The flavor is just one of the great benefits of growing your own vegetables. Homegrown produce is fresher, tastier, and more nutrient-dense than store-bought produce. The reason? Homegrown vegetables actually ripen on the vine, while mass produced vegetables are harvested prematurely so that they ripen in transit to your grocery store, and then ripen further in the vegetable aisle. When vegetables are harvested too soon, they are often lacking in flavor and nutrition because they have not had the chance to develop properly. A lot of natural sugars and nutrients are lost when vegetables are artificially ripened. Additionally, many store-bought vegetables are specifically bred for durability and shelf-life, not flavor and nutrition, further compromising their savory goodness and quality.
You also need to take into consideration the bruising that occurs in commercially- produced vegetables and fruits. They are handled in the field (none too gently), then loaded and unloaded before they go to packaging and distribution points. Once finally at their destination, they are handled again by the store employees as they stock the bins, and then handled by shoppers as they pick through the vegetables and fruits. Though they may not be visible when you first purchase them, all of those bruises contribute to soft, mushy, and sometimes moldy spots on your produce, often before you even have the chance to use them!
Growing Your Own Vegetables: Harvest at Peak Freshness
When your produce aisle is in your own backyard, you can pick your vegetables at the peak of ripeness, when their flavors and nutrients are most concentrated. This is particularly true for vine-ripened vegetables, such as tomatoes and melons. They develop a richer, sweeter flavor when left on the vine for longer periods of time.
Homegrown vegetables are grown in soil that is rich in nutrients, allowing them to develop their full flavor potential. This is particularly true for heirloom varieties, prized for their unique flavors and textures. Heirloom vegetables are open-pollinated varieties that have been passed down for generations and usually have more complex and intense flavors than their modern counterparts.
Another factor that contributes to the superior flavor of homegrown vegetables is your ability to choose the best varieties for your local climate and soil conditions. All vegetables have many different varieties to choose from, each variety having its own unique flavor profile, texture, or color. By experimenting with different varieties, you can discover which ones grow best in your area…AND decide which ones have the flavor, color, and texture that you and your family prefer.
Organic Growing Methods Improve Flavor
Another benefit of growing your own vegetables is the ability to control the growing conditions, most importantly, the use of pesticides and fertilizers. By employing organic methods you can avoid the use of harmful chemicals, ensuring your vegetables are free from synthetic pesticides and herbicides, as well as making a difference in your environment. Organic gardening results in better flavor, is better for your body, and helps to ensure that our birds and pollinators remain healthy!
The Pleasures and Benefits of Home Gardening and Canning
With a bounty of fresh, flavorful produce at your fingertips, you may be inspired to try new dishes. You’ll want to use up all of those carefully grown vegetables; waste not, want not, right? As a result, you are more likely to have a more varied and nutritious diet. You may also want to explore home canning. After the initial investment in the necessary equipment, home canning is an economically sound idea, and SO much more flavorful and healthy for you and your family.
Last, but definitely not least, studies have shown that gardening is good for your health. The act of gardening can lower your blood pressure, burn calories, and elevate your mood. Being outside is good for your bones, the vitamin D from sunlight helps your bones to absorb the calcium you get through your diet; it even helps to protect older adults from osteoporosis. This enjoyable hobby can improve mobility and can be comparable to walking or doing Pilates…definitely not as pleasurable as gardening!
The superior flavor and quality of homegrown vegetables is definitely one of the chief benefits of growing your own produce. By allowing vegetables to ripen on the vine, choosing the best varieties for your local climate and controlling the growing conditions, you can enjoy a wider range of flavors and textures than what is available at your local grocery store or neighborhood market. Additionally, your desire to experiment with new recipes and cooking techniques can add even more variety and enjoyment to your home-cooked meals.
Start Your Garden Journey Today!
Do YOU want to experience the delicious and nutritious flavors of fresh, homegrown vegetables and reap the health benefits? Start a garden today and get ready to realize the countless benefits of growing your own produce.