Nearly 100 reasons to grow a vegetable garden

I was listening to an NPR radio show this afternoon and heard vegetable gardens mentioned. It was a show about Sugar. Author Robbie McCauley talked about how everyone used to have access to home grown food. She said its a crime that we don’t anymore. Here here!

And then Molly commented on an old post of mine that listed reasons to grow your own vegetables. Molly said “..for FUN!”

So I am posting my list again. I’ve added lots of reasons sent in by other gardeners. The list is almost up to 100 reasons now. I counted about 60.

Nearly 100 reasons to grow a vegetable garden:

For fun! (Molly)

To find the shortest, simplest way between the earth, the hands, and the mouth(Lanza Del Vasto)

To participate in one of the basic parts of living – producing your own food

Free food!

Reduce trips to the grocery store

To reduce pesticides and chemicals in your food

To experience the seasons

To increase vitamin D levels by regular sunlight exposure

To breath fresh air

For physical exercise that produces something tangible

To hear the birds singing

For the beauty of the plants

For the scents, colors and sounds of the garden

To create a work of art

To express yourself with straight even rows or wild tangled patches

A weight bearing activity that can increase bone density

Produce better quality food

To grow rare and heirloom varieties not available commercially

For a quiet break from high stress and electronic activities

For access to super local food

To put your yard into productive use

To beautify your yard

To help support honey bee and butterfly populations

So you can blog about it during data downloads

To produce food you can share

To lower your food costs

So you can meet other gardeners

To know exactly where your food comes from

For a hobby your whole family can participate in

For real food

To support the green movement and reduce your global footprint

To eat more vegetables and less junk food

To play in the dirt

For geosmin, the musky smell of freshly turned soil

For sustainability as an ethical and practical way to live

To support biodiversity

For access to seasonal food

For minimally processed food

For the freshest and sweetest tomatoes

For giant dark red beets

Because enjoyment of the fruit is complete when one is “inextricably entwined with the memory of the plant in its various stages of development” (Kitchen Gardeners International)

For more sunlight

For lots of new crops to celebrate with a martini

For happiness

To remember my grandparents’ and my parents’ gardens and to grow and enjoy the plants they grew

To care for the earth, ourselves and others

To learn about nature

To experience the interconnectedness of our environment

To educate my children on where their food comes from

To teach my sons to be proud of something they helped cultivate

To protect the land from development (Cazaux)

To get your hands dirty

To appreciate the careful progression of time and the effects of sun and rain

To remain in awe about the miracle of nature – how a tiny seed can grow a tomato plant with multiple fruits some of which were 6 inches across! (Mary)

…the food tast a hole lot better (anonymous)

To revive almost forgotten memories and favorites from childhood that are no longer available unless you grow them. Like a Charlston Grey watermelon! Huge, tasty, full of seeds and so unlike those wimpy, seedless little watermelons we see today. (Phyllis)

For the sense of accomplishment (Barb)

To make your gardens look nicer (Susy)

To have something green and fresh to dream about in cold and dreary January! To be stunned to discover the bean you dropped in the ground grew pods and that those pods are filled with six or eight more beans — and to be stunned to discover this every time you open another pod. To learn that companion planting works, and in the process, feel like you’ve been given a gift of the knowledge of all the generations of gardeners that came before.(Pookie)

To sweat, to feel the earth, to be in touch spiritually. Also I honor my Grandfather and other family members. I am growing garlic, parsley and basil from seeds, & seed garlic that goes back up to 90 years old from Italy. (Nick)

10 Comments. Leave new

  • May I add another? Gardening is therapeutic for people who suffer from chronic illness, mental and physical disabilities, anxiety and depression, the list goes on. Garden to quiet your mind and strengthen your body, to have hope and faith in something as small as a seed, to have something to nurture that also nurtures you.

  • Love this list. I think the child in me loves getting my hands dirty when I weed and plant.


  • I love the list, although the fourth one down (free food!) isn't exactly true. I don't think you can get into vegetable gardening without spending some money.

    And for those of us who become addicted to vegetable garden, it can actually suck up a lot of your money!…But it's for a good cause!

  • Thanks for reminding me of all the reasons I like to grow vegetables. One of the most significant for me is the connection to my parents and grandparents who were vegetable gardeners. And then I think of my ancestors who came to the coast of Maine in 1639. Vegetable gardens were about survival. Maybe there's a link to today. Do you think?

  • Thanks for such a great blog, I have been following it for years even though we have a very different climate in Northern CA. Apologizes, as this may not be the place to put this… and can't put links in here…

    During this quiet period before we all get going full speed on our gardens, I wanted to let you know about a product I designed that was launched last May – we are tiny team and very new out there…It's called

    It's a free personalized online solution that makes it easy and convenient to plan, manage, harvest, share your organic vegetable garden and even shop for seeds through our partners like Peaceful Valley Farm Supply and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I personally wanted this product, so I designed, funded it and am trying to make it happen.

    I'm targeting busy people who want to be more self sufficient, who want to grow their own food, but have limited time. Basically trying to create a product that helps mainstream sustainability by getting newbies and those overwhelmed into food gardening. If you are interested and/or you have feedback, I all ears. If you think your audience might benefit from knowing about this, then wonderful.

    I'm growing this one person at a time and am also doing a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, trying to raise more money to do some community features. So please take a look and pass on to anyone you know who cares about what they eat and wants to expand their definition of local to include … their own backyard.

    Thanks much!


  • I agree with you about free food, I save seeds and compost to fertilize the soil. If I could add another reason to the list… Because the food I grow tastes so much better than the commercially grown food

  • Love every single one of these (each a reason I grow a garden). I'd also like to add:

    Because I can!

    There are plenty of people around the world that would love nothing more than to have a small plot of land to work so they could provide some of their own food yet they can't. So I garden for them, because I have the space and the freedom to do so!

  • I must agree that a garden is like art. I find myself organizing plants in my little city lot based on size and color and even using certain style pots for certain plants.

  • Another reason:

    Because I always have 'next season' just like Cubs fans.

  • How do I highlight your blog posts on my blog without just copying the content over. I'd rather link to you so you get the credit and such?

    I'm at I think. I'm a newbie!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Previous Post
winter flora
Next Post
I am a salmon??