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The first tomato I ever grew from seed.
We're lucky to live in a world full of grocery stores, farmers' markets and restaurants around every corner. Why go to the hassle of growing your own food? Saving money. Sure, this one is always debatable. Starting a huge garden isn't cheap and investing money in soil feels...strange. Paying for dirt? Weird. Building good soil isn't free, but it's worth it. Commit to your garden for a couple of years, and you'll start to notice that you already have the tools, seeds, great soil and most importantly the knowledge you need to successfully grow your own food. If money is an issue, start small. If you're a beginner, start small. A few containers of leafy greens, carrots and your favorite vegetables will make you incredibly happy, and you'll be more successful than trying to tend to 20 different crops. Better health. Whether you go completely organic, or simply don't use synthetic pesticides, you're keeping chemicals off your plate. Many pesticides have a link to cancer or other diseases. For the home gardener, spending a little extra to buy the organic pest control won't break the bank. You're not growing hundreds of acres of vegetables, so don't freak out about an extra dollar. Better taste. If you've never had a homegrown tomato, or thick, meaty Bloomsdale spinach right from the garden, you're missing out on the finer things in life. Homegrown vegetables are ripened on the vine, like nature intended. Those strawberries from the store, that are white in the middle? That's not the strawberry Mother Nature wanted to give you. The pink-greenish tomatoes? They were picked green and gassed on the way to market so they wouldn't get smushed in transport. It's a worthwhile activity. You should know where your food comes from. I mean where it really comes from: What the seed looks like, what the plant looks like, how long it actually takes to grow an amazing, juicy tomato. The more you learn about your food the more you appreciate it, and the better you eat. It's a skill you can pass on to children and friends. - Carly Risley, Bath Garden Center