How’s your garden?
It’s midsummer and gardens are producing. My neighbor, Mark, just brought over nearly a pound of green beans from his garden. Jackie (my daughter) is now harvesting, among other things, lettuce and zucchini.
Families with home vegetable gardens eat more fruit and vegetables. The home garden supplies fresh fruit and vegetables and at the same time saves grocery dollars. A garden gives over a 20-fold increase in the value of the produce grown compared to the initial cost.
Nicole loves to help in the garden.
Most kids don’t see a veggie until it appears on their plate!
Gardening is a wonderful family project. Gardening improves overall health by providing exercise, stress reduction, relaxation, and quality time with your children.
All kids love digging in the dirt and gardening allows kids to learn about food, without the pressure of eating it the first time it’s seen. Even toddlers can help to plant, water, weed, and harvest. Gardening involves all the senses. When children, especially picky eaters, help in the garden, it gives them “ownership” of the produce. It should be no surprise that studies have shown that gardening is directly related to the frequency of vegetable consumption.
Vegetables begin to lose nutrients from the minute they are picked. Most fruit and veggies will last five to seven days in your refrigerator, but the longer you have them the less nutrition is available. It only stands to reason, when you eat veggies picked from your garden, not only will the taste be improved, but so will the nutrition.
We live on a half acre so you’d think I’d have a vegetable garden, but the deer eat everything in sight. Years ago, when my girls were young, I had a garden. Since then, the deer have moved back into our neighborhood.
Someone forgot to tell the deer about the perennials they aren’t supposed to eat. Daylilies are on the list of flowers that “deer won’t eat.” I have yet to see a flower. Just as the buds are ready to open, they’re gobbled up.
Gardens are an open invitation for deer to come to dinner. I might as well put up a neon sign, “All You Can Eat.” My neighbors on either side have erected fences to keep the deer out of their gardens. I keep talking about purchasing a green house, but every year I put it off.
You don’t need a big backyard, or a yard at all, to grow vegetables. There are a lot of vegetables and herbs that do well in containers on decks, apartment balconies, or even in windowsills. For the time being, my garden is on my deck. Although, I don’t have as many veggies as my neighbors, I manage to grow peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and herbs.
Zach is watering the plants on my deck.
So how does your garden grow?
The children in these photos are my grandchildren. (It helps to have built-in models.) I often use pictures that moms send me of their kids with my blogs. I’d love to post photos of your children in your garden showing off your produce. Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.