The rising trend in those opting for a plant-based diet is a sign of the times. With new generations of people becoming more and more environmentally conscious and looking at the impact of agriculture on the planet, a plant-based diet is one of the single most effective things a person can do to impact positively against the damage being done. Another growing trend that comes hand-in hand with veganism and plant-based living is looking at organic purchases and home-grown veg as a way forward. So, let’s look at some of the pros and cons associated with growing your own.
This one, for the environmentalists, is certainly a pro when it comes to growing your own food. This is because it gives us the freedom of choice in terms of cutting out the chemicals used in mass-produced crops, use of ethically sourced fertilizers and materials, and so on. It also requires less energy consumption, as there is a vast difference between the amount of energy required to grow, package and transport home-grown veg than that of farmed plantations. However, if you are new to home-grown, there is research to be done before you begin. It is hugely important, for health reasons, that you know what you’re doing when it comes to any use of pesticides and/or chemicals used in the fertilizing process. That being said, there is plenty of helpful information out there, so make use of it before you begin.
If gardening is a passion, spending your free time growing your own produce won’t really be anything you need to consider as a negative. However, if you’re hoping that the work involved will be minimal, you might want to think again. You will need to set aside a moderate to substantial amount of your free time in order for your small crops to be successful. Bear in mind that there are some great health-benefits to spending time getting your gardening done, but you must ensure that you have the time it takes to succeed before you commit.
Impact on Health
Home-grown foods all tend to be on the healthier end of the spectrum, so growing your own can help to encourage a healthier diet. In addition to this, it also invites motivation towards gentle to moderate exercise. Keeping a veg garden will involve some physical work. What’s more, this activity will allow for people to get closer to nature, spend more time outdoors and go back to the roots of nurturing food and feeding themselves under their own steam. (Forgive the pun). As mentioned above, an added bonus in terms of health benefits is that, as a gardener of your own food, you are in control and in full knowledge of what is being put in to produce the end result. This means you can cut out potentially unhealthy toxins that come with unwanted chemicals, handling and packaging that may be standard with some mass-produced plants. Another added bonus is that gardening can be great for our mental wellbeing too – time outdoors, undertaking a hobby, satisfaction of growing your own food, and so on – all of this can lift your mod and have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing.
Does home-growing actually help you save money? This one all depends on the scale of your operation. Most home-growers work with only a small amount of space. While, in theory, it may sound like growing your own food will cut down on costs, it can have the opposite effect when working on a smaller scale and will become, more than anything, a healthy hobby. The start-up processes are where you’ll see the biggest cost: equipment, supplies and maintenance etc. If you’re working on a large enough scale so as to produce in bulk, save and freeze produce, you could be onto a winner. However, for the vast majority of gardeners, growing your own food will either not impact at all on your monthly bills or, unfortunately, see you out of pocket. Take into consideration also that not everything you plant will be successful – it is realistic to expect some loss due to unsuccessful environment or pests.
Overall, growing your own has many benefits – but it’s advisable to treat it as a hobby unless you have the means to go ‘big’, and to take joy from the hobby rather than hoping to save a few pennies in the process.