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Join The My Family Plate and Nurse Kimberly GARDEN CHALLENGE!

By at February 16, 2011 | 11:57 am | Print

Join The My Family Plate and Nurse Kimberly GARDEN CHALLENGE!

Join The My Family Plate and Nurse Kimberly GARDEN CHALLENGE!
By Nurse Kimberly

Last year I experimented with starting My Family Plate’s and my first garden. After all growing fresh vegetables at home is less expensive and you can plant organic! It just made sense because the My Family Plate ABCD technique  adds a vegetable to every lunch, every dinner, sometimes at breakfast, and veggies are always a great snack option.

Vegetables provide our bodies with vitamins, fiber, minerals, and are naturally low in calories. These are just a few of the reasons they are so important to get in your diet. Growing up my vegetable selection was very limited. When I picked out the seeds I wanted to plant in our garden last year I was amazed at the selection. Eggplant, summer squash, asparagus, and over 5 different types of tomatoes were just some of the vegetables to choose from. The list went on and also included fruits! This year I think we will try to plant strawberries. They are great in a morning breakfast parfait or just alone as a sweet treat.

After I had finally chosen which vegetables and herbs I was going to plant, I went outside to get started. My first mistake was grabbing a shovel without doing any research. The next thing I knew there was a big 6X6 area of chunky dirt and I just started planting in it carelessly. Because I had no idea what I was doing I was unsure whether anything would grow or not. Three weeks later I began to see some sprouts, RESULTS! All in all for a first try I was impressed.

My Family Plate’s first garden produced more cucumbers then I knew what to do with! We also had an endless supply of various tomatoes. The zucchini that I planted later got huge and was delicious. The peppers started out okay until the hungry puppy got a hold of them -we then built a netted fence because she is always hungry:)

This year My Family Plate is starting the research early. If with no planning or gardening background we were able to grow healthy fresh veggies, I think we will have great success with a little studying of the topic.

One of our biggest fans gave us a book called All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!. So far I have already learned how to prepare our soil before I plant anything. The author of the book, Mel Bartholowmew, sold his first book in 1981. His technique (super simple) was developed after years of research with neighbors and community gardens. In this most recent book he teaches square foot gardening- new and improved. He teaches the best location, direction, soil mix, plant spacing,  and how to keep getting fresh vegetables all season long! This is the best part because when you are home gardening you don’t need to have all of your crop at once.

My Family Plate is going to try this new 10 step method. Why not? If this method has been around since the 70’s there must be something good about it. Right now in Saint Louis, Missouri (the home of My Family Plate) the weather is starting to change from winter to spring. Over the next week I will continue to  read the book. All spring I am going to share our second year’s garden experience with you. If you plan to plant a garden this year please share your experience and tips! On Facebook I will start a thread where we all can share through the whole season of gardening. Feel free to also post pictures!  As part of helping families get healthy we want to share simple and practical ways to make healthier choices for your family. Planting a garden this spring would produce an entire summer of healthy choices. If you have questions or comments please ask and we will try our best to help. Stay tuned for the next article when we will talk about timing and location (Nurse Kimberly is still studying). If you want to use the book I am using as a guide I will post it below. It is really easy to follow so far.

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