(NaturalNews) April is National Gardening Month. If you have never considered growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs, here are 10 reasons to start now.
1. Gardening is delicious. Homegrown produce, especially juicy tomatoes and fresh basil, are usually tastier than when store-bought. Plant what your family likes to eat and enjoy the rave reviews.
2. Gardening is good exercise. Pulling weeds, digging holes and hauling dirt burns calories comparable to brisk walking. It also challenges and tones both lower and upper body muscles.
3. Gardening is good for children. They can learn the science of seeds and plants. They can learn planning and researching skills by deciding what and where to plant, and what each plant's water, sun and nutrition needs are. They are also motivated to eat healthier foods. This whole process teaches patience in today's era of immediate gratification.
4. Gardening relieves stress. The emotional benefits of gardening are so well known that horticulture therapy has sprung up: horticulture therapists prescribe gardening to help people sleep better, reduce anxiety and boost mood levels.
5. Gardening helps you prepare for potential food shortages. During these days of extreme economic uncertainty and worldwide crop shortages, planting your own food supply could be crucial for your family's survival.
6. Gardening is easier than you think. Just like learning to drive, going to college or having children, gardening can be overwhelming at first, but once you go up the learning curve, it becomes much easier.
7. Gardening makes it easy to eat organic. By avoiding pesticides and chemical fertilizers, it is simple to grow organic food.
8. Gardening makes it easy to eat locally. Harvesting sweet bell peppers from your backyard uses no fuel to transport the finished product to your kitchen. This is quite different than store-bought peppers that traveled from Canada, Holland or Israel.
9. Gardening may be cheaper than store-bought. After some initial investment in tools, seeds and soil amendments, the cost of home-grown produce is often cheaper than store bought. By composting scraps to make your own fertilizer, subsequent year costs can be limited to new seeds and seedlings. And by learning the art of seed saving, this cost can also be avoided.
10. Gardening has withstood the test of time. For its history mankind has depended on gardening to sustain itself; the decline of growing one's own food has paralleled the decline of our nation's health and overall welfare.
Conclusion Enjoy National Gardening Month by starting your own garden now. You will reap physical, emotional, financial and intellectual benefits, as well as know exactly where your food is coming from.
Hope Egan is a biblical health writer and author of "What the Bible Says about Healthy Living Cookbook: Simple and Tasty Recipes Featuring God's Ingredients." This is the long-awaited follow up to "What the Bible Says about Healthy Living," by Dr. Rex Russell, who wrote her cookbook's foreword. Visit www.BSACookbook.com to contact her or for more information.