Thursday, July 1, 2010

Growing Dinner

Planting a vegetable garden is one of my favorite summer activities. The freshness and rewarding feeling you get from going out to literally pick and see what you will be cooking for dinner is unbelievable, and the veggies really do taste better!

This year we planted eggplant, zucchini, purple romaine, boston lettuce, cherry tomatoes, monte carlo tomatoes, jalapenos, green beans, butternut squash, pumpkin, heirloom tomatoes (courtesy of my aunt Jackie) and red & yellow beets. We always have raspberries, blueberries and Jerusalem artichokes which come back every year (perennials). But this year we had a few surprise veggies, green onions that I planted last year and never grew and Garlic!! I guess maybe they take a year to grow or maybe because they are bulbs they will come back every year. (fingers crossed) I also have a huge pot of herbs (Basil, oregano, thyme, mint, chives, arugula, and sage)

Everything is growing really well this year, I haven't bought lettuce in 2 weeks and now that the eggplant and zucchini has started I can cross that off my shopping list too! It amazes me every year that I spend 20-25 dollars to plant the garden and then don't go veggie shopping for months. That is the best investment return I have seen in a while.

The only thing that isn't growing is the beets, but this is the first year we have tried them and we planted them from seeds, which doesn't always work. The best advise that I have to people wanting to try a vegetable garden is go for it! I would suggest buying the plants already started instead of trying from seeds which is very difficult because our summer isn't long enough to allow everything to mature. For what it costs to try to grow veggies it is worth it even if you don't have complete success on every front. At the end of the season, you have saved money, eaten healthier (no chemicals) and you have the rewarding feeling of growing your own food despite the fact that you don't live on a farm. If anyone has there own garden stories please feel free to share them I would love to hear about other people's successes and failures!

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