By Lindsay Tavano
Gardening is arguably one of the most rewarding processes. It builds one’s connection with nature while contributing countless benefits. However, my personal favorite aspect of gardening is the gift of fresh food as well as all the benefits that it brings.
When you grow your own food you are not only benefiting the taste of your products but you are benefiting health wise. Your diet becomes packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. When products are harvested directly from the source, you are able to consume these nutrients in their rawest form. This is very different from food purchased in places such as a grocery store because the timeline there is much longer. The food we see sold in our stores go through several stages of being harvested, shipped, and distributed. The longer the food sits on a shelf or in storage the freshness of the product is compromised. These products are also subject to undergo unnatural treatments in order for them to last longer. Overall, this is not the healthiest for people to consume and can compromise existing health benefits. By growing or harvesting your own food, you avoid these things. Instead, you are granted with delicious products in their purest form, directly from the source to your plate.
Not only does growing/harvesting your food provide health benefits but it allows you to form memories with the people around you. For me personally, harvesting blueberries will always remind me of my grandmother. We didn’t grow them ourselves, but each summer she visited we made countless trips to the local berry farm. We would wander up and down the patches in search of grammy’s criteria for the “best blueberries.” She taught us just what to look for, not too big or small, not too dark or to light in color. As kids, we were always quick to grab the first berries we saw in sight. But when we would go to show her, she always warned “you’re not looking deep enough” as she believed the best ones were always hidden. When the process finally came to an end, it was time for what I thought was my favorite part: blueberry pie. The pie we would make tasted far better than any other pie as the freshness of the blueberries was evident. However, I have to say, looking back all those years ago I can’t clearly remember the taste of the pie. What I remember most are all the times collecting the blueberries with my grammy and it is those memories that are still clear to me.
Growing/harvesting fresh food is extremely beneficial health wise as it allows you to consume products in their rawest form, providing all of their individual benefits. However, more importantly, growing/harvesting food is an opportunity to make memories with those around you like I was able to do. As we have now created our greenhouses in class, I am excited to have the opportunity to grow my own product and make memories with my classmates while doing so.