With the busy day-to-day rat race we all seem to experience, many may wonder how in the world forming a healthy lifestyle can be achieved. The truth is, it may not always be an easy task, but it is one worth striving for. Starting with something you can easily control is a great place to start. Small changes to your diet, for example, is a simple, habit that can grow as you get more experienced.
Vegetable Gardening: Saving Money and Living Healthy
Speaking of growing, diet changes can begin right at home with minimal effort that yields, literally, big results. Many people avoid fresh produce not because they don’t like it, but because of the cost, and the large amounts of waste it can generate. This is especially true if you are cooking only for one, as fresh foods only last so long.
Growing Fresh at Home
Don’t be afraid of starting a garden. Growing simple fruits and herbs is simple, and your excuses for a lack of space and short growing seasons have incredibly easy solutions. All a basic vegetable, herb, and even some fruits need is a bit of room to grow and produce. Provide sunlight and water, and the plant will basically do all the rest for you.
A small plot of land, raised garden bed, growing containers, pots, and even 5-gallon buckets from your local building supply store will easily contain your plants whether you live in a rural area, or a high rise apartment with a small balcony. You even can take advantage of indoor growing space if you have a sunny window, or grow light. These options are great for year-round freshness as well, especially since lights such as those mentioned backyard boss, offer a wide range of choices from which to pick from.
Not only is gardening a good way to stay healthy since it keeps you active physically and mentally, but it also provides fresh produce for pennies on the dollar. If you can, freeze, and dry your harvest, you can be eating fairly fresh without waste for months after the frost takes the last of your plants. Plus, even if you do have some garden waste, you can easily compost it to use for soil amendment to feed your next year’s harvest. This means there is no more guilt for not being able to use all of what is purchased.
How to Get Started
First off, you want to choose just a few of your favorite seedlings, or seed packets, from your local gardening store. Choose those that you know you would use the most, and also choices that are easy to put up as you harvest for use later in the year. Various peppers, leafy greens, tomatoes, peas, beans, carrots and beets, dwarf fruits, zucchini, and herbs are popular choices for beginner gardeners. If you have the room, you may want to consider watermelon, squash, grapes, and pumpkins as well.
Upright plants can be easily taken indoor is you have a container garden since their root systems are rarely very deep, and last as long as they are watered and fertilized. This is a great choice for city and apartment dwellers who may be short on space, especially since some small vining plants, such as bean or peas, can be grown upright with the aid of a trellis.
If you are starting your own seeds, the most difficult thing is to avoid planting too many, which forces you to thin your rows or pots so the strongest survive. Seeds can be started indoors long before the last frost to ensure well started, healthy seedlings are transplanted to grow and thrive as the weather warms. All you really need is a sunny window, or if you are feeling serious about this endeavor, can take advantage of a grow light that can help start and grow young seedlings.
What to Remember
Growing your own produce doesn’t have to be a cause for anxiety or a difficult task. It is a great first step for taking control of how you eat and introducing a healthier lifestyle to your everyday routine. All your plants need is some basic necessities to survive, and if you can provide water, some fertilizer (usually in the form of your potting soil), and sunlight, you will have thriving plants in no time.
Consider investing in a garden to invest in your own health. Not only is it a way to improve your lifestyle, but it is also financially feasible, and a great way to introduce new approaches to your own culinary experiences. Fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs are easy to start and harvest, and if you are looking for year-round freshness, only need the addition of a grow light and some indoor growing space to keep your favorites producing long after the first snows fall.