Even though all produce is grown in soil, there are substantial differences between purchasing produce at the supermarket and growing your own. Growing produce by ourselves allows us to take control of our diets and ensure our health. However, at supermarkets we blindly trust shiny fruits and vegetables, oblivious to the process it’s gone through to make it to the store.


The Reality of Most Grocery Stores

You would probably expect the best of your local grocery store that you frequent often. Sorry to say that the expectations you’ve created in your head aren’t realistic.

The moment produce arrives at stores, it is displayed immediately. Without cleaning the product,  we can assume contaminants may have come in contact with the crops.  Since no one can guarantee that the delivery plan went smoothly  from step to step, we can deduce that the products aren’t as clean as we thought they were.

Another absurd finding happens to be about apples. Apples ripen in shorter periods, but we somehow have them all year long. Of course, this is only possible if the apples are kept in cold storage, and handled with chemicals. Sometimes, after the initial picking of produce is completed, chemicals are then sprayed onto the produce again. 

Apples aren’t the only fruit to cause a shock. Farmers pick bananas when they’re green, and rely on a scientific process that delays the ripening of the bananas. Generally, many places use different methods to achieve this. Examples include the usage of gas or ethylene to control ripening . The procedure also allows bananas to ripen again later. Though, of course, chemicals are being used in this situation as well. 


Other risks include fruits and vegetables with high pesticide levels. Pesticides are often used on produce after being taken from the soil or trees. There might even be more bizarre findings we have yet to uncover. Until then, all that should be said is that “fresh” isn’t as fresh as you would think. 


Advantages of Gardening

Produce grown from gardening often proves its value up against store-bought groceries. Homegrown produce has more nutritional benefits to which store-bought products can’t compete. 

The greatest benefit of gardening is that you’re in control of your crops. You decide on  what affects your garden. From the pH of the soil to the amount of fertilizer used, your plants only get what you give them. As you’re the boss, you won’t have to doubt the quality or greatness of your own products. . 

Produce is generally sent from abroad and gets here through planes, then cars and all types of transportations to arrive at the shelves of grocery stores. All that fuel and gas is now released into the atmosphere, lessening our air quality. When you garden, you cut the need for all that air pollution, making our planet a better place to live. However, depending on where you live, growing all your crops is impossible. In Ontario, a few plants we can grow are onions, peppers and squash. Certain crops like bananas and mangoes are unable to grow in our region. You’re still creating change, no matter the size of your efforts or doings!

The commonly unknown benefits of gardening include working the muscles, and better mental well-being. I believe that people gain satisfaction from watching their efforts bloom, and that happens with plants quite literally. Gardening also allows us to be active and gives us an excuse to be outside. Especially with the incoming sunshine, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the weather?


Garden Today

Not everyone likes gardening and no one is born with this skill either. It takes dedication, learning, and sometimes even some research or mentorship from a fellow gardener to achieve it. Nothing comes easily, so you can’t expect results from meager labour. Put that work in, and you’ll get the outcome you want. So what are you waiting for? Get out, and garden!