Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Growth for the New Year

To most people January represents much more than just the start of a new calendar year. For the majority of us, January is a time to change important and meaningful aspects of our lives. Some choose to rectify relationships, work to change economic situations, or to improve overall health and well-being. Usually, two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are to improve physical fitness or eat healthier. Starting a vegetable garden is a wonderful way to knock out, “two birds with one stone”.

The mild winters of Southeast Texas make January a great time to spend some time in your yard, on your porch, or patio working to start or expand your own small piece of food security. The short days and cool weather makes it quite pleasant to work up a sweat tilling soil, building beds, and weeding plots. At the same time, Texas winters also produce more consistent rain and moisture which can be a great assistant to anything growing. Winter is a good season to sow seeds that can possibly be ready to harvest within a little more than a month. Seeds and transplants for cilantro, dill, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, beets, and lettuce are just a few items that can grow well during this time. The cooperative weather and quick crop turn-around are great motivators to spend more than a few hours working in the garden during January.

Don’t forget. When people think of planting a garden they generally think of the food harvested as the primary contributing factor to better health. Excited about the harvest, the fact that you actually have to do some manual labor is overlooked in its ability to be low-impact exercise. Statistics show that 40 minutes of gardening is equivalent to 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise.

Did I mention that you could also possibly save money by growing your own food? The list of reasons to get started on your garden in January can be quite long and I only choose to explain two. I promise as soon as you choose to pick up gardening for your family, you will find many more reasons to spend more of your time indulging in better health and the simple joy of producing something meaningful. So, when pondering on how to achieve those New Year’s resolutions, always consider how a home garden can help turn that issue into an asset. In 2013 make the decision to add New Growth to your New Year!