There are many reasons why people decide to pursue vegetable gardening as a hobby. Some people feel it’s a relaxing way to lower their stress levels. Some people just enjoy growing their own food. Others get satisfaction from knowing that they know where some of their food is coming from. No matter what your reasons for wanting to take up vegetable gardening, it’s a very rewarding hobby. Some people even choose to try to make some money with their vegetable gardening. You can make a little extra money by selling your vegetables at a local farmer’s market or roadside stand, or you can try to sell your produce to a local health food store or restaurant. When you’re planning your vegetable garden, you need to decide how large you want your garden to be. You may be tempted to buy dozens of different vegetables and all sorts of varieties, but this may be more work than you’re really prepared for. First, you should make a list of all of the different vegetables you’d like to plant. Write down anything that comes to mind. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll have time to plant or take care of something, or whether you can afford it, just write down everything you’re interested in. Once you’ve completed your list, you’ll start narrowing it down. The first step to narrowing your list down is to eliminate anything that you can get locally at a reasonable price. Potatoes and cabbage, for example, are usually very inexpensive in most locations. Then you should eliminate anything that you can get locally that won’t see a significant improvement in flavor over the store-bought version. Again, cabbage and potatoes probably won’t taste significantly different if you grow them yourself. What you want to have on your list is the produce you can’t get locally, is generally too expensive to purchase, or would taste significantly better when grown in your own garden. For example, you may choose to grow fresh herbs because they are very expensive in stores. You might want to grow tomatoes because it can be extremely difficult to find tomatoes that taste good in stores. And you might want to grow a variety of specialty lettuces that are hard to find locally, or are generally a bit expensive. Most people can’t handle caring for a very large garden. It is hard work. It can be very relaxing, but it can be back-breaking work in unbearable heat. You have to contend with dirt, bugs, heat, bending, lugging, pulling, hoeing, and weeding. In can be miserable work if you create a garden that is larger than you’re prepared to handle. If you go overboard, your fascinating hobby can quickly turn into a nightmare. So be sure to choose only those varieties which you really believe you’ll enjoy, and which you can’t easily find locally. If you only eat peas once per month, don’t plant a whole row! If you detest tomatoes, don’t plant them just because you think you should for some reason. Some people plant things they think look pretty in the seed catalog, even though they know they won’t enjoy the produce! Be careful not to get carried away. It’s tempting to plant one of every variety of tomato, or six different kinds of peppers. Those seed catalogs are beautiful, but keep it realistic!