I will be the first to admit that gardening was never something I figured that I would do. However, as we have ventured further down the path towards financial independence, gardening is one of those things that helps. Embarking upon our gardening journey with growing food has helped to increaser both our health and our wealth. So, here are some of the great tips we’ve learned so far to help us be more successful on our gardening journey.
Gardening for Health
Growing your own food can help you save money on groceries, if you do it right. But, gardening can take some really hard work in the beginning to finally get to the place of balance. Therefore, you’ll have to put in some sweat equity regularly, and be prepared to make mistakes. After all, the best way to learn anything is through the mistakes we make along the way!
No matter what your space is, there is a way to work a garden out. Some of the most common options are:
- a large space to garden – you can plant many different crops in rows, raised beds, stackable planters, or any combination
- a small patio or deck – hanging baskets, stacking planters, railing planters are the best options
Even though we have a large back yard, we have found that planting a lot of our crops in planter boxes works better for us. It helps reduce the number of weeds and pests, and it’s easier to keep all of the dogs out of our food.
gardening for wealth
According to the most recent report by the National Gardening Association (NGA), the number of households that participate in gardening has only continued to increase every year. I’m pretty confident that this is due to multiple reasons:
- COVID affected how people could get fresh food, so personal gardens gained popularity
- quality of fresh produce has declined throughout the years
- grocery prices have increased
- people have started taking more control over their health and wealth and food is a big part of that
On top of increasing individual health, the amount that a household can save on groceries can also increase. For the most part, having your own home garden can save you between $500 – $1000 per year. However, this can be based on:
- where you live
- your family size
- how many different crops you grow
- what kind of seeds and starters you choose to use
As an example, we are a family of 7, and were able to save a little over $600 the first year we started our food garden. And we only started out with a very small amount of crops, because of time and knowledge constraints. Seeing as we have expanded our garden this year, we are pretty excited to see how much more we can save this year.
Besides losing crops due to inexperience, choosing seeds can be the next more expensive part of at home gardening. Especially, if you are like us and only use organic seeds.
The reason we choose organic seeds only is due to the fact that we want all of the crops we grow to be organic from beginning to end. Organic seeds and growing everything organically, creates a better end result that is more nutrient dense. And we don’t run the risk of potentially toxic chemicals in our food or soil. Both of these are things extremely important to us, so we’re willing to pay more for it.. But, different strokes for different strokes, and this may not be where you land, which is perfectly fine.
Either way, the cost of the seeds you buy will all depend on whether they are:
- perennials (they come back every year without you having to replant)
- annuals(you will only get one crop out of them and will have to replant every year)
We prefer to plant perennial crops because I am not a huge fan of having to do the same work over and over again. It is hard enough work to keep the beds weeded and the pests away. Due to this, we are working on creating a more permaculture type of garden this year, which will naturally keep the pests away. But, we’ll just have to see how that goes!
Gardening for health and wealth summary
Overall, gardening can be a great way to increase both your health and your wealth. However, the costs of starting your garden can vary widely, depending on:
- where you live (cost of living)
- how big your family is
- how much room you have for a garden
- seed costs
- learning curve
When you first begin this journey, it will probably be overwhelming. As with everything life though, it gets easier with time and knowledge. Plus, it is so rewarding to be able to go outside and pick your own fresh fruits and veggies and not have to pay anything for it. There is almost nothing better, in my opinion, than being able to create meals right from my own backyard. And we are definitely healthier, and wealthier for it!
What are some of the greatest benefits you’ve had from starting your own food garden?