Monday, October 4, 2010

Reasons to Garden

Take a look at the picture to the left. Note that the packaging says that the enclosed cherry tomatoes were “vine ripened.” Now take a look at the enclosed tomatoes. Still pretty green, eh? Not only were these tomatoes picked so green that they weren’t red by the time they made it to my kitchen, but they were actually picked so green that they never really made it all the way to red. Most of the tomatoes never fully ripened.

So if you can’t trust the suppliers of your food to be truthful on the stuff they ARE telling you, how can you trust them to be honorable about the things they aren’t telling you? To be honest, I tend to think the best of people. I think that most people out there really are trying to do their best and produce something they can be proud of. But I am not naïve enough to think that there aren’t still plenty of people out there who just want to make the most money with the least effort and not care who they screw over in the process.

“You are what you eat.” Remember that one? My mother drilled it into my head as a child. Now that I am an adult, I pay attention to research, more and more of which is saying that this old saying is absolutely true. So, if your most precious and important possession, your body, is composed entirely of what you put into it, wouldn’t you want to put the best into it? After all, you want your body to last you as long as possible and function at optimum the whole time.

Here is another of my mother’s sayings: “You either spend the money at the grocery store, or you spend it at the doctor’s office.” While I agree with this, I would like to offer a third alternative: You spend the time in the garden. By growing your own food, you have ultimate control over what you put into it. You have control over what nutrients you add and what varieties you select. You can watch your plants and make sure they stay healthy. In the process you get exercise, which is also good for your body. And in the process, you can trust that you are putting the best food in your body.


  1. Sadly, most tomatoes in the store are picked green and gassed to turn red. And most produce is picked not for flavor or nutrition, but for condition, so it will last the 2-3 weeks it takes from harvest until it is purchased in the store and later consumed.

    I agree that we would be a much healthier country if the "fresh" produce we consumed was from our own gardens, rather than something that has sat for weeks in a warehouse / truck / store. At the same time, I think cooking has become a lost art. Few Americans can even handle cooking that involves more than boiling water or poking holes in plastic and pushing buttons on a microwave.

  2. Yeah, it is a sad fact that much of our produce is bred for long shelf life over flavor and nutrition. Even roses are being bred to have less scent becaus it takes energy to produce smell, which shortens shelf life. That's another advantage of growing it yourself. You can pick heirloom and other types that are valued for flavor first.

  3. We don't have a lot of choice in what we are being offered (if we don't grow our own).
    Fresh produce is mostly tasteless. No wonder people turn to snack foods, they are salted and have more flavor.
    I think, I HOPE, as more people grow their own, they will become more demanding and expect more.
    And best of all, blogs like this will educate people to what options they have.
    We vote with our wallets and we vote with our forks.
    Eventually, they will listen. Keep voting!