By: Doreen Spackman MH

 

Each season has its beauties. As we emerge from winter, I love watching the trees as they start budding and the spring flowers blossoming purple, yellow, pink and white, in the warm sunshine! I wonder, does it get any better than this? Then everything starts turning green and YES! Woo Hoo! It’s my favorite time of year! It’s time to garden. Maybe it reminds me of being young and playing in the dirt, I don’t think anyone grows out of that. My grandparents are 86 and 95 and they still love getting out and playing in their garden. I think you would agree that planting a seed and watching it grow is fascinating, but you also get to enjoy the wonderful flavors that can only come from garden fresh produce. Whether it’s a cucumber, tomato, freshly picked lettuce, or the carrot you just pulled from the earth, your taste buds will wonder what in the world you were eating all winter long. There is no comparison when it comes to flavor and your body will enjoy better nutrition.

 

“How does your garden grow?” There are many ways to garden depending on your area and what you have available to you. It could be a big farm or community garden, your rooftop or pots on the patio. It doesn’t matter how big or little the important thing is to do it. If you need help knowing which varieties grow best in your area look in the phone book for or Google a University Extension office, in Utah it is the Utah State University extension office http://extension.usu.edu/. They have a huge amount of information and are always helpful.

 

A few important things to keep in mind-
1.       Keep the garden close to your house.
2.       Make sure the area will get plenty of sunshine.
3.       Check your garden before you go to the store-what you are going to the store for          is probably growing in your garden.
4.       When your radishes are done (they only take 30 days) replant that space with something else.

 

What’s your favorite vegetable/fruit or food to grow? I love heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers (we eat them whole), experimenting with different types of carrots and lettuce, of course, the orange, yellow and red sweet peppers are so fun! Beets, spaghetti squash, beans and peas. I think we should have a table and chairs out in the garden to enjoy eating and visiting. Actually, the grand kids and I eat all their favorites (sun gold tomatoes and peas) along with new items from the garden, while we sit on the grass and talk.

 

Whether you garden for fun or because you want more flavor, quality, or nutrients, you are in a win-win situation. The information on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables is “health in every bite.” As time goes on the studies are always finding more and more nutrients and benefits of these fresh foods. They are anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant so they help prevent a lot of the way too common problems from eating the standard American diet. Name the vitamin, mineral, or nutrient you need and you can get all of them through these wonderful wholesome foods. Let your body take advantage of the easily assimilated nutrients of garden fresh produce and let your taste buds savor the season! Plant a variety of food and enjoy your garden!

 

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

Doreen Spackman is a Master Herbalist graduate and employee of the School of Natural Healing. Doreen enjoys helping others learn the benefits of eating well and taking care of their health with herbs.