There’s nothing like picking fresh vegetables from your very own garden. I have been planting a garden with my 3 boys for the past 6 years. I love watching how excited they get as the plants grow. Our garden has always been in the front of our house-the only spot that gets a few hours of decent sunlight. Thankfully, I’m not living in Oak Park, Michigan where planting a vegetable garden in your front yard is apparently a crime.
This year my garden didn’t happen. As much as my kids and my husband begged me to get some plants in the ground, I didn’t get my act together. Even though there’s no dedicated garden space on our front lawn, I still want my children to have a sense of where their food comes from. Fortunately, there are other ways to connect with your local, seasonal food.
If you didn’t get to a garden this year here are a few alternatives that will allow you to enjoy local, summer produce.
- Plant organic potted tomatoes. This is about as easy as it gets for gardening. Tomatoes are very hardy plants that don’t need a lot of TLC. Our potted tomato plants started from organic seedlings purchased at our local nursery.
- Join a CSA. Community-Supported or Community-Shared Agriculture (CSA) is also known as “subscription farming.” You buy a subscription from a local farmer and you receive a “share” of fresh, locally grown or raised fruit and/or vegetables. Some farmers also offer CSA subscriptions for farm-fresh eggs, and/or meats. If the farm is close by you can pick up your share at the farm. Most often the CSA sets up convenient pick-up locations in and around the area you live. Our CSA is not close – we are very fortunate to have a neighbor who organized a pick-up location at her house. Each week we receive a box filled with delicious, fresh, local produce. If you would like to find a local CSA in your neck of the woods take a look at LocalHarvest.
- Visit your local farmer’s market. If you are looking for fresh produce and other local products, your local farmer’s market is the perfect spot. If you would like to find a local farmer’s market in your area check with LocalHarvest.
- Micaela from Mindful Momma just tested out a box of organic fruit from FruitShare-seasonal fruit delivered to your doorstep. The company’s mission is to connect organic family farms to consumers who want great tasting, in season, pesticide free fruit. I haven’t tried this one yet, but there’s nothing like seasonal, organic fruit.
- Whatever form of “gardening” you choose, make sure to involve your children. Healthy Child Healthy world has a great list of tips for organic gardening with children.
Favorite recipe: Joel’s roasted tomatoes (My husband is quite the chef and makes this recipe all the time)
4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
1 garlic peeped and in cloves
About 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat an oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the tomatoes and garlic into a casserole dish and mix in olive oil so that tomatoes and garlic are evenly coated.
- Bake the grape tomatoes in the preheated oven until the skins pop and start to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Where do your summer vegetables come from? Do you garden?