You’ve probably heard the phrase “eat the rainbow” tossed around quite a bit in the past few years and for good reason. To “eat the rainbow” simply means that you should be eating a variety of fruits and vegetables wherever you can. Because plants contain different pigments, or phytonutrients, they vary in colour – this means you’ll receive varying nutritional value from different plants, so it’s important to eat a variety of them. It’s no secret that fresh produce is good for you and time and again it has been proven that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables has many health benefits – thanks to all the vitamins, minerals and fibres that they contain.
But what about planting the rainbow? There are many benefits to growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs that extend well beyond nutritional value. Here are our top four reasons to dust off your gardening gear and get planting!
It’s a great stress-reliever What’s good for the mind, is good for the soul (and in this case, the stomach too). Our everyday lives can be chaotic and it’s extremely important to find the time to decompress. Gardening, as a whole, is an excellent way to unwind as it offers a sense of serenity and productivity at the same time. Adding in the gratification of being able to eat the actual fruits of your labour can only enrich this experience.
It will teach you a new skill Learning a new skill is an excellent way to keep your mind in top shape as it helps form neural pathways. It’s an experience that is both exciting and rewarding, and can help you learn skills that you can apply in different situations. Growing your own fruits, vegetables and/or herbs will help you practice patience. It’s also a good lesson in dealing with failure as there is no guaranteed success when it comes to growing vegetables. Both are valuable life skills that can be applied to other areas of your life.
It’s sustainable (and looks great) Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs is a more sustainable option than buying them from a grocery store and it’s a super easy way to lower your carbon foot print. It helps you avoid unnecessary plastic waste, as you’ll be eliminating the need for packing. Plus, you’ll have a continuous supply of fresh produce, eliminating the need to stock up. It’s also kinder to your budget in the long run, as you won’t have to factor in transport costs.
It will taste great Finally, it will taste great. Fresh produce grown in your own garden doesn’t have to travel far like the fresh produce available in grocery stores do. It comes fresh from the ground, eliminating the need for chemicals or preservatives. You will also get to enjoy the taste of your own success – which is something even the freshest of store-bought vegetables won’t be able to offer you. As an added bonus, you can use the produce that you don’t finish to create compost that can then be used to feed your garden. To get your fresh produce growing going, start with some of these beginner-friendly options:
While growing your own fresh produce comes with its own challenges, there’s no feeling quite like adding freshly picked berries, that you grew yourself, to your morning smoothie.