You have only to walk into a grocery store to see why growing our own produce makes sense: a small head of butter lettuce for $4.99; $2.99 for four tiny beets; $1.99 for three medium oranges; and $1 for two medium baking potatoes. To make it worse, nothing even tastes good.
Then there are the chemicals and bacteria we worry about eating along with our evening salad. Nutritional numbers, too, are an issue. We do know that after harvesting, any fruit or vegetable looses 5 percent of their vitamins per day. Some estimates put the number of miles our food travels from farm to table at 1,500. This means we not only have sub par food on our plate. The fact that we can have any vegetable any time of the year from other countries and continents keeps us from understanding local harvest seasons and regional products.
Gardening on the upside nourishes on many accounts. Watching tomato and basil grow in your vertical garden, on your windowsill or on your lawn will make you smile, at least as long as you don’t forget to water them ( but even for this problem there are solutions ).
Gardening will make you smile again when you discover how flavorful beyond compare your harvest is. Heirloom varieties will send your taste buds on a culinary expedition into times long bygone. Considering there are 12 varieties of apples left to be commercially sold in Europe, back from 1200 a few decades ago, planting those also helps bring back some of nature’s diversity onto your taste buds.
Gardening will help you connect with neighbors, especially when you give away those super tasty surplus tomatoes. It will connect you to nature when you watch the seasons closer than before, and it will help you understand and appreciate the place you live, its soil, its agricultural history and the plant diversity it has.
So yes, go plant a tree, or a tomato, or a herb garden on your window pane. Growing food will be the best decision you ever made involving you getting dirty.