Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why Do I Grow My Own?

Why do I garden? This was a question posed by a reader... it really made me think!

I garden because its my passion, I want to give my family the highest quality produce I can at the lowest cost, I want to know what's on my food, I want to work with nature, I want my daughter to understand where food comes from, I don't want to support huge company's that have taken over, I LOVE IT!!!

There are so many responses I can give to this question but where to start?

When I was pregnant I decided I didn't want to be one of those people that didn't understand nature or even simple things like where our food comes from, the work that goes into that food, the stuff sprayed onto that food.. I couldn't bear to not know what I was putting into myself let alone my child...

So I started a small garden.. 4x8 where I grew 3 tomato plants, a couple bean and cucumber plants, and some squash this started my addiction.. while they say you need about 400 sq ft of space (that a 4ft bed by 100 ft bed or two 4x50 ft beds, etc etc) per member of the family to supply all the fruits and veggies for that person for a year I understand in my space I will never be truly self sufficient for my family but why let that stop me? I set a personal goal for myself which this year I am really working on achieving I want my yard space to produce as much usable produce as it can.. that means fruit bushes, vines, trees.. vegetable gardens, chickens, sunflowers for their seeds, etc. I want my land to look and feel like a edible forest, with some beautiful flowers as well like roses : )

I love nature and our mother earth but we treat her awfully, I refuse to be another 20-something that lives a disposable life without a second thought about where all of that trash and waste goes.. I want to be aware of the things happening that affect my life.. waste, chemicals, etc.. do you know most fruits and veggies tested have something like 25 different chemicals sprayed on it???? Do you want that in your body? How about your children? I don't think anyone would knowingly feed their children or themselves chemicals.. that's why knowing is half the battle.

Now think about this math... the average pack of seeds costs $2.50 (roughly.. and sometimes less) there's about 50 seeds in a pack.. on average... some as few as 15 some as much as 400.. each seed produces a plant or for the sake of poor germination rates let's say half sprout.. that 7 to 200 plants a seed pack.. so that's at most 35 cents a plant.. most veggies produce at least 2 fruits per plant (corn) to 100's like beans.. that's way cheaper then ANYTHING you can get at the grocery store.. but understand that all things growing take time... about 50 to 100 days till harvest for a range of fruits and veggies!

Now to the best reason to grow your own? YOU'LL LOVE IT! Its extremely rewarding knowing that you are eating something your hard work went into growing is amazing.. watching your plant sprout its first leaf to when it becomes a overbearing monster ; )

I hope this clears up some things for you and why everyone no matter the size garden should grow something of their own.. from a fruit tree, to a single tomato plant, get out and garden.. you know I will be


  1. Thank you for taking the time to elucidate your interest in gardening. I think we have similar lines of logic, but I'm not as courageous as you've been, sinking yourself into the projects 100%.

    My chickens are the first step I've taken towards self-sufficiency and only one of the darn things lays. One thing I've already learned is that things don't always turn out quite the way I envisioned. I'm looking forward to gaining more experience in different areas. I also wanted to my daughter to know that food just doesn't come from cardboard boxes and plastic bags. I wanted her to experience the delightful magic of planting a seed and watching a plant grow into something delicious. I want her to grow up with dirt constantly underneath her nails and the freedom of naked feet soaking in the warmth of sun-drenched soil.

    I know you're in Tampa, but I'm trying to start a bi-monthly potluck gathering at my place in Largo (kid friendly) where we work on different crafts and green projects. This Sunday we're going to make seed bombs. If you'd ever like to join us, let me know and I'll shoot you my address.

  2. That's fantastic! : ) I hope I can help you on your journey as well. I also am getting ready to plan a potluck for sometime in october hopefully you and other readers can attend... largo isn't to far ; )