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.
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.
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.
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.
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.