As a new season approaches, the urge to get outside and make things grow becomes stronger. Growing your own veggies is not only fun, but it can save you money and encourage you to eat healthier. But, are your homegrown veggies safe to eat? Let’s take a look…
Benefits of Homegrown Veggies
Let’s start with the good stuff. There are many benefits to growing your own food and choosing to make each meal a more nutritious one.
- Homegrown veggies are riper and usually taste better.
- They are packed with more nutrients because you are eating them straight from the vine, rather than from a grocery store shelf where they’ve been sitting for a longer period of time.
- It’s cheaper than buying produce from the store.
- It encourages you to eat more vegetables.
- You can control the soil, fertilizer and pesticides that come into contact with your food.
Dangers of Homegrown Veggies
We don’t want to discourage you from growing and eating homegrown veggies, but there are some things you should watch out for.
- Your garden may be more accessible to animals (including pets) that spread bacteria.
- Backyard gardens are susceptible to insects that contain viruses.
- There may be chemical contaminants in your soil that you aren’t aware of.
Homegrown Veggie Safety
When making plans to grow your veggie garden, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is where to put it. Veggies are relatively simple to grow, so give it a try with these simple tips.
- Pick an area that gets at least six hours of daytime sun and ideally has access to water.
- Choose just a few of your favorite vegetables to start with. Easy to grow veggies include peppers, tomatoes, herbs, squash and zucchini. See how you do with these and expand to new varieties when you get the hang of it.
- Keep animals and pests away from your garden as best as possible, try using a fence if necessary.
- Don’t plant near a septic tank or sewage line, and inspect the area first for any runoff from contaminants like gasoline, oil or other common chemicals.
- Pick food when it is ripe, and wash it well before eating.
- Clean tools after gardening to limit the spread of bacteria.
Homegrown veggies are fun, and safe to eat if you follow these simple precautions. Any hey, if it doesn’t work out you can still run to the store, or stock up on Garden of Life supplements made from fresh whole vegetables to fill in the gaps! Give it a try this season and see how much of a difference it can make in your diet.