By Guest Contributor: J Russell Hart
Many people today are turning to a plant-based diet as an alternative to diets too rich in saturated meat products, junk food, and highly processed foods. In some cases, it involves spending more time in the produce section of your local grocery store, looking for fruits and vegetables that are grown organically and spending extra money on them.
You can follow a great plant-based diet in an even better way while growing your fruits and vegetables in your own home garden. If you live in an apartment, you can start a container garden in front of a sunny window. If you have a plot of land to turn into a garden you can go big with a garden filled with healthy fruits and vegetables. You can grow almost anything in a small garden so you have the spring, summer and fall to eat off your own land.
Vegetables Easily Grown At Home
Tomatoes lend themselves well to container gardening and can grow like wild in the good earth of your back yard. They grow and ripen all season long so you can pick what you need for sandwiches, salads, snacks, fresh sauces and even for juicing.
You can grow your own peas or beans in a container or in your backyard garden. They are rich in phytonutrients that have their maximum potency if you simply pick what you need and eat them as soon as possible; you have the greatest amount of healthy phytonutrients and antioxidants in the food shortly after picking them.
Peppers, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and greens like Kale are great options for a home garden and allow you to reach for healthy and super fresh produce all summer long and into the fall.
Your Home Garden
If you decide to have a back yard home garden, you need to decide if you want to grow organic foods or not. Organic gardening is the best possible choice because the food is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. This means no harmful chemicals exist with the food you pick and you can even eat them straight out of the garden without having to wash them extensively.
Grow a wide variety of foods that become ripe at different times of the season:
Radishes, for example, take only a few weeks to become edible and, after pulling them up, you have room to grow a row of something else. Most people grow tomatoes and some people grow carrots, lettuce, and potatoes.
Both potatoes and squash need the entire summer to become available for eating so all you need to do is to keep them weed-free and watch them grow. In the early autumn or late summer, you can dig up the potatoes and harvest the squash. These types of produce can be kept at room temperature or in a cool place for many months so you have instant winter eating from vegetables you grew in the summer.
Lettuce and other greens can be grown and harvested all summer long for the best in salads that are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants. All you need to do is harvest some of the leaves, wash them, and enjoy them in a healthy salad with tomatoes, carrots, or radishes you grew yourself. This is the core of a plant-based diet that will give you benefits far beyond a meat-based diet.
Meat-based diets are low in antioxidants and high in saturated fats. You can get the nutrition you need from vegetables and fruits you grow yourself with a known reduction in fatty deposits in your arteries and a lesser chance for heart disease and stroke. There is a reduced risk of certain cancers with a low fat, plant-based diet.
Get Even Better Results With Composting
If you want an especially fruitful garden, consider starting a compost pile or box. All you need to do is put in vegetation and clippings from around your yard, add food scraps and paper, mixing everything with a little bit of soil. Worms thrive in the moist environment of a good compost heap so that you will soon have these things turned into rich soil that will make your organic garden thrive.
Get Started Today
There are millions of guides online for organic vegetable gardening, and many books on the topic. In reality, the best teacher is experience, so learn the initial steps, get the supplies and just do it! Remember to get the kids involved in the garden as well; it is a great learning experience, and a great opportunity to spend quality time together.
Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. Should this subject matter be of interest you can visit the HF & S Club home site where you’ll find over 1,300 quality posts with new posts being published daily. To quickly access those that are of interest you can select any of 20 Categories broken down by over 260 Sub-Categories for easy access. . Access this website by going to [http://www.healthfitnessandsport.com]