A Fresh Garden Makes For Easy Party Food

What better way to pay homage to the planet than to lay out a garden of fresh foods? Our Mother Earth gives so much, and one of the best things that springs from her ground are vegetables. So why not plan a garden that will provide you with ingredients for the best easy party food and recipes for the family.

Imagine being able to easily whip up this Marinated Fresh Vegetable Salad

enjoy-the-outdoors-eat-fresh.jpgYou may have a large plot of land, or just a small corner of a rooftop apartment, but either way, it's possible to grow something that can be added to your recipes to give them a truly fresh quality. While being green is about the environment, you may want to also think about the 'other' green. Planting your own garden also saves money.

Planning

The first thing you'll need to do is determine what you want to grow. This decision should be based not only on what you eat, but what also grows well in your climate, how much sun you get in the proposed garden area, and in the size space you have.

Preparing

You will either need to prepare existing soil, or build a raised bed. For a few quick starter tips, see this video on How to Plant a Vegetable Garden. Here are easy-to-follow instructions for building a raised bed.

Maintenance

Having a garden isn't a plant- it -and- leave- it venture. Understand the commitment it will take to nurture your vegetables. Be realistic what you will want to plant, and the also the quantity based on this criteria. Water availability and time spent watering is perhaps one of the most important factors in successfully growing a vegetable garden.

The top 10 most popular vegetables to grow are:

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  1. Tomatoes
  2. Cucumbers
  3. Sweet peppers
  4. Beans
  5. Carrots
  6. Summer Squash
  7. Onions
  8. Hot Peppers
  9. Lettuce
  10. Peas

Imagine the delicious recipes for the family you can make from this list!

Beware - the 10 hardest to grow vegetables are.

  1. Cauliflower
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Eggplant
  5. Head Lettuce
  6. Carrots
  7. Muskmelon
  8. Onion
  9. Sweet Potato
  10. Artichoke

You may notice that carrots wound up on both lists. While popular to plant, carrots require just the right type of soil (preferably humus, not clay) and at least 6 inches of soil needs to be well tilled and loosened.

Onions are also on both lists. They are tricky because a certain amount of daylight is needed for growth. Selecting the right type of onion is critical.

The benefits

The most popular of the home-grown foods is the tomato. While not actually a vegetable, the tomato is one of the foods most often planted in a vegetable garden. Once you've harvested your juicy tomatoes, you may find you have more than you know what to do with. Giving them to friends is a great idea. Using them to create delicious, easy party food is another.

Here are some fabulous Fresh Tomato Recipes from Cooking Light.

While carrots may be one of the more challenging vegetables to grow, here are some fresh carrot recipes that may tempt you into growing your own!

If you'd like to get in touch with nature, save money, and have fresh vegetables to use in your recipes and easy party food, plant a garden and have a happy healthy day!


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