Many people today want to know where their food comes from. It’s important to know, for instance, that your food is both ethically and healthily sourced and grown. The term farm-to-table has become increasingly popular as restaurateurs and consumers bypass commercial producers and purchase food from its direct source. Similar to the farm-to-table process, you will have more control over your diet by using garden-to-table ingredients. Organic gardening has countless benefits, from supporting the local economy to simplifying the process of making delicious, healthy meals for your family. Just take a look at our simple caprese salad, for instance.
But before we get into its benefits, let’s discuss what organic gardening is, exactly. Much like farm-to-table ingredients, organic gardening eschews the use of harsh chemicals and harmful pesticides. Instead, home gardeners use natural techniques and methods to nourish the soil. Mulching, composting, and incorporating cover cropping are a few ways to feed your soil naturally.
So, why grow your food organically?
An organic home garden will produce great-tasting, fresh ingredients that are not only more flavorful, but also healthier for you. For example, chemical-free soils have a higher nutrient content than soil that is chemically treated. That means organic food generally has a higher vitamin and mineral content than non-organic food. But don’t just take our word for it. There is plenty of research to back up this assertion.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, organic crops and crop-based foods have anywhere from a 19%-69% higher concentration of antioxidants than their non-organic counterparts. This is likely due to pesticides that are used on commercially grown crops, which deplete the soil’s nutritional value.
In fact, pesticide residue levels are four times greater in conventional crops than in organic crop foods. This high concentration can be detrimental to your health. Chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, for example, have been linked to a host of health problems, including brain cancer and depression. So it’s important to avoid them. For an organic fertilizer alternative, visit Farmington Gardens, your Portland area nursery, and check our gardening supplies section.
In addition to the difference in nutrients, home gardening is a great recreational activity. It’s good to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. It’s optimal to spend twenty minutes a day in the sun to get an adequate amount of vitamin D. Be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses, though. Being outdoors can often boost spirits as well and gardening is a great way to reduce stress while improving physical fitness.
While you and your family will certainly benefit from organic gardening, there are many environmental benefits that will also improve your home’s landscaping.
In addition to the harmful effects pesticides can have on your health, they can also harm what are known as beneficial insects. These “good” bugs promote the growth of your plants. However, the use of pesticides can kill beneficial insects, such as pollinators, that promote food growth. Additionally, pesticides can contaminate surface water and groundwater.
A common misconception about organic gardening is that it’s rather expensive.
While it is true that organic fruits and vegetables can be costly at your local grocer, organic fruits and veggies grown at home can actually save you money in the long run. As we mentioned earlier, feeding the soil with natural techniques and avoiding the use of pesticides has a positive environmental impact. Soil with a greater concentration of nutrients will often produce a higher crop yield. Translation? Over time, you’ll be able to feed your family more with less.
If you’re concerned about the health of your soil, visit our Portland area nursery to purchase one of our high-quality, professional grade soils. And for a personal testimonial on the health benefits and cost-savings of organic gardening, look here.
Composting is another great way to save money while protecting the environment. Composting uses grass clippings and food scraps to feed your soil while reducing environmental waste. Instead of dumping the trash at the local landfill, you’re returning these materials to Mother Nature in a beneficial way. This will save you money while also promoting environmental health.
There are countless benefits to organic gardening. But the bottom line is that once you give organic gardening a try, it’s unlikely you’ll want to turn back. Those who enjoy cooking and take great pride in making quality home-cooked meals will definitely want to grow organic ingredients. Organic food grown at home is fresh, robust, and flavorful. It will enhance your dishes and make them taste better than ever before! Organically grown food tastes superior to store-bought ingredients and commercial produce. For those who pride themselves on being foodies, give it a shot and experience firsthand the difference in taste organic gardening can make.
In addition to enhanced flavor, there’s also a huge convenience factor to organic home gardening. You’ll make fewer trips to the grocery store, for instance, saving you both time and gas money. If you’re in the mood for something to snack on but have nothing in the cupboards, you can simply step outdoors and pick a veggie straight off the vine. Organic gardening means more time spent at home with your family doing something beneficial and enjoyable.
If you’re new to organic gardening, it’s good to start small. Try a few plants before going all-in. Drop by our Portland area nursery to check out our great selection of seeds and bulbs, or contact Farmington Gardens for an at-home visit. We’ll address any garden problems you might have and also make expert recommendations for what you should be growing. You’ll have such a sense of pride in producing your own food, sustaining the environment, and keeping your family on a healthy diet. Organic gardening has many benefits. Now, it’s time for you to begin reaping those benefits!