The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food

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The growing seasons are full of little moments of happiness. From when you first decide on what you’re going to grow, to watching the little seedlings pop up. Then there’s the preening of the leaves and the anticipation of the harvest.

During the growing period, the sight of new greenery is said to be calming and provoke feelings of relaxation and peacefulness.

Growing your own food reduces the miles that the food has had to travel to get to your door. Just think of all the expense and environmental impact from getting the seeds to the farm, the crops from the farm to the distribution center, to the warehouse, to the supermarket and then finally from the supermarket to your fridge.

If you love those pre-washed salads in plastic boxes as much as many other people, you’ll know that the plastic is often thrown away, as well as some of the leaves that go bad as soon as they’re exposed to fresh air. I know I always had to throw away the majority of them as the leaves started to wilt before my family had time to eat it all.

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As a father, I’m always looking to reduce the amount of chemicals that my daughter is exposed to. When you buy vegetables from the supermarket, they haven’t just been washed in water. They’re often sprayed with chemicals that slow down bacteria, speed up or slow down ripening, and more. In fact, often during the lifecycle of a vegetable, it can be exposed to over 30 chemicals to keep them in ‘peak’ condition when you first see it. If you grow your own fruit and vegetables, you know that the only thing given to them is water and light. Just as nature intended.

My daughter isn’t quite three years old yet and she loves to garden. She loves picking the leaves and nibbling on basil, or grabbing a pea pod from the plant and tasting the literal fruits of her labour. Even though her involvement is minimal, it still feels like her fun project. She helps me add the seedlings to our AVA Byte and then watches them sprout leaves and climb toward the raisable light. It waters itself, knows which lights to use for the different plants, and then has recyclable pods for easy disposal after the delicious harvest.

 

She’s learning all about how things grow, the stages from seed to harvest, and I’ve never seen her eat so many of her veggies! I really love that she helps me choose which plant pods we’ll get next.
 

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Best of all is that it’s truly fresh food and you can eat as you grow. When it’s time to harvest, you can pick what you’re going to eat and leave the rest. I love picking the fresh basil or chives and adding them to my dish while I’m cooking it. The AVA Byte lives on my kitchen counter and is a source of food, no matter what the season outside.

James Smith