Not everyone can raise their own animals for the meat, but anyone who has a patch of land and basic knowledge of planting can almost certainly grow their own vegetables. Growing your own food can be one of the most rewarding experiences one can go through, almost as if you are breathing life into something that wasn’t there before.
Most of the vegetable products commercially available on the market today would have been mass produced by companies. Likewise, many of these products would have been treated with pesticides or have been genetically altered for maximum yield. Organically grown vegetables—meaning vegetables that have been grown using environmentally sound farming without the use of harmful chemicals—are becoming more and more popular, but are more expensive to buy. It would be very unlikely for you to use pesticides should you be a backyard farmer, so growing your own produce is exactly like sowing your own organic vegetables, without the hefty price tag.
Some people will be comfortable growing their vegetables from seeds, but this takes a lot of work and dedication and may use up a lot of space. From your local seedling back, you can pick up seedlings or a young plant that is ready to be transplanted into its permanent home. You can plant it directly on the ground or place it in pots. You can also use old coffee tins, or anything that can be recycled as a pot for the plant. If you decide to improvise, make sure that it is big enough to accommodate a grown plant and you should punch holes at the bottom for water drainage.
The important thing is to place your seedling in an area where there will be sunlight. Your soil should be fertile enough to support the plants, and you can use compost in lieu of fertilizer. You can make compost yourself from organic waste materials buried under the soil (a compost pit) or by purchasing pre-made compost from gardening stores. Worm castings also act as great fertilizer for plants. Choose plants that can grow according to your climate—some plants thrive in warm climates, while others like cooler environments.
Big gardens can accommodate easy to grow plants such as tomatoes, eggplants, lemon or lettuce. People with only a small patch of space can also grow their own vegetables, ideally the smaller varieties like peppers and tomatoes. You can also grow herbs instead of the bigger vegetables, and the advantage of herbs is that you don’t have to wait for most to fruit before you can use them. Just pinch a couple of leaves here and there and leave the rest on the plant. The best herbs to grow on small spaces are basil, mint, rosemary, oregano, thyme, coriander, parsley etc. Why buy them by the bunch in the supermarket when you can grow your own at home and enjoy them whenever you want?
The best thing about growing your own vegetables is that you know exactly where your food is coming from and exactly what went into producing it. You can eat and be safe in the knowledge that you are not consuming any toxic materials and that your produce is 100% natural. Plus it can give you a great sense of satisfaction that the food that you are producing came from your own hard work.