Should you grow your own produce?

For most people with an average size garden and a busy life, they may find it hard to grow enough fruit and vegetables for their needs. So should we bother?


Whilst we may not grow enough for all of our needs, growing our own food can be beneficial for our physical health, our mental health and the environment’s health. It can also save us money.

Mental Health

Spending time with nature and greenery has been found to improve people’s mental health, increase their concentration and attention. The growing field of ecotherapy focusses on just that, how interaction with nature can improve how we feel.

Gardening is also a form of exercise, which has also been found to improve mental health, leading to reduce depression and anxiety.

Physical Health – Nutritional value

Growing your own food can mean that your diet is more healthy and diverse. The fruit and veg can be packed with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. This is when the food is at its most nutritional value.

Food sold in shops has been harvested, packaged, shipped, distributed and then sold in a store. This can affect the food’s nutritional value as it can be a long process.  Much longer than popping over to a tomato plan and picking off a fresh, ripe tomato.

So even if all you can grow is a few carrots or a tomato plant, why not give it a go?

Physical Health – Sunshine

Spending time outside gardening means we get fresh air, sunshine and physical activity.  Sunshine is important for vitamin D (but don’t forget the sunscreen and don’t stay out too long).  Vitamin D is essential to maintain healthy teeth and bones. It can also prevent against certain diseases.

Physical Health – Health Effects

Gardening has been found to improve our immune system and cardiac health. It can reduce our heart rate and stress levels. It can increase our body strength and motor skills.

Environmental Health

Transporting produce from one area to another relies heavily on fossil fuels. Growing your own food reduces this as there is no transportation required.    If you can’t grow your own, try to buy local.

Growing your own also means that you do not use chemicals or pesticides that larger growers may use, which again is helping the environment. 

So, if you are thinking of growing your own, do it. Even if it is something small like a tomato plant or a few carrots, it’s a great starting point and helpful to you and your planet.


See our books and short courses on growing your own.