Let's talk about Veggies Baby... Yeah! Not just any veggies, but we are actually going to take a closer look at why homegrown veggies are in many ways superior to the ones that you find at the local grocer. It's also very rewarding growing the food that will garnish your dishes, no matter how large or small your space is!
Tiny space gardening has become so popular recently, along with the tiny house + van-home lifestyle explosion. People are getting really creative with their indoor and outdoor green spaces. Having a small apartment, a room, or even just a small area is no longer an excuse to not have your own mini-garden. You can start with herbs or micro-greens and grow from there!
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check. So, having veggies readily at hand will help to assure that you are consuming more of them on a daily basis.
The main health benefit of locally grown food is that it's fresher. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked, so fresher produce is more nutritious. In addition, locally grown food is picked at its peak ripeness, when it's most dense with nutrients. And what's more local than your window sill or bookshelf?
You can use a hanging shoe organizer or something like this to grow herbs, or up-cycle used milk cartons, by cutting them in half and utilizing the base portion as a planter. We tried this and it worked really well. You can always get planters later and transplant your herbs and veggies. Another great way to up-cycle is reusing the containers that fruit produce usually comes in, as planters.
Do you save your seeds? Many people have attempted sprouting an avocado tree from their leftover seed, after they've enjoyed their avocado toast... But, what about your tomato seeds? Or pepper seeds? We save ours and have grown gorgeous tomato and bell pepper plants, that we are able to harvest over and over again.
It's so satisfying to watch the plant begin to grow, and fruition, knowing that one day soon, you will be able to enjoy it as part of a delicious, nutritious home-cooked meal. There is a sense of accomplishment in watching a seed become a full-grown plant, and knowing that it was because of you planting it, watering it, and giving it a well lit area to thrive in.
Now let's dive into the FLAVOR! This is one of the best and tastiest aspects of growing veggies and herbs at home; you will definitely notice the difference. Your tastebuds will instantly sense the intensified flavor. We have all become so use to the produce from markets, which truly doesn't have much flavor on its own at all. When you grow tomatoes at home, you can bite into it like an apple and savor it. We like to top our Vegan Power Bowls with our diced homegrown tomatoes, and chop up the peppers for a scrumptious stir-fry!
Have you tried growing at home? It may be time to give it a try, or to add to what you are already growing. There are many wonderful and educational videos on YouTube that provide step-by-step instructions and real life accounts of all aspects of growing in all types of various spaces. With rising food costs and shortages, it may just be time to create a HOMEGROWN ZONE in your space!