I just love having a garden. I can remember my parents having a garden when I was a child. They planted potatoes, tomatoes, onions and more. I can remember one year that we planted some melons and the neighbor boys picked some and buried them in the sandbox while we were out of town on vacation. I can remember eating lots of tomatoes. When we moved and had a larger garden, I remember having strawberries in the garden as well and even some corn. I remember my grandparents' gardens - and eating and bringing home fresh vegetables and fruit. I remember my Grandma humming while she worked in her garden. I remember lots of delicious food from those gardens - fresh green beans and ham, rhubarb cake, zucchini bread, fried zucchini, tomato slices, strawberry pies, cucumber slices, cucumber salad and more.
As a mom, a garden can serve so many purposes.
There is just something so delicious about eating produce right from your own garden. I'm not sure what it is, but they are always sweeter and more flavorful. Perhaps it is knowing that you grew that fruit/vegetable, or perhaps it is just because it is so much more fresh than what you can pick up at the store. In my opinion, tomatoes are best served, slightly warmed from the sun with a quick rinse to knock off any dirt. Not only that, but it is a very economical way to enjoy lots of fresh vegetables. When you consider the costs of seeds/plants and the amount of fruits/vegetables that they will produce, there is no doubt that it is cheaper than buying that amount of fruit at the store. It is a great way to save money.
The kids simply love the garden. All spring they have been asking about when we can plant the garden. This of course has led to an opportunity for them to learn as discussions about frost and why we have to wait to plant a garden ensued.
It helps kids learn about plants and growing. My son even brought home a bean plant that they had started as a seed (unfortunately, we didn't replant it quick enough and it doesn't appear that it will survive - so I guess that was a lesson too!). They learn about how it takes water and sunshine for a garden to grow.
It also inspires the kids to eat the vegetables and expand their food experiences. There is something about growing your own vegetables in a garden that leads kids to want to eat those vegetables. Even my son who will sometimes pick through a dish at dinner leaving behind any tomato chunks, can barely take the time to clean a tomato fresh from the garden before eating it. Onions, peppers and cucumbers are the other vegetables that we are growing in our garden this year. Not as much of a culinary adventure as last year when we had eggplant and zucchini, but I got it in late and selection was limited when I picked up my plants. It's not large (I would love a bigger garden), but it provides us with fresh produce that we can pick for dinner.
Growing my own garden works for me. A garden is a great learning opportunity for children and a frugal way to enjoy fresh produce in the summer, and beyond if you can/freeze the vegetables.
This post shared at Works For Me Wednesday and Frugal Friday.
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