If you’re on the fence about whether or not gardening is for you, you need to read the following list of our favorite gardening benefits:
1. Fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs are delicious. Anyone who’s grown their own food and reaped the rewards knows that the grocery store can’t compete. A fresh, homegrown tomato is simply not the same as a store-bought tomato that was packed, transported, and stored, then sat on a shelf were it was poked and squeezed by every stranger who came by before you. Not only does homegrown have a superior taste, it often has better nutrition. Much of the produce found in the grocery store was harvested unripe before the full flavor and nutritional content could mature, and it’s older, meaning certain nutrients have been lost over time. Vitamin C starts to diminish within hours of harvest!
2. The unfortunate truth of agriculture today is that it relies on toxic chemicals, GMOs, and depleted soil. A major benefit to your garden is that there are no unexpected herbicides or pesticides because you control the production methods.
3. It saves money! High quality food is expensive, but buying seeds (or collecting your own!) and putting it in the soil is not. What’s the difference between growing beans on vines and growing money on trees?
4. Gardening is a great way to get you active and outside. We all know we should spend more time outside connecting with nature, yet we never do. That will change once you have delicious food outside! Anyone with a garden will tell you gardening is an every day practice that gets them outside and moving, and has amazing reward of not only fresh produce but also the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
5. The psychological benefits or gardening are also worth taking into account. There are countless anecdotal stories from people who enjoy gardening and recent research supports that gardening has the power to decrease stress and improve your mood.
6. Sharing homegrown vegetables is a great way to connect with people. What better way to show your neighbor you appreciate them than with carrots or blueberries you grew and harvested yourself? Sharing feels great and people will be delighted to receive the fruits of your labor.
7. Without debate, a thriving, bountiful garden is beautiful. Whether it’s on a rooftop like ours, in your backyard, or even just on your windowsill, it’s not only productive but it makes the space come to life.
Our vision at Roots on the Roof is not only to get you outside and benefiting from gardening, but to get those benefits to society at large. Why?
It’s better for the environment. Small, local, decentralized agriculture creates less (if any!) pollution and erosion than our current agriculture industry, which is responsible for many factors causing environmental degradation.
Saving the environment is reason enough, but decentralized production is also more resilient in the face of drought, crop failure, or a pandemic. Communities and families with local food production can more easily adapt to hardship and change.
Gardening is an especially strong tool for marginalized and underprivileged communities to independently take control of their social and economic development. Read this paper to learn more about the impact gardens can have on a community by improving food security, providing common spaces of belonging, and even creating opportunities for education. We want to make information about how to garden accessible and encourage everyone to get in the game.
Gardening is a great way to stay conscious of nature, where our food comes from, and what healthy eating looks like. Gardening has been shown to increase children’s ecological understanding, and make them more willing to engage in environmentally responsible behaviors. Kids with gardens also prefer vegetables and have double the fruit and vegetable consumption compared to kids who don’t participate it gardening. Further, this study also ties gardening to a reduction in ADHD symptoms in children.
Coming back to the environmental health argument, gardens support bees, other pollinators, birds, and the soil ecosystem much more than a sterile lawn ever will. The health of our ecosystems, even if they are just the size of your backyard, have extreme complications not only for environmental health but also for our individual and societal health. It’s too complicated for us to completely unpack here, but if you have doubts just consider this study that showed exposure to a thriving soil ecology can protect children from developing allergies and asthma.
We don’t know about you, we’d like to live in a society that is environmentally friendly, resilient, healthy, ecologically aware, and empowers communities. Join us in being a part of the change!
Weather you’re ready to take your garden to the next level or are still just getting started, we hope this list and the other information on this site gets you outside and helps you make your goals a reality. Have fun and enjoy the many benefits of gardening!