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These tomatoes are proof…

It’s gardening season. Warm weather is bringing soil temperatures to ideal conditions around the nation. Here are a couple of ways that a garden can help you this year in your own money adventures.

Apparently these tomatoes lift your mortgage.

Gardens produce produce. Yes, that is a proper sentence.

Gardens grow things. Yummy things. Fruits like Mortgage Lifter tomatoes (pictured above) – along with every vegetable you can think of – hold crucial vitamins and minerals in their proper plant matrix. When consumed whole or cooked with other whole foods, they provide every little bit of the chemical nutrition your body needs in the form best fit for consumption.

Fresh grown produce is not just healthier for you. It’s cheaper, too. A tomato plant costs less than $5 and can yield $50 or more in tomatoes over its life. You do the math.

Then there are the intangibles like lessons in patience, time outdoors and learning. These powerhouse food factories support your health from the bottom of their roots to the tips of the hairs on your head. They get you outside and get you nourished, for a fraction of the cost.

Produce prevents medical expenses.

This is also legit. The #1 killer in the United States – the leading cause of death among usis heart disease. Four of the other top-10 killers – Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Stroke and Diabetes – are all scientifically proven to be more easily predicted by dietary habits (even above exercise) than by any other factor, including heredity.

More and more research pins these diseases as so-called ‘diseases of affluence.’ Prosperous nations spend money on luxurious foods. We’re eating ourselves to death.

Not so with produce. It’s cheap and fixes you up better than any other food available. A whole food, plant-based diet has shown time and time again it’s miraculous ability to halt such diseases in their tracks. And cure them completely.

The average heart bypass surgery today costs $70,000 to $200,000. And it’s a painful, slow way to lose body function and die. And that’s not saying people like you and me would even make it to an operating table. What if that happens when we’re not prepared financially? The cost gets passed on to our loved ones.

We can eat ourselves slowly into great expense, then die, or we can eat more produce, then die better. (The latter also means cheaper.)

Pizza good. Garden better.

“But RI,” you say. “You deliver one of the worst foods for you! Pizza! Sugar. Animal protein. Exorbitant amounts of fat and bad cholesterol. What gives?”

I’m not saying a good pizza doesn’t have its place. Or an ice cold pop. Or one of those baby-sized lumps of cotton candy at a ball game. The long-term financial and health benefits of gardening have to do with the same thing money does. Habits. Sustained behavior over time. If all you eat is the bad, you’ll reap bad. If all you eat is the good, you’ll reap good. If you eat the good the vast majority of the time, the western diet won’t steal years or money from you. It’ll be something you can enjoy without breaking the bank. Or an artery.

So get some seeds. Dig a bed. Throw those babies in those furrows and treat them like part of the family. Your own garden’s produce will be sweeter to you because you made it happen.

Happy growing!



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