The Advantages of Fresh Vegetables Picked From the Garden

In previous generations, a home garden was an essential part of life. During Word War II the Victory Garden became a critical strategy to provide fresh home-grown produce to a country where commercially supplied foods were heavily rationed. While having a home garden today may seem time consuming, there are advantages to having vegetables freshly picked from the garden.

Flavor

The flavor of some vegetables is simply far superior if prepared immediately after harvesting. Sugar content in corn is high when the vegetable is first picked, giving it a sweet flavor. Immediately after harvesting, the sugar begins to turn to starch, altering the corn's flavor. Store bought tomatoes rarely (if ever) compare to homegrown in flavor and texture. Produce sold in the grocery store will not have the same intense flavors as vegetables fresh from the garden.

Healthy Diet

Because produce tastes better fresh from the garden, vegetable consumption from the home garden likely will increase, compared to that of a consumer who purchases all of his produce at the supermarket. Eating more vegetables promotes better health and weight loss. If children are involved with the garden, they will be more apt to try something freshly picked from the garden than eating vegetables from a can.

Safety

Consumers have no real idea of the amount of chemicals or contaminants that may have tainted the produce sold commercially. The home gardener has more control over the chemicals and pesticides to which the garden is exposed.

Nutrition

Fresh vegetables from the garden will typically contain more vitamins and minerals than their counterparts sold at the supermarket. Commercially grown produce is usually harvested when it is still immature, especially when it is being transported from one state to another. Without fully maturing, the vegetables do not develop their full nutrition potential. Vegetables also begin to lose some of their nutrients immediately after picking. Frozen and canned foods tend to retain more of their nutrients than fresh vegetables sold in the store, because they are processed immediately after harvesting.

Keywords: benefits of a garden, advantages of freshly picked vegetables, home vegetable garden

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.