There are more reasons than ever why anybody with access to a few square feet of the outdoors should grow their own organic vegetables.
You may be shocked at how much of the produce at your local supermarket has been genetically modified. Some estimates now put this at over 50%. While there is no strong evidence that genetically modified foods are immediately harmful to your health, there are no long term studies either. Do you want to take that risk?
Let's take a look at pesticides and fertilizers. Farmers no longer use crop rotation or natural manures to improve soil fertility, so they are forced to use ever increasing amounts of chemicals to improve yields and multiple pesticides to protect the weakened plants. Pesticides penetrate deeply into the leaves of plants and pestiside residues remain even after you have scrubbed them.
To quote from The Environmental Protection Agency ? "Pesticides are designed to kill pests. Many pesticides can also pose risks to people. The health effects of pesticides depend on the type of pesticide. Some, such as the organophosphates and carbamates, affect the nervous system. Others may irritate the skin or eyes. Some pesticides may be carcinogens. Others may affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body."
Sure you can, and should, buy organic fruit and vegetables but have you seen the prices? Anybody with even a modest vegetable garden can grow healthy organic vegetables at much lower cost than those at the local supermarket. Not only can you grow them at much lower cost, but you can grow them one hundred percent better.
Even the long-keeping vegetables such as potatoes, onions and squash are noticeably tastier picked straight from the home vegetable garden; but when it comes to peas and corn and salad vegetables- well , there is absolutely nothing to compare with the home garden ones, gathered fresh, in the early slanting sunlight, still gemmed with dew, still crisp and tender and juicy, ready to carry every atom of savory quality and taste, without loss, to the dining table.
It is not in price or health alone that home gardening pays. There is another point. Agribusiness has to grow the things that give the biggest yield. They have to sacrifice quality and taste for quantity and long shelf life. You do not. The strawberries on the supermarket shelves may look bright and red and uniform but you will soon find they taste more like the cardboard of their containers when compared to a home grown variety picked straight from the vine.
And this brings us to what may be the most important reason you should garden. It is the cheapest, healthiest pleasure there is. Give me a sunny garden patch in the springtime, give me seeds to watch as they find the light, plants to tend as they take hold in the fine, loose, rich soil, give me succulent and tasty springtime salads. And when you have grown tired of the springtime, come back in summer to even the smallest garden, and you will find in it, every day, a new vista, new pleasures and, yes, new challenges.
Better food, better health, better living -- all these the home vegetable garden offers you in abundance. So, turn off that computer, pull out some old clothes and find a spot to dig.