Gardening For Fun, Profit and Exercise!

4/20/2015 - Mendota, Illinois

Gardening to save money is often a myth. Sure, if you do it right and have lots of knowledge, it can happen but most home gardeners do it because they love gardening, don’t like chemicals and love the taste of home grown, locally sourced produce. “What is locally sourced”, you ask? Locally sourced food products are those raised within 25-50 miles of where you buy it. Most produce you see at a local farmer’s market are locally sourced.

Many people like to eat organic produce. You can buy it in the store or farmer’s market but beware, know your seller. There are many regulations to be met to become organic certified.  If you grow your own veggies you can control what goes in the ground and on the plants.

Do you just want to have a little plot of veggies? Turn it over, plant it, and then the fun part…..weeding it! If weeding is not your thing there are chemicals you can use or you could mulch everything. Mulch will keep in the moisture, keeps weeds at bay, and eventually breaks down as compost.

Do you want flowers? They look pretty, smell nice, and some are even edible. Annuals, like zinnias, petunias, etc. give lots of color throughout the summer and are inexpensive. Perennials come back every year, but they are more expensive. 

I’m sure you all have been gardening a long time and know lots of farming and gardening facts. However did you know that gardening can be exercise? Gardening increases flexibility, strengthens joints, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Exercise lowers your diabetic risk factors, helps control diabetes, and slows the development of diabetes. With any exercise you need to stretch before starting, pace yourself, and take breaks to admire your handiwork.

Written by: Tina Fitzgerald BSN, RN, CDE



JoEllyn Gahan
Community Relations Specialist
(815) 539-7461