The snow is gone, the flowers are in bloom and now is a great time to think about planting a vegetable garden. There are many benefits to growing a vegetable garden, including physical activity, convenient access to fresh vegetables, less money spent at the grocery store on produce, a sense of pride in starting a new hobby and growing something with your own hands and gardening is a great distraction from cravings for less nutritious foods. Research has shown planting a garden with children increases their daily intake of vegetables. If you are unsure of how to start a garden visit your local greenhouse and speak with any of their knowledgeable staff or visit a local farm and chat with the farmers. Visit a “pick your own vegetable/fruit” farm and get inspired.
If space is an issue try starting with an herb garden in potted planters outside or inside your home. Using herbs in your recipes is a great way to reduce your salt intake and still keep all the taste. Check out Eat Right Ontario for more information on starting an herb garden: http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/default.aspx
This will be my third season of growing a vegetable garden and it has been an educational and fun experience for my whole family. We have enjoyed the fruits of our labor (pun intended) at our table and any vegetable that doesn’t get eaten is used in creating funny vegetable monsters that my daughters enter into the local Fall Fair competitions.
Enjoy and make eating an experience, not a job!