Only Footprints: Bringing you what you need to know about going green and making less of a harmful impact on the environment.
By: Jennifer Hernandez
Organic everything is the new craze. You know this. You also know how costly organic foods are, and how annoying it is to head to the market every time you run out of a fruit or vegetable.
Home gardening is a great hobby to avoid these inconveniences. You don’t need an acre to your name to grow delicious fruits and vegetables. You just need some dirt, water and a little patience.
Starting your own garden can spare your food the long trip from the farm to your table, and all the pit stops in between, like the chemical additive factory and the supermarket. Picking your produce as soon as it’s mature means it's fresh every time.
Growing goodies in the backyard or balcony guarantees that they wont have any of the chemicals some produce does, like 1-methylcyclopropene that prevents them from ripening. You grow to eat, not to save.
Gardening provides a fun source of exercise and stress relief, helping you burn calories. Best of all, growing organics reduces the use of pesticides and herbicides and does the environment good.
Take the elementary school science project route and grow some beans. Green beans have vitamins C, A and K, potassium, iron and fiber. Not only will this magical fruit get you an A+ at dinner, it will also super-charge you with tons of nutrients that the body absorbs quickly.
If you love to much on carrot sticks while watching TV or on the computer, grow them! Carrots are a much healthier choice than chips or candy, and have beta-carotene that the body converts into vitamin A, which improves skin’s health, vision and boosts the immune system.
Never worry about running out of your favorite spices while cooking again. Not only will herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley give dinner a little extra kick, it can also save you a couple dollars on your next trip to the market, because honestly you shouldn’t have to pay extra for good-tasting food.
Tomatoes are a go-to fruit for home growers. They can be included in almost every meal, like in an omelet at breakfast, in your sandwich at lunch or on a salad at dinner. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which helps heal wounds and regulates blood pressure, and vitamin A, which serves as an anti-oxidant and provides healthy skin, hair and nails.
The hottest chefs-turned-gardeners grow peppers. These fruits are also high in vitamins C and A. Red, yellow and green peppers can reduce inflammation to help fight cardiovascular disease. A fruit for your heart.
Shop seeds from your favorite fruits and vegetables at local stores like Home Depot, but remember starting small is key. You’re not looking to create a mass-producing farm, you’re just trying to feed yourself and your family.
It’s not too late to start your own garden. Your body, wallet and the environment will thank you.
Photo courtesy of gardenlandscapeideas.org