Healthy Living

Plant a Garden and Watch It Grow

A garden can feed your family and have a positive impact on your children

There’s something about digging in the dirt, planting seeds that can provide healthy, fresh food for your table that spreads joy to the entire family. Not only will you develop an appreciation for nature—and build memories with your loved ones—but planting a garden also can have a positive impact on your child’s health. A Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study found that gardening may help increase a child’s intake of fruits and vegetables and nutrition knowledge.
If you’re a beginner, follow these gardening tips and start planting!
Start small. Don’t try to grow every vegetable known to man your first year. A 16-foot by 10-foot plot of land should do the trick, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. You’ll be able to grow enough to feed a family of four for the summer.
Talk to fellow gardeners. Books are good, but your best bet is to talk to people who have done this before. They can share their experiences, answer myriad questions (How much sunlight will your garden need? How often should you water it?) and help you get started.
Get your kids involved in the entire process. Let them help design the garden, choose the seeds, water the growing plants, pull weeds and harvest the mature crops. Children who are part of every step are excited about eating the food they produce.
If you grow more than your family can eat, try your hand at canning the extras. Or donate your bounty to community food pantries.
Don’t have a backyard? Start a container garden in a hanging planter on your apartment terrace or seek a plot in a community garden. Just go ahead and get down and dirty!

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