There are so many benefits to growing your own food, and most of them are pretty obvious.  But in case you’re not completely sold on the idea of having a home garden – to whatever degree you’re up for – this might just push you over the edge and into your favorite garden center to begin.

Gardening is a fantastic way to improve your mental health.  Being outside in the fresh air (and sunshine, if that’s okay for your body) helps to elevate your mood and lower your stress levels.  It’s even a proven method to lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety and depression.  

Another benefit of gardening is that it’s an easy alternative to getting your daily movement practice in.  I’m a big believer in doing at least 30 minutes of movement each day.  I’m just not personally a huge fan of many common “workout” options.  But getting my hands dirty while listening to some fun music is something that I’ll happily do.  Check out this post about ways to keep your body safe while you’re working in your home garden.

Having a home garden, no matter the size, helps the planet.  It cuts down on emissions, commercial fertilizers, and pesticides.  Did you know that in the U.S. produce travels approximately 1500 miles from farm to table?  Crazy, right??  If you live in a part of the world that is known for its agriculture, such as Southern California, then that mileage amount will decrease some.  But the next time you’re in the grocery store buying produce, check the little sticker or label to see the country of origin.  You might be surprised how much comes from other countries.

One of my favorite things about growing some of my food is that I know exactly where my food came from and what’s in or on it (don’t get me started on Monsanto or GMOs).  I have a deeper connection with the living things that are nourishing my body, mind, and spirit as I plant, water, and eventually harvest my garden goodies.  

It’s also a great way to explore a bigger variety of foods.  These are things that you can’t normally get from the grocery store but are readily available from certain garden centers and for sure with various seed companies.   Want an exotic radish?  Check.  Looking for a fancy edible flower?  You’ll find all sorts of options (just make sure they’re actually edible so you don’t, you know, poison yourself).

Gardening is a really nice way to connect with the earth and other members of your family (think: planting a garden with your kids, partner, or grandkids).  Last spring my granddaughter and I planted some flower seeds, and every time I look at them, I’m reminded of her cuteness.

Having a home garden can be super simple or more elaborate, depending on what you’re going for.  If you haven’t checked out this video where we chat about ways to keep it simple, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy my convo with Kristen Cox of Long Beach Community Table.

Whether you want to grow an herb garden grown in pots or are going full out and removing your grass and planting veggie rows, your quality of life improves with having a garden of your own.