As Latinos, we have heard many stereotypes about our culture, lifestyle, etc. One of the most common stereotypes is that we work in landscaping people’s gardens. First off, there is nothing wrong with being a landscaper. Secondly, this stereotype does not apply to all Latinos. I recall my grandparents and parents spending more time tending their own personal gardens. Even if the stereotype were true, knowing how to garden has so many benefits that it outweighs any negative connotation that it could possibly carry.
Economical: The first benefit of home gardening is the economical sense that it makes. According to health educators Liza Barnes and Nicole Nichols, home gardening can reduce your grocery bill. A packet of seeds that usually cost less than a dollar, can yield produce that would otherwise cost you much more. Another method, is buying your favorite produce and simply drying the seeds and planting them. I personally do this with my favorite kind of chiles, and this has saved me immensely on my grocery bills.
Tastier Food: The second major benefit of homegrown food is food that tastes fresh. Your taste buds will thank you for the better tasting ingredients. Also by having tasty food that is healthy, you are more likely to consume nutritious food. From personal experience, I know this to be true. Every time I visit my parents, who also have a home vegetable garden, I cannot stay away from their fresh vegetables. There is truly nothing that compares to freshly harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and onions.
Safer Food: Health educators Liza Barnes and Nicole Nichols also stated that growing your own food responsively ceases the possibility of having to worry about food contamination. This is due to the fact that most food contamination usually occurs either at the farm, manufacturing plant, or during the transportation process.
Counts as Exercising: Home gardening can also allow you to meet your daily exercise requirements. WebMD stated that it provides all three types of exercises: endurance, flexibility, and strength. Home gardening has the potential to burn hundreds of calories per hour depending on the vigor.
Helps the Environment: Who knew that growing your own food would reduce concern over the state of the environment? According to the Green Girls, eating home grown food is good for the environment because there will be fewer trucks transporting the fruits and vegetables, which saves energy and fossil fuels.
So Where Do You Begin? If you are wondering which vegetables to start your garden with, according to Ecosalon, the 10 easiest vegetables to grow at home are: tomato, radish, zucchini, beet, carrot, spinach, peas, pepper, lettuce, and onion. For basics on how to set up your garden, click here.
Jorge Delmuro, Guest Contributor