Organic gardening is becoming more and more popular, particularly in urban environments. No wonder, as more than half of the world’s population lives in cities nowadays. Although it can present unique challenges due to the lack of space and sunlight; innovative ways and dedication, paired with a bit of planning can be the key to success.
Growing organic food basically means considering your plants as part of an ecosystem that includes diverse elements, such as space, plants, sunlight, natural compost, water, humans, and even the insects around us. In an urban environment, it requires us to use these elements strategically. For example, choosing plants together with complementary ones that encourage their development. Or, in dry areas, choosing plants that can develop without much water, such as cacti and succulents.
Even though this carefully laid out work may imply time and patience on your part, the reasons to invest your energies in this endeavour are many. Here are ten of them, which may encourage you to become part of this growing community:
Reason 1: Help to create a better environment
Gardening reduces the urban heat effect, thus reducing the amount of electricity consumed in cooling places. It also helps to reduce the water runoff by consuming it, avoiding flooding and other problems. In addition, it contributes to the production of oxygen from your home, creating a nicer environment to live in.
Reason 2: Create privacy for your home
Well-positioned trees cannot only produce shade but can also provide privacy for you and your family. These trees help in creating a cosy and attractive space that helps create memorable moments without the need to spend serious amounts of money.
Reason 3: Help feeding the increased urban population
With the urban population increasing at an accelerated pace, feeding city dwellers is becoming more difficult. Turning your attention to growing your own food can help reduce the dependency on the supermarkets and help reduce the environmental impact of “food miles” involved in transporting, storing, and distributing agricultural goods.
Reason 4: Add income to your household
In many parts of the world, it is becoming more common that small-scale gardeners get some extra income by selling their produce in the local area. This has the added advantage of creating a local supply chain of healthy food, where retailers and restaurants alike can also benefit from reduced costs. Extra income can also result from the savings obtained by replacing bought food with your own produce.
Reason 5: Learning
Even the smallest home garden can help parents to teach their children about the wonders of nature, food production and to become part of the ecosystem. Besides, parents can also learn a lot from their kids’ questions!
Reason 6: Live until 100
Studies have shown that gardening is one of the best things to do should you want to live longer. These studies show that it improves the quality of our lives by reducing our stress levels and helping us to keep our minds agile. One of the mentioned reasons is that gardening gives us the motivation to get up and do something every day, regardless of our age.
Reason 7: Grow healthier
The fruits and vegetables that you organically produce will help you and your future generations to grow healthier because they are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, and folate, all necessary nutrients for our bodies. And besides, many agree that organic food also tastes much better!
Reason 8: Help others
Organic gardening gives you the opportunity to give back to society. You can help others by donating your produce to local charities or someone that you know is in need of help.
Reason 9: Make your home beautiful
Urban living can be difficult for those who love nature. A small garden can help to bring Mother Nature into your home, and beautify it at the same time. There are some good online guides that can help you design a garden for your place. Otherwise, it could be a good idea to hire an expert. Remember that your home is a long-term project and these changes probably won’t happen overnight.
Reason 10: Create family bonds
Working together as a team, when creating an organic garden, can create great family ties, and help create bonds between the different generations. It creates the opportunity for grandpas to work side by side with their grandchildren, for spouses to share relaxing moments, and for parents and their children to learn from each other.
Organic gardening has many beneficial effects, such as improving the environment, and the quality of human life in general. But, even more important, a garden is a great teacher. It teaches us patience, bonding with others, and becoming an active part of Mother Nature.
Bob Gorman is a freelance writer and a passionate blogger. He likes writing articles that cover sustainability and eco-friendly related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs. When he is not writing, he spends his time with his five year old son and his wife.