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5 Reasons to Start a Vegetable Garden

vegetable garden Debra Gail Photography Fine Art Prints

I am anxiously awaiting spring and in the process of planning my vegetable garden. I saved many seeds from my garden last year and picked up a few more yesterday. I started a variety of seeds today (tomatoes, nasturtium, squash, cucumber, more beets, lettuce, and spinach, and so much more) and I can’t wait to get started!   

This is vegetable and flower seed heaven.
Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is delicious grilled or broiled.

Do you have a vegetable garden? Or even a small container garden?

There are so many benefits to having a garden!  

vegetable gardening beets
Besides tomatoes, beets are my favorite homegrown vegetable.
pickled beets vegetable garden
Pickled beets are actually my favorite and so easy to make!


#1. Gardening is Challenging

If you like a challenge, give gardening a try! In the Midwest, it is not uncommon for the heat of August to appear in May. Or worse, for a late May frost to destroy fragile tomato plants.

Gardening has an element of luck. Sometimes it’s a toss-up, depending a lot on the weather. And we can’t control the weather!

cherry tomatoes peppers squash vegetable garden debra gail photography
Tomatoes, peppers, and squash are a colorful mix and taste delicious.
Pure deliciousness! Tomatoes and onions are cooking; my favorite sauce.

#2. Eating Habits are Improved

Having a garden provides us with healthy, delicious vegetables. Additionally, homegrown fruits and vegetables can improve the eating habits of adults and children and help prevent diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. The Journal of American Dietetic Association found that children more than doubled their overall fruit and vegetable consumption after their parents grew a food garden in their yard. Additionally, homegrown fruits and vegetables are more nutrient-dense than conventional store-bought produce.

fresh salad from the garden
A delicious salad with home grown lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, parsley, and dill.
grilled peppers vegetable garden
I like to grill peppers, remove the skins, put in glass jars, and cover with olive oil. Eat them on salads, with grilled chicken, put on a grilled tortilla pizza–the uses are endless!
Grilled peppers in olive oil in the back; cooked and reduced peppers in the front. I use the pepper spread on crackers.

#3. Meet the Neighbors

When luck is on our side, sometimes there is excess! That’s a good year! This excess provides us the opportunity to share with neighbors and friends. Gardens can also be social magnets that get neighbors to talk over the fence, and it helps to connect families to their communities.

fresh potatoes from the vegetable garden
Lots of fresh potatoes for sharing.

#4. Exercise for Body and Mind

In this technology-driven world, working in a garden is a solution to the sedentary, indoor lifestyles that are becoming increasingly prevalent. The delight of physical activity in a natural setting to produce something concrete is not only good for your body but even better for the soul. Additionally, planning a garden gives a person a chance to realize a vision. As young plants emerge and take shape, designs transform into success. Gardening also evokes pleasant feelings. An early-morning walk in the garden can be quite relaxing and enjoyable. The garden’s beauty and progress are all for you and for you to share. 

In the dogs days of summer, shucking corn.

#5. Nature

Growing your own food offers a handy way to connect with the natural world. I find a spectacular connection to the Earth when I’m outside and playing in the dirt. Not only for all of the reasons listed above but because it gives me something more to photograph!

Sliced cucumbers and onions for my special pickles.
pickles vegetable garden debra gail photography
Homegrown garlic, dill, and peppers into the pickle jars.
“Deb’s Sweet – Spicy – Dill Pickles”

Growing a garden is about so much more than food. It is also about enriching your family, your community, your mind, your body. Why do you like to garden?

Cut a hole in a cabbage, insert a small glass, fill it with water, and …
add some tulips!

fresh pizza with homegrown tomatoes, peppers and basil
Homemade, grilled pizza with a flour tortilla, fresh pesto, peppers, cheese and basil garnish.

Do you have a garden? Please leave your comments below and tell me what is your favorite homegrown vegetable! And if you have questions about the recipes or gardening, please ask away.

Thank you for stopping by and Happy Gardening!

~ Debra Gail

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