Why Grow?

The benefits you did and didn't know about growing your own food.

Why should I grow my own food?

There are so many reasons to grow your own food. It's fun, it's educational and it's an excuse to be outside on a beautiful day! But there are some serious reasons as well. Growing your own food has health, economic and environmental benefits that are much more important than you may think.

Health Benefits

Growing your own food has numerous health benefits. The arguably largest advantage is knowing exactly what does and doesn't touch your produce such as fertilizers, insects and pesticides. Growing your own veggies gives you total control over what goes into your body. For example, when you buy a carrot from the grocery store, you're not sure what kind of fertilizers grew that carrot or what kind of pesticides are on its skin. When you're the grower, you can choose to be completely organic and use no chemicals, or use just a dash of fertilizer, or a splash of pesticides to keep the bugs away. No matter what you decide, the beauty is it's YOUR decision!

Economic Benefits

Want a few extra bucks in your pocket at the end of the day? Start growing your own food!Sure there's a start-up cost when you buy your plants and materials, but in the long run the benefit outweighs the cost. Think about it this way:A pound of tomatoes (about three, medium-sized tomatoes) costs rougly $2. One tomato plant costs roughly $5. If a tomato plant yeilds five to 10 pounds of tomatoes (15-30) that's $10-$20 worth at the grocery store from your $5 plant. So you're saving anywhere between $5 and $15 per plant!

Environmental Benefits

If preserving the environment is one of your concerns, growing your veggies at home is a great way to contribute to your cause from the land in your yard to the air everyone breathes. Gardening nourishes the soil. It releases chemicals that create a good living space for healthy microorganisms and other life. Also, growing your own food means you no longer rely on food that travels across states or countries by vehicles that use gasoline. The number of miles your food travels from the farm to your dinner plate is called food miles. By reducing your reliance on traveling produce, you're reducing the total amount of food miles on the map and consequently promoting cleaner air.

Virgil Mathis, a sustainability studies senior, has been growing his own veggies for years now. Here he tells a little bit about the benefits he's experienced from gardening at home and why he loves doing it so much.