Gardening has taken a back seat among our favorite pastimes in the past few years since a lot of people living in rural areas chose to move to the city. Thankfully, people have found an effective, cheaper, and sustainable way to grow plants, and even fish, in small, urban places.
Placing your own vertical garden or aquaponics – a system that lets you grow plants and fish together – is a great way to start your journey to eating healthy, and at the same time, it helps you save money. In addition, they add life to cramped spaces and make really good house decoration.
More than just making your place look fancy, becoming your own grocery store has a lot of benefits not just for you, but also for the environment. As research by the Centre of Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridgeconcluded, "A layer of vegetation can reduce heat loss from buildings, cutting the wind chill factor by 75 percent and the heating demand by 25 percent."
Why grow your own food?
If you're not that convinced yet, here are some of the reasons why it's ideal to create your own grocery store.
It saves you money – Imagine not having the need to always run back to the store for ingredients because you already have your own supply. By not regularly buying from the grocery, you're saving a lot of money as store products can be very costly. Moreover, once you've put up your home garden, there's no need to buy new seeds or trimmings just to grow them again.
You eat chemical-free food – It's no secret that store-bought food contains many chemicals and preservatives – yes, even "fresh fruits and vegetables" – to extend their shelf life. Consuming your home-grown foods only means you're reducing the number of chemicals and toxins that enter your body. More importantly, you're sure that your food still has all the the nutrients beneficial to your health.
Gardening reduces stress – A study suggested that gardening is a better stress reliever than reading. Working on your garden requires both physical strength and mental focus, which is why it helps you take your mind off your problems and improves your mood.
Home-grown food tastes better – Organic produce tastes so much better than processed foods simply because they have no additives. More often than not, store-bought products also contain fillers to cut costs and artificial flavoring to make it look more appetizing. These factors sometimes add weird tastes to products.
Supplies will last for a longer time – In times of emergencies or natural calamities, grocery stores have a high chance of running out of stocks. However, that wouldn't be your problem if you have naturally grown food inside your house. Furthermore, as long as you take good care of your garden or aquaponics, your sustenance will last a long time.
Becoming your own grocery store
Here's a checklist of things you need to do to start growing your own food.
Find a good spot where the sunlight can reach – All living things need sunlight; therefore, your plant box and/or fish tank must be placed where it can get vitamins and nutrients from the morning sun.
Start with easy-to-grow products – To avoid disappointment over dead plants and/or fish, start growing products which are not hard to take care of. This is important especially to those who do not have much time to always check on their produce. So for starters, look for easy-to-grow products that you like.
Only grow what you like to eat – Since you'll be the one consuming all that you grow, make sure to only choose foods that you personally like. There's no point in growing foods you would just ignore as they will take up space.
Get the right soil/system – It's very important to get the right soil and/or aquaponics to ensure that your foods will grow. These will determine the success of your gardening and fishing journey.
Read and study – Plants and fish types are diverse, making it impossible to be an expert immediately after you've decided you want to become your own grocery store. That's why it's vital to read and to research about your new hobby. This helps figuring out exactly how to do it right.