Why Not Grow Your Own Food?
It’s a great question. Why grow your own food when you can whip over to the closest food market and pick it up, fully grown and ready to eat?
Well, there are a host of reasons to grow your own food! Nutritional reasons, physical reasons, and educational reasons.
First of all, did you know that food picked at the peak of its ripeness and served right away is the most nutritious and vitamin packed food available? Produce found in stores is often picked before it is fully ripe and a lot of the nutrients is lost in the few days it takes to travel to the store. When you grow your own produce you can use the entire plant as well. You can use the tops of carrots, beets and turnips for greens in your smoothies or use the leaves from broccoli, cauliflower or celery to add flavour or substitute for cabbage.
Gardening is also great for the spirit! It gets you outdoors, gets you moving and connects you with the earth. Most gardeners spend an average of 5 hours a week in the garden soaking up vitamin D and reducing stress. It has also been show that gardening creates a sense of pride and connection to the world around you.
Watching a plant grow from seed to fully formed plant is one of the best ways to an education in the life cycle of plants, nutritional needs of plants and growing seasons. This educational piece is especially important for children who may have no idea how food grows and where it comes from. Involving a child in gardening will give them the tools they need to eat healthier for the rest of their lives. Studies show that children who are served home grown produce are more likely to eat five to 10 servings of vegetables per day which is not the norm. In fact seven out of 10 children ages four to eight and half of adults do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables or fruit.
So the real question is, Why not grow your own food? If your home isn’t suited to a large outdoor garden, you can grow edibles in a container or join a community garden. In fact there are over 100 community gardens throughout Calgary. Poppy Innovations hosts one of those gardens in De Winton. For just $60 per season you can plant your own selection of fruit and veggies in your 4X10 raised bed and receive discounts at three garden centres supporting our community garden as well as discounts at Poppy Innovations’ Grow ‘n Learn sessions and Canning with a Twist classes.
For more information on how to garden or how to buy locally grown food, register here for one of our Grow ’n Learn sessions this Spring. Go online to book your plot now click here and receive a 25% discount to the Grow ‘n Learn series. Change the way you eat and fill your plate with fresh produce this spring!