9 Reasons Why Growing Our Own Food Is Good For Us And The Planet

Don't let a small space or lack of sunlight deter you. My garden lacks sunlight and there are some vegetables I can't grow, but some (like leafy greens) thrive in the shade - it was just a matter of figuring out what worked for me! And if you just can't make your space work, there are always community gardens that are great for growing and sharing produce. If you live in a small space or apartment, check out this blog on growing food in small spaces.

Here's why growing our own food is so good for us and the planet:

1. Home grown food is healthier

And you know exactly what is in it! Avoid chemical fertilisers by using your own compost which improves the soil microbiome (this supports the health of plants growing in the soil), putting extra nutrients in our food and absorbing CO2 from the environment.

2. Makes you self-sufficient and resilient

Everyone has the right to access healthy, nutritious food and growing our own can help ensure this. Throughout the covid-19 pandemic we've seen how food systems can falter but the strength of communities and staying local has shone through. Once you start growing your own food, encourage your community to as well so you can swap produce!

3. It's great for mental health

Digging in soil, out in the fresh air, literally puts you in touch with nature. And nature is good for us! We've all seen the uptake in gardening throughout lockdowns around the world - the soothing effect and restorative power of nature helping us through challenging times.

4. Growing food at home cuts out food miles

The journey from farm to table can be a long one, and when we buy avocados from Mexico or other food that's travelled from around the world, it can add to how resource intensive our food is. Growing local solves this - can't get more local than your own backyard.

5. It can be cost efficient

Organic food is often expensive, so growing your own, chemical free food makes sense! For more variety, start a community network and organise produce swaps.

6. You can help the native bees thrive!

Planting herbs like oregano, sage, thyme and lavender provide a haven for native bees! Depending on where you are in the world, the types of plants that your native bees prefer will change so do some research online. Bees pollinate one third of what we eat and help to keep the whole ecosystem in balance, so let's do what we can to help them out!

7. A plant based diet can lower your FOODprint

Eating plant-based is a powerful way to lighten our impact on the world. What's more, the produce we grow at home will be plastic-free!

8. Growing your own food teaches us where food comes from

It can be easy to forget the labour, resources and transport that goes into making our food. Many of us shop at supermarkets and are disconnected from our food systems, and often we take them for granted. Growing your own gives you an appreciation for how much goes into growing food, and it also teaches children that food doesn't come from a supermarket!

9. And hey, home grown food just tastes better!

By Allison Licence

Allison Licence is a Sydney-based freelance writer and 1 Million Women volunteer who is passionate about the environment and finding ways to live more sustainably.

Header photo: Photo by Sara Stasi on Unsplash

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