Although it may seem like a lot of work, creating your very own backyard garden doesn’t require hours of backbreaking labor. In fact, it’s relatively easy to get one started, and it can be done by people from all walks of life, regardless of age or race.
However, all of this dedication comes with some health benefits, which you can use to help keep your family—and community—on the right dietary track. Here are some resources from Transition Garden and Transition Bay St Margarets that will help you and your family develop a nutritiously beneficial garden.
How to Start Your Own Backyard Garden
If you’ve never spent time growing plants or vegetables, starting your own garden may seem like an overwhelming, if not impossible, task. However, doing so isn’t nearly as difficult as you may imagine. That said, there are rules you need to follow to ensure your crop is a success.
- If you won’t eat it, don’t grow it. Common Sense Home suggests selecting vegetables your family actually likes. So, make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of what’s on the menu before you commit to growing anything.
- Make sure you have the right tools. As Garden Design explains, important tools to have ready in your shed include gloves, shears, and a hand trowel, though these three merely scratch the surface.
- Protect your garden. A fence surrounding your property could prevent critters from entering and eating from your garden.
- Don’t rule out an herb garden. Don’t have room for a full-blown veggie garden? No worries! Planning a small herb garden will provide plenty of ways to keep your recipes flavorful.
The Many Benefits of a Backyard Garden
Once your garden begins to sprout food, you’re good to go! But what are the benefits of growing your own food? Starting a garden can be a way to not only grow food for yourself and your family, but you can save money at the same time! Plus, growing plants is a form of self-care. You may be surprised what a difference a garden — even a small one — can make in your life.
- A garden improves your home. Your garden can be integrated into your home’s landscape, creating a more appealing home that improves its value. In fact, you might find that it increases your home’s appraisal value, too. Keep your receipts, especially if you invest in a greenhouse or raised garden beds, so you have them when you eventually decide to sell your home.
- Rein in your grocery budget. The more you grow in your garden, the less you’ll have to spend at the grocery store. Nationwide points out that a packet of seeds is less than what you’ll end up paying for a single vegetable—those numbers are definitely hard to ignore when you’re on a budget.
- Help your family develop a healthier diet. If you’ve grown concerned about your family’s eating habits, a backyard garden can help turn things around. What’s more, if you’re used to eating canned vegetables on occasion, you can incorporate those cooking techniques into your fresh inventory!
- Use it to keep everyone in shape. Yes, believe it or not, gardening can help you stay in shape. Although it won’t provide the same benefits as a full-blown workout, gardening can help in many beneficial ways, such as improving your dexterity, building muscle mass, and boosting bone density.
How a Community Benefits from Your Backyard Garden
Sure, your family will definitely benefit from this new garden. But did you know that growing vegetables can help the people in your community and neighborhood as well? Instead of trashing what your family doesn’t eat, consider spreading the love around. Consider donating your extra harvests to your local food bank. And if you’re looking for inspiration, this article discusses four excellent community gardens that may help you discover your own passion for gardening. Here are some of the ways your new garden can benefit your community and those with food insecurity.
- Churches and food banks need support. These organizations help those less fortunate provide food for their families and loved ones. So, look into donating your surplus so you can assist those in need. You may even decide to start your own non-for-profit corporation to maximize your outreach. Research what it takes to form a nonprofit and make sure all the requirements are met and all the paperwork is filed properly.
- Cook some dishes for a senior in your community. Sadly, many seniors struggle to meet their nutritional needs on a daily basis. So, cook some healthy dishes for your homebound neighbors to provide them with a healthy balance of great food.
- Children can learn invaluable lessons. In addition to getting them out of the house, involving your children in your gardening and donating your surplus can be a great educational tool. To actually see how your backyard bounty helps a food-insecure family can instill in your children a sense of generosity and compassion.
- Grow your reach. If you hope to expand your reach, look beyond your current group of peers, friends, and family. Reach out to local restaurants, coffee shops and grocers.
- Start a community garden. If you are comfortable with having people on your property, consider starting a community or co-op garden where other people can plant their own foods and share their harvest.
Dig into Gardening!
While it may take some time to find your footing, you’ll soon discover that the hard work you put into your garden will produce many benefits, for both your family and the community. So, dig through these resources, gather your seeds and supplies, and jump in! You’ll soon experience the fruits (or vegetables!) of your labor.
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