If you’ve ever eaten a fresh fruit, vegetable, or herb you will agree that fresh tastes best. The freshest things are those that you can grow.
It’s quite easy to grow your own green foods if you have a kitchen garden.
A kitchen garden can be called lots of different names – herb garden, vegetable garden, or potager. Whatever you call it, a kitchen garden is a place where vegetables, fruits, herbs, and edible flowers are grown for consumption. It’s a popular way to produce the best tasting, freshest ingredients.
Do you wonder how far food travels before it reaches your plate? The journey can be 1,000s of miles – from farm to processing center to grocery store to dinner. It is a costly journey and can take a serious amount of time. There’s no way that it can be at its freshest when you buy it from the grocery store.
Kitchen gardens can be large plots of land in the back yard or just pots that grow flavorful herbs on your windowsill. They are functional, green gardens that produce local, fresh, seasonal, flavorful, and nutritional fruits, herbs, veggies, and other edible and holistic plants.
Setting up a kitchen garden takes minimal equipment, space, and time. Be sure to utilize your space. A properly designed garden will require less work and yield more yummy produce. Plan to select plants that grow upwards, not outwards, to maximize space. Divide up space for different plots. Use only 1 or 2 plants in each plot to ensure they don’t overtake each other. If you’re planning on growing mint, keep it in a pot. Most importantly be sure your garden will receive lots of sunlight.
Before you decide to grow your own kitchen garden, put some time into learning about gardening. Brush up on nature, weather, seasons, and plants. Lean about edible plants like arugula, jasmine, wasabi, sage, celery, gherkins, lettuce, strawberries, daylilies, tea, and begonias. Remember that what you grow is what you will eat. Choose your plants based on your taste buds. Be sure to plan months in advance so your edible treats will have time to grow.
The goal of any kitchen garden is to produce plants for human consumption, but the garden itself can also be easy on the eyes. Feel free to plant other visually appealing plants amongst your okra, aloe, carrots, and marigolds. Many of the classic techniques of garden design apply to kitchen gardens too. Just ensure that the extra plants don’t take away too many nutrients from the ones you’re going to eat.
Most kitchen gardens are separated from the home’s yard, plants, and other gardens. It is usually behind the house and within easy access to the kitchen. This way if the chef needs fresh basil or oregano they can just step right outside and pick some. Once you have access to convenient, fresh, tasty veggies, herbs, fruits, and flowers you’ll want to have a kitchen garden for life.
Eating something that you grow is exciting. They can flavor your cooking, add vegetable color to your plate, discourage pests, emit lovely aromas, or be used as holistic cures. Kitchen gardens make for a sustainable lifestyle because you grow your own food. It’s more affordable than the grocery store and the process is both fascinating and enjoyable.
With kitchen gardens, you are in charge of your own culinary delights. It’s hard not to become emotionally attached to your plants when you play a role throughout the growing process, but the ultimate reward is the final product. You’ll know it’s true when you pluck your own delicious corn or pinch your own savory mint. Fresh food tastes better.
Kitchen Gardeners International
NGA Food Gardening Guide
Vegetable Growers News
Herb Society of America