For The Greater Goods (sm)

Starting an Organic Garden: The Top 4 Benefits

This year for our wedding anniversary my husband built me a raised garden bed so we could start our family’s very first organic garden! And although we are still waiting to plant our first seeds, in honor of Earth Day this week,

organic-garden

Photo Credit: OakleyOriginals

I wanted to share a few of the beneficial reasons why my family wanted to start our own organic garden.

The benefits really are limitless, but here are our top 4 reasons why we wanted to start our own organic garden:

1. Healthy, Organic Foods

For starters, keeping my family eating organic foods is one of my top priorities.  I strongly believe in eating healthy and getting processed foods out of the pantry and out of my family’s diets. Why? Organically grown food is significantly higher in the essential vitamins and nutrients that your body uses in its defense against many diseases (including: cancer, heart disease, etc.).  By eating organic foods we can also greatly reduce the intake of harmful chemicals in our bodies. Here is a chart showing how certain organic foods benefit our bodies and health.

2. Keep the Kids Active by Getting them Involved

My family has been living a healthier lifestyle for some time now, and one of the best parts about this change is that I get to teach my children the importance of eating healthy. The problem is, while they now shout things like, “Hey guys! We have healthy organic snacks and we have them here now!” at family members when they come to visit, I still have trouble motivating them to get outside and get active.  The usual response I get is, “but there’s nothing fun to do outside!”  I’m sure this is true for many parents these days as sunlight and fresh air now compete with video games and iPods.

I saw hope though, when we told the kids we were going to start our own organic garden out back, they actually got excited!  They asked right away if they could help, and right away I put them to work.  They helped my husband fill the garden bed with soil and we let them help us pick out the organic seeds.  Something I’ve realized is that kids don’t often get to feel like they are a part of building something real and lasting, and if they do, they don’t often get to make any big decisions.  Starting an organic garden is a great project for your kids to feel helpful as well as important.  My kids can’t wait to start planting now! I know this is going to be such a wonderful opportunity to not only spend time with them, but to teach them about the importance of growing organic food and sustainable, responsible living.

3. An Organic Garden Saves Money

We all know produce at the grocery store can be costly, and it really adds up.  So, why not grow your own vegetables and fruits at home in your own organic garden?  When you start to consider the costs beyond the grocery store: hospital bills and prescriptions add up even faster, you’ll see that the healthier we eat the less diet-related medical bills we will likely have.  One of my favorite quotes by Hippocrates says, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”!   What we eat really does impact our health, and our health has the biggest impact on all other aspects of our lives.

4. Get Exercise

I cannot think of a better excuse to get outside and get moving than starting an organic garden.  Unlike the gym where you can choose to skip a day or decide not to go, your garden needs tending too, if you don’t tend to your garden, it will not produce any harvest.  Oh and here is an interesting tidbit on gardening: by working in your own garden you can burn an average of 350 calories per hour, which is totally an added incentive for me!

There are many more reasons I wanted to start an organic garden with my family, but I hope my top reasons are enough of a push to give you the motivation and inspiration to want to start one with your family.  Happy Gardening!

 

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