Lately, it has been difficult to concentrate on any normal life due to the world events that are taking place. You are stuck at home. Your kids are home with you. This is new and different. It may even be frustrating, but hold on, I am here to help! Growing a garden has so many benefits and it is a perfect time to start.
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Stay at Home Lifestyle
I have lived a stay at home lifestyle for about 13 years now. At first, not by choice, but now totally by choice. When I first married my husband, I worked full-time. Although, I really enjoyed my career, however, we had decided as a couple, that if we had children, that I would stay home with the children.
I became pregnant about a month after we were married. I worked until I was about 7 months pregnant. Going from a full-time career to a full-time mom was a HUGE transition. Obviously, our income was cut almost in half. Therefore, our lifestyle changed. I had to learn to stay at home to save money. I learned to cook from scratch, raise animals, and grow a garden. At first, it was really, really hard, especially with a newborn, but now I have grown to love it.
From Quarantine to Self-Sufficiency
Living a quarantined lifestyle by choice actually is freeing. We don’t need to depend on the grocery store for our food. We find cheap or free ways to entertain ourselves at home. Our next goal is towards self-employment, which would further free us from working for someone else.
It has taken many years for us to achieve this lifestyle, but you can start to take steps to self-sufficiency too. One of the first steps is to grow a garden. It is an activity you can do as a family.
Now, it seems almost the whole country has suddenly been thrown into the world of stay-at-home parenting. Many parents are trying to find activities to keep their kids busy. One activity that is a wonderful choice is growing a garden for the first time.
5 Reasons for Growing a Garden
- Food Security
- Family Activity
- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Delicious Results
Growing a garden develops food security. You do not have to run to the grocery store every time you need lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, or other fresh vegetables. You can also preserve your harvest for food over the winter. Check out my free download for 10 easy vegetables to grow in your garden.
You are at home with your children. When life gets back to some normality, you may have to return to work. However, your children (depending on their age) will still be at home this summer. I am predicting there will not be the summer activities we have seen in the past. They will need something to do. Children as young as 6 or 7 are capable of working in the garden alongside their older siblings.
While you are home, teach your children how to care for the garden.
- Identify weeds and how to remove them
- Teach them when to harvest crops
- Teach them how to water
- Apply compost
- Remove pests
There are so many tasks that children are capable of doing in the garden. Be positive and encouraging. Make gardening fun by exploring and studying the plants, bugs, and even dirt.
Gardening is great exercise. If you are a first-time gardener, you probably don’t have a motorized rototiller to cultivate the soil. Purchasing a few inexpensive hand tools such as a hoe, spade, and rake will help you throughout the season. Using these tools will make you sweat. But it is worth it! You will not only have delicious food to eat, but you will get a workout at the same time.
Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and even a surreal feeling of the world being out of control are all been emotions I have felt throughout this crisis. Ultimately, I know in my head and my heart that God is in control, but if I take my focus off of Him and on to my circumstances, these feelings creep in.
Growing a garden gives you feelings of accomplishment, hope, and self-sufficiency. Although you cannot control the weather and other factors, there is certainly a feeling of satisfaction that goes along with growing a garden.
Delicious, Healthy Results
It seems to me that it is impossible to grow unhealthy food in the garden! Fresh vegetables taste so much better when you grow them yourself. Without having to run to the grocery store for vegetables, you will eat healthier. You can also preserve your harvest by canning, pickling, fermenting, freezing, and dehydrating.
What is the Next Step in Growing a Garden?
The next step is to plan your garden. You can find really helpful garden planners online at smartgardener.com and gardeners.com. Once you have planned your garden it is time to choose your crops. I have created a checklist of my 10 favorite, easy to grow garden crops. Sign up for my newsletter and I will send you a copy. You will also have access to my subscribers’ only resource library.
How about you? What are you growing in your garden this year? Are you a seasoned garden or a newbie? Let me know in the comments.