The first day of spring has come, the days are getting longer, the soil is warming up and that means that it's time to start thinking about a vegetable garden. My garden each year has varied drastically depending on our housing and life situation. One year we planted a 50' x 75' plot of land with all kinds of pumpkins, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, and squash, while another year we grew a lone cherry tomato plant in a pot. Regardless of the scope or variety of the garden, I think there's an irreplaceable joy and accomplishment that comes from growing some of your own food. Gardening can also help you save money and inspire you to eat healthier. When you garden you can plant whatever vegetables best suit your needs and you control everything that is going into your soil. As a bonus, gardening is a great family activity. My kids spend 15 minutes or so every other day out in the garden with me, pulling weeds and checking on our plants. Kids universally love digging in the dirt and I’m happy to share the work. This year I had my older kids each pick a packet of seeds that they wanted to plant and be primarily responsible for. Ethan chose watermelons, Allison chose cucumbers and Melanie chose carrots. I've started some seeds indoors and we've all invested time outside preparing our soil.
If you've never gardened before, give it a try this year. Zucchini and radishes are both easy, confidence boosting plants. If you want a big payback for your gardening effort, nothing in the world tastes like a vine-ripened summer tomato. There are so many different seeds and plants that even the most experienced gardener can always find something new to plant. If you need garden advice or ideas of what plants thrive in your region, search online, ask a neighbor that you know has a green thumb, or talk to the farmers at your local farmers market. After all, there’s no closer way to enjoy Washington grown then right in your backyard.
Allie & Ethan helping me sift rocks out of the new section in our garden