Saturday, December 17, 2005

Benefits of Organic Gardening

There are a number of reasons one should consider organic gardening. First, most people who try organic fruits and vegetables do not want to return to other types of gardening because they believe that organic tastes better. Without the constraint of traditional gardening, such as pesticides that must be washed off, organic gardening tastes great. These veggies can be eaten straight off the vine instead of your having to wash them first. Plus, they retain a more "natural" taste if they do not have any chemicals in them. If you are not convinced of the taste of organic vegetables, try them out. Pick one of your favorite veggies. Buy one organic and one non-organic the next time you go to the store to see if you can tell a difference in the taste.

The second reason to try organic gardening is that it can save money. If you have ever looked at the price of organic veggies in the store, you were probably shocked! Organic fruits and vegetables are very expensive. Even buying non-organic produce can come with a steep price tag. Having your own garden, however, does not have to be an expensive proposition. Chances are that you can discover many of the items you will need to make a small garden for very little money. If you want to have a container garden, for example, you can use old coffee cans. Organic gardens are less expensive on a small scale because you will not have to spend money on pesticides.

Third, organic gardens are healthier for you than their non-organic counterparts. There is some debate about the extent of the health benefits from organic crops, but most people who grow organic claim to feel much better. Even if you want empirical studies to back up their claims, you must admit that there is something bountiful and delicious about picking your veggies off the vine and then eating them right then and there without even needing to wash them. There is no chance that pesticides will harm you if they are not in your food. You can experiment with this feeling by trying a few organic veggies from your grocer and see if you feel better. There is ample research available online that will help you to decipher the debate about the health of eating organic. One of the problems with buying organic, however, is that you cannot be sure that what you are buying has not been chemically treated. Because the FDA does not recognize "organic" as a category, farmers have different standards for what they label organic. Because of these discrepancies, you should become an organic gardener so that you know exactly what is in your vegetables.

Organic gardening also is better for the environment. Chemicals that we use today may prove to be dangerous tomorrow. We have seen that happen with many items from DDT to lead-based paints. If you are growing your veggies organically, then you will not even need to consider whether or not you will hurt the environment because you will not! You also will find that you are helping to replenish the soil if you are smart about your organic gardening. Using compost, which almost all organic gardeners do, is a way to recycle what would become organic waste in your kitchen. Compost is made of eggshells, vegetable peels, and other items you would throw away otherwise.

Finally, gardeners who go organic are able to reconvene with nature in a way that is not as easily possible if you use chemicals in the garden. You will need to weed more often and will be more involved with the development of each plant if you are organic gardening. The time you spend pulling weeds, nurturing plants, and checking the soil is time for you to be alone and think about your life. Growing food can help you feel better about your spiritual connection with the world. That means that you will find that you are closer to nature, which is an incredible personal benefit for you.

These benefits are just a few of those you will get from planting organic vegetables. When you try organic gardening for yourself, you will discover what you love about organic gardening!

By Julia Mercer

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