Mon 12 October 2020:
The COVID-19 pandemic produced a run on the things people need to produce their own food at home, including vegetable seedlings, seeds and chooks.
We always dig deep in a crisis
Vegetable gardening and poultry-keeping often surge in popularity during times of social or economic insecurity, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
These responses are built on an established Australian tradition of home food production, something I have researched in depth.
Yet history tells us it’s not easy to rapidly increase self-provisioning in times of crisis – especially for those in greatest need, such as unemployed people.
This is another reason why you should plant a vegetable garden (or keep your current one going) even after the lockdown ends, as part of a broader suite of reforms needed to make our food systems more fair and resilient.
Growing your own produce is a simple solution to numerous health, environmental, and economic problems. Whether you are growing a single tomato plant or have a large backyard garden, it is beneficial to your health, as well as the environments.
Five reasons to grow your own food include:
1. More Nutritious
When growing your own food, your diet is more diverse and healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Food in its rawest, freshest form is not only the tastiest way to enjoy it, but also the most nutritional. The majority of produce sold in grocery stores go through a long process of being harvested, shipped and distributed to stores. Once distributed, the produce can end up staying in storage or on the shelf for an extended period of time before being purchased, losing nutritional value.
2. Stay Active
Gardening is a fun way to get outside for some fresh air and physical activity. The physical activity required in gardening has proven to promote physical health. Involvement in gardening helps to improve cardiac health and immune system response, decrease heart rate and stress, improve fine and gross motor skills, flexibility and body strength. Getting regular exercise can relieve stress, anxiety and depression, while boosting energy.
3. Get Vitamin D
Gardening is a great way to absorb vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is crucial in order to maintain healthy bones and teeth, and it can also protect against certain diseases.
4. Save Money
You can save a lot of money by growing your own vegetables and fruits. By spending a few dollars on seeds, plants, and supplies in the spring, you will produce vegetables that will yield pounds of produce in summer.
5. Better for the Environment
Long-distance transportation of produce relies heavily on fossil fuels. Growing your own food would help reduce the reliance on this transportation that is harming the environment. Also, by growing your own food, you are not using chemicals or pesticides that can harm environment.
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