The benefits of a veggie patch

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Versatile, child-friendly and economical - a veggie patch is perfect for any home that has a backyard, balcony or even some space on a window ledgei. It's a great way to make use of idle space and a fun hobby that everyone in the family can participate in.

Getting the kids involved with a veggie patch can promote healthy eating and attitudes towards fresh food.

Green thumbs, green benefits

Tomatoes, carrots, spinach, capsicum or lettuce: growing your own produce at home is a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of providing fresh food for your family. One benefit of having your own vegetable patch is control over the fungicides, pesticides and artificial fertilisers that are used in your gardenii.

Opting for your own home-grown veggies over supermarket produce is better for the environment because you control the conditions in which the produce is grownii. Unlike supermarkets, you don't have to worry about whether the produce was frozen or sprayed for preservation, or how long it has travelled to get to your plate. Planting your own vegetables reduces your carbon footprint as you don't rely solely on supermarket produce supply chains, which require transportation, storage and packaging of produceiii,iv

Bye-bye couch potato, hello veggie patch!

Not only is a veggie patch great for the environment, it's also of benefit to your body and mind. A vegetable garden at home is a pleasant space where you can appreciate the beauty of nature and promote your wellbeing. Spending time outdoors among the leafy green environment of your veggie patch can be therapeutici and can act as a relaxing distraction from the demands of daily life, helping to combat depression, negative thoughts and stressv. Soaking up some sun while outside caring for the veggie patch can also increase exposure to vital nutrients like vitamin D, which strengthens bones and musclesvi. Touching, tasting, smelling and seeing the plants and vegetables is also a fantastic way to lift the spirit and immerse yourself in naturev.

Gardening is an accommodating activity for anyone, young and old.

In the same way that gardening is great for the mind, it's also great for the bodyv. With all the walking, bending, digging, planting and watering, gardening is light exercise in its own right, suitable for all agesv. It's a fun, productive and active hobby that lets you reap what you sow.

At the end of the day it's a rewarding experience where you can eat the fruits of your labour. When you're growing and picking your own produce, you'll be eating better quality and fresher food that will ultimately be healthier for you and your familyii.

Get involved

Gardening is an accommodating activity for anyone, young and old. The experience can help children to begin to understand the time and effort it takes to produce a vegetable or piece of fruit, making them less likely to waste food in the futurevii.

Growing vegetables at home is also a great lesson in science and agriculturevii, as kids will be able to think about the natural environment, including weather, soil and water. Remember that children tend to be impatient, so plant bright and colourful vegetables that will grow quickly and excite and captivate themvii.

Last but not least, growing your own vegetables at home can help you save money on groceriesviii. So what are you waiting for? Get gardening today!

i Better Health Channel 2013, Gardening for health – starting out, viewed 23 October 2013," rel="nofollow

ii Body + Soul, Reap the rewards of a vegie patch, viewed 23 October 2013,,20507

iii Choice 2008, Food miles – why eat 'local'?: The distance food travels, viewed 23 October 2013,

iv Choice 2008, Food miles – why eat 'local'?: Arguments for, viewed 23 October 2013,

v Better Health Channel 2013, Gardens for all – a health activity, viewed 23 October 2013,

vi Better Health Channel 2013, Vitamin D, viewed 23 October 2013,

vii Better Health Channel 2013, Gardening for children, viewed 23 October 2013,

viii Sorensen, E 2013, 'Renaissance of the veggie garden',, viewed 23 October 2013,