where you live, you can plant something to eat. Don’t have a big back yard? Do what my daughter-in-law did. Replace that useless front lawn with raised beds! It beats watering and mowing. No yard at all? Get some pots and find a sunny window.


1. FRESHLY PICKED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TASTE BETTER because they are picked when they are perfectly ripe. Food that must travel to the marketplace is picked green and doesn’t have that sun ripened taste (just wait until you experience a tomato that doesn’t taste like plastic!).

2. IT’S CONVENIENT. In the summer months, you would hardly have to go to the store. Ingredients for your dinner are just a few steps away.

3. GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD SAVES MONEY. The price of food is skyrocketing. With a minimal investment, you can saves hundreds of dollars or more on your grocery bills.

4. EATING FOOD THAT’S GROWN LOCALLY not only reduces your carbon footprint but locally grown food has an optimum vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content developed to withstand the specific environment in which you live.

5. IT GIVES YOU ACCESS TO FRUITS AND VEGETABLES NOT FOUND IN LOCAL SUPERMARKETS. One year I planted 13 different types of garlic and this year my husband selected 8 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes.

6. IT’S FUN FOR THE KIDS AND INTRODUCES THEM TO VEGETABLES. You’ll have much more luck getting the kids to eat their veggies if they get to watch them grow and pick them out of the garden.

7. CANNING AND FREEZING YOUR GARDEN’S BOUNTY WILL FEED YOU ALL YEAR ROUND. In our last house, we had beautiful and prolific apricot and fig trees. After eating what we could, we froze the fruit in vacu-seal bags and enjoyed them in fruit smoothies for the next entire year! I also made some delicious low sugar apricot jam.

8. WORKING IN YOUR GARDEN IS THERAPEUTIC. No matter how stressful your life is, spending time with your plants will calm you down and give you a connection with the earth and your food.

9. YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN YOUR FOOD. As the gardener, you are in control of how you fertilize and control pests. You will know for sure that harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not in your family’s food. Also, it has been shown that organic fruits and vegetables have a higher vitamin and mineral content.

10. PLANT A ROW FOR THE NEEDY. If you are concerned with world hunger, start in your own neighborhood. Bring extra fruits and vegetables to a local food bank where fresh produce is greatly appreciated.

So I hope I’ve inspired you to try your hand at home gardening. Even a single tomato plant in a pot is a start so go ahead and give it a shot! I also hope you have been trying this raw food cleanse. A friend of mine who has stumped her doctors at Kaiser with a mysterious ailment was actually told by her physician to consider trying a raw food diet. It’s good to see that even western medicine sees the immense good that could come from eating nature’s bounty in its pure and natural form.

Menu for Day 19
Breakfast is fresh pineapple and cantaloupe with chopped dates and walnuts. Lunch is a large green salad with butter lettuce, strawberries, avocado, cucumbers and pine nuts. For dinner, I’ll be making raw tacos that I posted on May 5, 2009 to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. I’m still working my way through the cherries and watermelon I bought the other day so that will be my dessert.

No comments: