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Growing your own food is a beautiful thing. 

For the last few years, I have been expanding my edible backyard garden, slowly replacing lawn with fruits, vegetables and herbs, a bit more each year.

July 2012 in the garden collageI started with one raspberry plant, in a sunny corner of my rose garden years ago, and now have expanded into a few dozen different edibles, mostly in containers.  May 2013 garden (10)I prefer container gardening over planting directly in the ground for the convenience and freedom that container gardening gives me: I choose the soil, I can move the pot around to get the best sun, I can move the containers indoors when an unexpected frost comes (we had two big freezes this past May), there’s way less weeding, and the height deters animals from helping themselves to the buffet, not to mention makes it easier on my back to tend to the garden.  Some edibles do better in the earth and container-free, like raspberries which will spread well on their own.

Why plant an edible backyard? “Growing your own food is like printing your own money.” – Ron Finley
May 2013 garden (9)I love sharing edible gardening with my children, teaching them where there food comes from, and to take pride in the food they help bring to life.  This year, my preschooler used her little fingers to poke holes in the soil and plant the carrots and peas.  Two weeks later, she shrieked with delight to see tiny green leaves have emerged from the soil; she loves to check on their progress daily.
May 2013 garden late May (2)I think that teaching your children to grow vegetables, involving them every step of the way, is one great way to get your child to be more interested in vegetables.  My children helped pick which foods we would grow this year.  My daughter can’t wait to eat the peas and carrots she planted, not to mention all the other food she is watching take shape in our backyard.  My son is tending to a lime tree, which is “his” and while he watches the baby limes get bigger he imagines recipes for them, like lime lemonade and vegan key lime pie (does he take after me or what?)
May 2013 garden (8)So far nothing is ready to eat except for the lettuce and herbs, but summer will be here soon and so will fresh fruits and veggies!
??????????????????????????????? Here’s what’s growing in my edible garden this year:

Yellow zucchini
Green peppers
Red & green leaf lettuce
Saskatoon berries
Chocolate mint

Some more photos of my garden so far this spring…..
May 2013 garden (11) ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? May 2013 garden (7) May 2013 garden (6) May 2013 flowers in the garden (1)May 2013 garden (1) May 2013 flowers in the garden (3) May 2013 flowers in the garden (2) May 2013 garden flowersI  can’t wait to enjoy the fruits of our labours this summer!

Your turn: do you grow your own food?  Any stories or suggestions to share?