When it comes to looking after our health the best rule of thumb is to choose foods that are as close to nature as possible. This way we can limit the detrimental effects of processed, refined and de-natured foods, which lead to poor health outcomes.
By choosing to grow some of your own food you can eat freshly harvested food grown in nutrient-rich soil, which you have managed. Preparing foods fresh from the earth means you will consume more vitamins, minerals and enzymes in the food you eat.
Tending your garden provides the added benefits of some physical exercise and mental relaxation. So get with the gardening groove and make eating fresh, healthy food an integral part of your daily life.
Here’s some tips to get you started. . . . .
Select a sunny spot in your garden. Vegies like six hours of sun a day. Don’t have a garden? Then container gardening is the way to go. Choose large, deep, well-drained pots, vertical garden beds from hardware store or even a recycled polystyrene box from the green grocer will do the job well.
Plant directly into your garden or make a seed bed out of the polystyrene box filled with watered seeding mix. Scatter the seed finely, press down and cover with another fine layer of seeding mix.
Make a border to contain a garden veggie patch with any solid materials to hand. Dig over the soil and add lots of organic material such as compost or cured manure. Leave it for a couple of weeks before planting to improve the soil.
Choose seeds for the right time of year. You can buy seeds at all local nurseries, but for the best quality go for organic and heirloom varieties. Some online seed suppliers include:
Once the seeds have germinated and the seedlings have their second set of leaves pick out all but the healthiest, leaving enough space between them to grow to full size. If you are using a seed box carefully lift out the seedlings by their leaves and transplant into small biodegradable pots. Once the plants are 15 centimetres high they can be transferred into the garden.
For a more natural pest control try mixing a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a cup of vegetable oil and spray it on your plants at 10 day intervals.
Why is it so important to grow some of your own veggies?
By planting your own veggie garden – especially an organic one – you will help to reduce the demands put on our land by commercial agriculture. You will also reduce the energy used to put food on your plate, help keep our waterways healthy, reduce the chemical load entering our waterways from fertilisers and pesticides. Creating a produce garden is a great way to minimise your impact on the planet.