You don’t have to be a survivalist in order to see the benefits of self sustainability. Those who live in their own detached homes complete with a backyard can easily grow crops and raise livestock, but others with limited land resources may not feel that they can do much. As agricultural companies continue to use pesticides, chemicals, hormones and other additives in order to boost the shelf life of fresh products, consumers are becoming more aware of both the known and unknown risks of primarily consuming commercially manufactured foods. Whether you have become interested in self sustainability for disaster preparedness or simply because you want to live off the land, here are six more motivators for producing your own fruits, grains and vegetables.

1. Growing Your Own Food is Cheaper
It costs money to get into self sustainability, but then again it also costs cash to go grocery shopping. After you have purchased seeds, fertilizer, gardening tools, and materials to structure your garden or greenhouse, you won’t have much of a reason to spend any more money for quite a while. Food items such as lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, barley, wheat, sorghum, cucumbers and peas are exceedingly inexpensive to produce on your own. Most of these crops can also be produced all year around, so you can completely eliminate the need to purchase them at the grocery store once you become self sufficient.

2. Homegrown Food Can be Easily Stored
While you can continually grow food within a greenhouse kit structure, you will either have to sell it, consume it or preserve it to prevent it from going bad. One of the advantages of self sustainability is the fact that you are able to control precisely how much food each crop yields. Grow an abundance of tomatoes so that you can jar your own fresh spaghetti sauce, or can your homegrown green beans so that you’re able to enjoy fresh vegetables with every meal.

3. Cut Down on Waste
Since those who are self sufficient are able to plan out when and how much fruit and vegetables they want to grow, there is little risk of any food going to waste. If a harvest is particularly bountiful, the excess can be canned, jarred, frozen or given away. Most people who depend on shopping at grocery stores to purchase the bulk of their fresh produce often end up letting a considerable portion of it go to waste. Growing your own food will help you to solve this issue.

4. Improve Your Health
You may be surprised to learn that pesticides are routinely used on fresh produce, whether it is purchased from the farmer’s market or the produce aisle. Unless you specifically see advertisements pointing out that the produce you are purchasing is organic or hormone free, you can safely assume that some sort of commercial pesticide or growth aid was introduced during the growing process. Even many foods that are labeled organic may not be 100% pure, so growing it yourself is the safest way to ensure that it completely free of chemicals.

5. Learn How to be Independent
When you stop depending on major companies to supply you and your family with the foods that you eat regularly, you become more self assured in your ability to be self sufficient. Realize that years ago, this is how the majority of the world lived. It was only through the Industrial Revolution that people started to look outside of the home for the bulk of their foods, but now we understand that homegrown, prepared and cooked meals simply are best.

6. Have Something to Barter with
No, the end of the world is not neigh; however, it never hurts to be prepared just in case something does, in fact, happen. If you have an abundance of food and you really need other resources, such as fuel, medical supplies or transportation, you will be in a great position to barter. If you are experienced in growing your own food, you will know which items you can afford to barter with and which foods you really need to hang on to.

Even with a greenhouse, an action plan and supplies, becoming self sufficient is a long process. Your first crops may not thrive and you may become exasperated with the idea of being responsible for the production of your own food. Fortunately, if you have a little patience and start to find joy in your smaller successes, you will never want to go back to depending on grocery stores again. Homegrown food tastes better, is more beneficial for your health, and being able to grow your own produce is an extremely valuable trait.

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