Eating more fruits and vegetables is easy when we grow our own food. The best part: growing vegetables does not require a half-acre and a farm implement. Good food can grow right outside your window.
Pinterest is loaded with all kinds of creative gardening ideas and inspiration, such as vertical gardens made of recycled wood pallets or rain gutters and “potted” veggies sprouting from old purses or outgrown rubber boots.
Get the kids to help, too. Playing in the dirt comes naturally to them and they won’t even know there’s an ulterior motive. “Kids are enthusiastic about eating fruits and vegetables that they have had the responsibility of growing them,” says Jen Haugen, registered dietitian and blogger of The Down-to-Earth Dietitian. “Families that garden—whether it’s a few things growing in pots or a whole backyard full of vegetables—nurture something that becomes deeply fulfilling. While improving attitudes toward fruits and vegetables, it also fosters a respect for nature that can last a lifetime.”
A large flower pot just outside the back door provides an excellent introduction to gardening — a small place to grow greens for dinner salads, salsa or pizza.
Short on garden space at home? A community garden may be your answer. These low-cost/no-cost plots, often sponsored by a park district or neighborhood association, generally offer 10′x10′ plots, water and mulch to gardeners willing to keep their plot weed-free.
Looking for a community garden near you? The American Community Gardening Association hosts a database of community gardens along with a number of other opportunities to learn more, including conferences, an e-newsletter, photo-posting and simple how-to’s.
Interested in starting a garden of your own? Need ideas on donating garden produce, community grant funding and information on canning/freezing? Check out our Gardening Resource Page.