Looking at the weather forecast for the summer, it looks as though you will be able to spend a lot of time outdoors. I know I plan to do so! Maybe you could spend some time in the garden and try growing your own produce.
Most nurseries still have several varieties of garden type plants, as edibles, such as herbs, fruits, and vegetables. The nice part about herbs is that you will be able to clip a little bit off, and put it in your sauté or salad for tonight’s dinner!
We talked to gardeners at Stein’s Garden & Home earlier this week. They suggest “buying plants to grow before it is too warm outdoors.” Going forward, they mention that most herbs and vegetables will continue growing into the fall. Herbs can be kept for the next year by digging up and wrapping until the next growing season. They will come back year after year!
In talking to the manager at Trader Joe’s recently, they mentioned that most of the herb and vegetable plants are going on sale soon. The plantings are mini-plants to larger in size. “If they are large, then you should really split the plants into at least 4 planters because each one is really its own plant.”
What plants are easiest for growing your own produce without too much hassle?
Most herbs are easy to grow, such as basil, tarragon, oregano, parsley, and mint. Most of these can be dried and saved for the winter. They can also be frozen and used later.
Try tomatoes, all varieties; peppers; green, and red, small hot peppers, onions, for starters. These will definitely make you feel that you are a little “farmer” at heart.
Try berries to begin with, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Let your children or grandchildren work with you in the garden, and maybe do some harvesting.
Or try your local Farmer’s Market & keep the growing part for the experts.
Other options would be to visit a farmer’s market for the things that you will enjoy but not want to grow yourself.
- Fruits are great sources of vitamin A and C; and some minerals.
- Vegetables are good sources of many minerals.
- Herbs are also good sources of both vitamins and minerals.
It is doubtful as to whether or not you would grow these produce items to save money. However, if you have been doing so for years and are an accomplished gardener, then this might be something of a cost savings. Otherwise, you can share with others and enjoy the entire process of growing and sharing.
Overall growing your own produce is important for the experience and the fresh taste. I can assure you that the product will look differently and taste wonderful. Enjoy!
Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor
Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.Schedule a Nutrition Consultation