According to the National Gardening Association, 35% of households in the US are now growing food either at home or in a community garden. It is a 200% increase over the past ten years, meaning that nearly two million more families are now gardening on a regular basis.

If you aren’t part of this food revolution, then the big question is why not? Growing your own food has health, cost and taste benefits. It can also help the sustainability of our planet and help us reconnect with the skills that our ancestors relied on when they used to live off the land.

Still not convinced? Here are six reasons why you should be considering growing your own food

Reducing the cost of your grocery bill

Organic food is becoming increasingly popular in shops, but it is also reflected in the price, with plenty of stores taking the attitude that if the consumer wants healthy food, they will pay more for it. One obvious benefit of growing your own food is that it reduces the cost of your grocery bill, but it has other cost benefits too. It’s a low-cost activity, and if you grow enough fruit and veg, you can even sell it on as a source of income.

Improving your health

It goes without saying that growing your own food can have huge health benefits. The ‘fresh’ produce you pick up from a supermarket has been packaged and probably transported several hundred miles before you even take it off the shelf. Fruit and veg that comes straight from the garden is free of additives and pesticides and you can eat it within minutes of being picked. If you are looking for inspiration for what you can grow in your garden, then have a look at preparednessmama.com.

Homegrown food tastes better

The best chefs in the world are growing their own vegetables to take advantage of the superior taste that comes from homegrown produce. You’ll also savor it more knowing all the effort that it took to get it onto the table.

It’s a family activity

Working in the garden with your family is an activity that can bring everyone together. You’ll be out in the fresh air, getting some exercise and getting those hands dirty. Your children will also be picking up vital life skills that will serve them well in the future, and the fruits of your labor will be there for all to see – quite literally!

It improves your yard

Growing your own food will turn your garden into a place that serves a real purpose. A vegetable patch in one corner can add life, color, and beauty to the yard while the smell of fresh strawberries and the sight of brightly colored carrots will make afternoons outside all the more enjoyable.

Help the environment

The pesticides that are used on mass-produced crops can find their way into the water supply, with the Environmental Protection Agency estimating that the groundwater in 38 states could be contaminated while modern farming uses petroleum more than any other industry, consuming around 12% of the country’s total energy supply. Growing at home and reducing our reliance on mass production can help save the planet.