Ten Reasons to Plant a Garden Today

The past few years have seen a resurgence in the farm-to-table movement. People want to know where their food is from, who harvested it, and what chemicals have been used in the process. Similarly, more people are opting to join the movement and grow their own food once they realize the benefits of living off the land. Here are ten reasons we agree:

1. It touches your mind, body, and soul. There’s something about fresh air that gives us a magical new perspective. Plus, studies have shown that gardening helps to reduce stress, combat depression, keep your mind sharp and thereby decreases your risk for Alzheimer’s.

2. Gardening gives back. More likely than not, you will harvest more produce than you alone can enjoy. Surprise your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers with fruits and vegetables that are fresh, tasty, and free. Plus, there are bounties of volunteer opportunities for those who want to serve their local food pantries in creative ways! Pay it forward by donating your garden surplus to those in need.

3. Save money! Sure, building a garden is an investment — but once you have your seeds in a row, you will reap the benefits time and time again. Guerilla gardener Ron Finley says it best: “Growing your own food is like printing your own money.”

4. Eating seasonal produce is not only better for your wallet, but it’s better for your body. Fresh fruit contains less pesticides, more antioxidants, and an overwhelming amount of flavor. Seasonal summer produce includes peaches, potatoes, squash, spinach, and much more.

5. While some hobbies require all of your mental energy, gardening is great because you can multi-task. Grab a pair of headphones and plow through a new audiobook or podcast. You’ll feel twice as accomplished knowing you raked your garden and learned something new.

6. Gardening is an underrated form of functional exercise. As you plant and harvest your crop, you will find yourself stretching, lifting, and moving in an abundance of ways. You’ll burn an average of 300 calories per hour and build long, lean muscles in the process.

7. Get creative! Each season, grow something different. Expand your cooking repertoire by challenging yourself to make a new dish. You might be pleasantly surprised!

8. Soak up the sun. Daily garden maintenance is a surefire way to spend more time outside. Just don’t forget your wide-brimmed hat and sun protection!

9. It’s family-friendly; gardening is an activity generations can enjoy together. Introduce your child to a lifelong love for fresh air, hard work, and good food while working side by side in the backyard.

10. Get social. While some might argue that gardening is a solitary activity, there are plenty of avenues for those who wish to socialize through this shared hobby. Ask around at your local library, gym, or community center and find out if anyone hosts a garden club. If not, start one yourself! Monthly garden outings are a great way to share tips, ask questions, and trade produce.

Best of all, gardening is the perfect activity for a summer staycation and pairs well with a healthy lifestyle. Visit acac.com/staycation to learn how you can win big when you stay and play at acac all summer long.