The benefits of organic gardening

Going organic isn't just a trend. It's a lifestyle many of us really believe in, and for good reason. Going organic benefits your health, your family's health, and the environment, too. But buying organic is difficult. Sometimes the variety of organic produce is lacking, and other times it's just too expensive.
That's why you might want to consider starting an organic garden in your own backyard. It may be intimidating, but don't be afraid to start small (like growing a single tomato in a pot sometime). Our hope is to get you excited about how organic gardening can improve your life and the world around you, and to inspire you to start experimenting with gardening yourself.
First, a brief description of organic gardening: Technically speaking, organic gardening simply refers to gardening without the use of chemicals or synthetic fertilizers. But in the bigger picture, organic gardening is about working with and mimicking nature and understanding gardening as an ecosystem itself.
Now, a few reasons why you should consider organic gardening:
1) Organic gardening is more sustainable. Organic gardening is done in the absence of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, which means no toxic runoff making its way to waterways or your local water supply. Not to mention insecticides aren't just harmful to insect pests, they're harmful to beneficials as well, including bees. So organic gardening helps to encourage and support beneficial pollinators and other organisms. Also helpful is composting, which diverts a lot of organic waste from reaching the landfill.
2) Organic gardening really can save you money. It may take some trial and error, but once you have a few seasons under your belt you will likely notice your garden saving you money instead of costing you money. Collecting and saving your own seeds, making your own compost, growing and drying your own culinary and medicinal herbs, and preserving produce can all have an impact. Store-bought Echinacea tea, dried herbs, and canned tomatoes could be a thing of the past.
3) Growing your own organic garden is safer. Whenever possible, skip the chemicals. Penn State Extension stresses that pesticides are intended to cause harm to living organisms, and so they can cause harm to you. And, more research is needed in order to know to what degree many pesticides currently on the market can do harm to humans, to other organisms, to the environment, etc. The toxicity level combined with the amount of exposure is what determines your risk. Simply put, the less exposure the better.
4) Organic gardening is healthier. Would you believe that the broccoli you eat today is likely to contain less than half the minerals and vitamins of broccoli grown a hundred years ago? Authors Steve Solomon and Erica Reinheimer explain this reality in their book, The Intelligent Gardener, citing soil depletion as the major cause. If you choose to garden yourself, you can learn how to rebuild and remineralize your soil and choose naturally nutrient-dense cultivars of the food crops you want to grow.
5) Organic gardening is tastier. We all know that fruits and veggies taste the best when picked right of the plant at their prime and consumed shortly afterwards. And the only way to guarantee this is to grow and pick it yourself.
6) Organic gardening is grounding. Food is a necessity, but in our current culture it's a matter of convenience. As a society, we've lost sight of what real food is and what our bodies need to achieve true health. Organic gardening brings us back to an awareness of our relationship with nature and our need to be nourished by Earth. The act of gardening is indeed nourishment in itself.
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