There is nothing better than eating food that sprouted in your backyard – or from the balcony in your apartment complex. 

I was not always a gardener. A product of a beach town in the county of Los Angeles in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, I was a city girl living far from any farm. I didn’t even know how most foods were grown, as embarrassing as that is to admit.

My family had a gorgeous garden. Not a single seed was sown to grow any type of food, but we had the most beautiful roses you have ever seen, an amazing backyard eating area, and large, marvelous trees that touched the California sky. I don’t know why my mother never planted tomatoes, strawberries, or a lemon tree, because I didn’t care back then.  

Now, I do care!  

As a vegan, I LOVE growing organic food. It is the best thing next to sliced bread (vegan, of course – no dairy or eggs in my bread). It is the icing on my vegan lifestyle.

I’m a city girl who started my vegetable garden four years ago from scratch. Ignorant as can be, I had to learn everything about how to prepare the land and soil, how to sow a seed (some are so tiny), how to water, feed, and maintain plants, how to compost, (still learning), and when to harvest. I read articles and watched YouTube videos from lots of gardening experts and gave it my best shot. Did I mention I was brought up as a city girl?

Now in Colorado, my garden gets better every year. The entire process of soil preparation, sowing, watering, feeding, maintaining, and harvesting gets easier every year. It also becomes more satisfying and incredibly fulfilling to see the fruit of my labor (pun intended).

fresh carrots from a vegetable garden
Photo from author and gardener Vilma Reynoso’s food garden

Are you a city person, like me, and itching to grow food but wondering if you should? Or, are you wondering if the effort is worth it? You might be unsure about whether you have a green thumb. Rest assured that if I can do it, you can too!  

6 Reasons Why Growing an Organic Garden Will Enhance Your Life and Improve Your Health

Growing a garden is economical.

This is obvious. Considering how much cheaper it is to purchase seeds than a whole watermelon, it makes sense to grow your own food. If you have space, you will be able to feed your family for months (even year-round, depending on your particular climate). It is well worth it!

Eating from the garden is healthier.

Any fruit or vegetable recently plucked from the garden is much healthier than purchased from the grocery store. Since deterioration occurs immediately after harvesting, home-grown produce offers more nutrients than food that travels distances and then sits on store shelves waiting to be purchased. Growing at home is best. 

Food from the garden is tasty.

Have you ever tasted a watermelon that has just been harvested from the garden? How about a juicy, red tomato? I will venture to say that if you haven’t, you have not truly lived. Fruit and vegetables plucked straight from the garden are mouth-watering delicious! There is no doubt about that. There is no substitute for freshly picked fruit. This reason alone is enough to grow an organic garden.

Growing a garden nourishes the planet’s soil. 

One thing I love about growing a garden is that I contribute to improving the soil in this world, even if it’s only the soil on a small plot of land. By growing a garden and sharing my experiences, I inspire others to do the same. Our soil worldwide is depleted of nutrients due to commercial farming, population growth, urban sprawl, industrialization, and other factors. By growing a vegetable garden, you are contributing to making this world a better place. 

A garden brings beauty to the world. 

Who doesn’t love beauty? There is nothing more peaceful than sitting outside in the summer sun (or shade) surrounded by exquisite, colorful foliage. It is bliss. Even if you only have a balcony, you can purchase a few pots to grow food. It will make your living space peaceful and splendid.  

Gardening is fun.  

Yes, believe it or not, gardening is fun! It is work, too, and you will have to take good care of your garden, but just like any endeavor, it is fulfilling and you will eventually reap the benefits. Gardening is truly a rewarding hobby. Part of the fun is eating the food you grow, of course.

small tomatoes growing on the vine
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Gardening is a hobby I never imagined I would partake in, much less love. I did not go vegan in 2011 and then decide to grow a garden, but I sure wish I had because I missed out on years of delicious, nutritious food and fun. I revamped my backyard and started my garden in 2017. Since then, I have grown a variety of plants that have produced an abundance of nutritious food. View my harvest here.

I started with three tomato plants in the backyard in 2011, not knowing what I was doing. After eating those delicious tomatoes, I was inspired to eat healthier, which then encouraged me to seek more healthy foods, eventually leading me to a vegan lifestyle. The decision to go vegan later sparked my desire to turn most of my backyard into a food garden!

If you are interested in improving your health with a plant-based diet, growing a garden and reaping its benefits will help you see how wonderful it is to live vegan. You will eat the healthiest and tastiest fruit and vegetables and realize how much better you will feel. Your body will then naturally start to crave healthier food.

It’s your turn. Start with just a tomato seed and see how you do. If an LA gal like me can do it, you can, too!

Posted by:Vilma Reynoso

Vilma Reynoso, aka Vilms, is a writer, gardening aficionado, and whole-food enthusiast who writes about the human experience, human rights, self-growth, and various subjects. Her passion is to inspire others to live their best lives for a kinder, more compassionate world. To learn more about Vilma, visit her website,

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