It's a national phenomenon happening from the White House to local schools to your own backyard. It's one of the hottest food trends happening now in our country. I'm speaking of the "interest spike" in growing your own vegetables. There are several reasons for this mass appeal of vegetable gardening and growing your own food:
One, the current economic landscape has many people with extra time on their hands and looking for ways to save money.
Two, we are looking for green ways to improve our lives and environment.
Three, it is very rewarding to be outside, in touch with mother nature growing something great.
Four, you have control over how your food is grown, picked, and raised before you ever take a single bite.
Five, food from your backyard is simply as fresh as you can get it. You can pick it at its optimum ripeness, when you like. It doesn't have to travel by states and countries to reach you.
Six, home-grown food, cultivated and tended by you tastes like no other. Flavors are incredible, and scream "delicious".
Seven, chances are you will be eating and cooking healthier.
Eight, growing your own food sets you up for eating seasonally, which further creates many other wonderful ripple effects.
Nine, growing your own food will enhance your entertaining, cooking, baking, and dining experiences-- taking them all to another level.
Ten, did I forget to mention it is just "plain fun".
If you have children, gardening and vegetable gardening in particular, is an especially great way to teach them many of life's lessons. You must first "plant the seeds", be patient, and watch your dedicated efforts grow into fruition. Sometimes "less is more" when it comes to thinning your seedlings. Never be surprised if your best efforts far exceed your wildest imagination. Even your best efforts may be a failure sometimes, but look for the "something positive" that will come from it. Some of the best things in life are "free". Many hands lighten a load. Sharing with others is a beautiful thing. Mother Nature is awe-inspiring and incredibly unpredictable. Want to engage your children with enthusiasm. Instead of buying pumpkins this October, why not plant pumpkin seeds now of several different varieties and watch them evolve.
The rewards of growing your own food are many. It is certainly an important part of my life and lifestyle. Many of you are probably veteran vegetable gardeners, if so, what got you started? What was your motivation? If you have space constraints, don't let that stop you, think containers. This mass appeal of vegetable growing is fueling wonderful and very creative ways of vegetable gardening, like going vertical, hanging tomato containers, use of buildings and their accoutrements. The sky is the limit.