Friday, December 14, 2012

Grow Your Own Vegetables And Enjoy The Many Benefits Of Gardening

Mistress Mary quite contrary, 
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

I don't know about Mary but I do have other plants in my garden. In fact, I started a garden to challenge myself on how much I will save if I start growing my own food and so unlike Mistress Mary, I don't have silver bells, cockle shells flowers and pretty maids planted in the garden (and I doubt that they will grow in this hot tropical climate of the Philippines). What I have are mostly vegetables. 

It has been six months ago about the same time when I decided to go frugal and I must say that I am glad that I started out with growing our own food. What started as a piece of area in our house that our mother started expanded within weeks and now we were planting different kinds of vegetables not only to supplement our food supplies but also as a form of entertainment.

Right now, My garden is made up of a variety of herbs and crops and these include bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, Tabasco, capsicum, parsley, bokchoy, eggplant, turmeric, basil, rosemary, dill, kang kong (water spinach), alugbati (malbar spinach), sweet potato, pandan, lettuce, string beans, calamondin, oregano, onion chives, garlic chives and ginger. I am planning on expanding my garden but that will have to wait until next year as I am still looking for robust seeds of crops and herbs that can tolerate the hot weather in the country.

There are lots of things that make gardening worth your while. One of the biggest benefits that you can get from growing your own garden is that you can save a lot of money. Before all this gardening hype even started, I would have to spend about 400PhP weekly just for the fresh produce. Now, my usual weekly budget can be stretched for two or even three weeks.

The heaviest bulk of my groceries is fresh produce and by growing my own vegetables, I don’t have to bother myself carrying heavy loads while grocery shopping. I don’t have to strain my back anymore.

By growing my own vegetables, I can also ensure that my ingredients are all fresh. My lettuce tastes so crispy when I get them fresh from my garden.  It goes well with cucumber salad. And since  I don’t use inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, I know that my home-grown produce are all safe unlike those that I get in the market.

My day is never complete without visiting my small plot early in the morning. Don’t get me wrong but I love talking to my plants and checking them out for worms or presence of insect pests. Personally, having a vegetable garden is more than just increasing our food supply at home nor enjoying the extra conveniences that it offers while shopping. Spending time in the garden also helps me feel relaxed and I enjoy tending to the plants and seeing  them grow everyday. I get the same effect of relaxation with people who enjoy doing yoga.

As for the little kids at home, I like the idea that they are also beginning to love gardening because of playing Plants Vs. Zombies. I now have little companions who also visit the small garden regularly  and they even requested to plant sunflower seeds in case our house will be invaded by brain-eating zombies at night. You get the idea...  

Lastly, with the food shortage in the Philippines and the fluctuation of food prices, growing your own food makes you self-sufficient. Speaking of self-sufficiency, I plan to try out a grocery-free week by only relying on my garden for ingredients. We’ll see if it is really self-sufficient or just ambitious.

Oh, by the way, please be sure to check more posts in this Gardening category as I plan to update them regularly in the future. 

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