Family Gardening #5: Why Growing Food Matters


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!

Warning – Taking a Sneak Peek Ahead – What’s for dinner???!!!


Butternut Squash, grown right here, turned into delicious soup to take off the winter chill.


WHO?

This is all about you and your family. Time to P.L.A.Y. and Grow a Garden one small seed at a time and reap the rewards the whole year through!

WHAT?

As you continue to follow this Family Gardening series HERE and your seedlings continue to grow and are nearly ready to plant outdoors I wanted to encourage your efforts with a sneak peek of the gifts you are about to receive for your efforts.


WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

The beautiful butternut squash soup in the photo above was the result of a generous gift of x4 squash bestowed upon us back in February as our fellow community members prepared to leave for a trip and wanted to make sure their root cellar didn’t have things spoil while they were away.

The squash was lovingly grown right here, as local as you can get, which meant that my family was receiving the best nutrition possible and the squash traveled the least amount of miles possible  with only a few hundred feet from their garden to our table!

~Many thanks E + E!!!

All of their efforts matter and yours do too. For every seed or plant you can put into the soil and grow local foods you and your family will benefit ten fold. Start small if it is overwhelming and ask for assistance from family members if you are not a member of the “green thumb club” (just like me and my brown thumb). Simply finding a way together to grow a few veggie or fruit plants where you live will actually go a long way in terms of sustainability and nutritional benefits. Truly a win-win.

And as you slowly expand from one potted plant to two and then a 2×2 garden to 10×10 always remember you can also be purchasing locally grown delights at your farmer’s market or local CSA to support their work, especially as you gain appreciation for how much time and tending to is required to grow quantities of food!


Local strawberries + rhubarb come together in a delicious pie! Yum!


WHY?

Honestly the YUM factor is not to be missed!!!

Just look at this strawberry rhubarb pie created from our frozen stash of locally grown berries and stalks. Buying in season and preserving by freezing, dehydrating, or canning are all tried and true ways to enjoy your garden and local produce the whole year through.


It is well worth putting time and effort into this P.L.A.Y. practice of Family Gardening, a perfect P.L.A.Y. in Place Plan, with bonus benefits of being in nature throughout the seasons and being able to see amazing changes right in your own backyard!


Reminder:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.


Creative P.L.A.Y.-filled Connection Opportunities:

  • Suggest family members make list of foods they’d most like to grow or purchase locally as they think with their taste-buds of recipes they’d like to make. Strawberry rhubarb pie anyone?
  • OR – Another way to go about this is to cover the kitchen table with your cookbooks and have family members bookmark their top 3 recipe preferences. Then determine if you can grow any of the foods on the ingredients list. A veggie soup perhaps? Create a tangible, and eatable, goal!
  • Research as a family what foods grow in your area and in which months do they arrive. Most local CSA’s will have a chart online that you could reference so that you start to know in addition to the small garden you are creating you’ll also know when to purchase and freeze bulk produce for your family meals (ex. blueberries arrive in July in our area).
  • READ for Inspiration + Information + Conversation – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver has a wealth of gardening inspiration, a great deal of information on why local foods are important, and many leaping off points for conversations where your family may or may not all agree (example – omnivore vs. vegetarian vs. vegan). My husband and I read this book back in 2008 and requested my two homeschooling tweens (at the time) do the same. This was a catalyst and very much a part of the change of the trajectory of our family’s eating, growing, and way of being. We did not all necessarily agree with all the points Barbara made however it did get us all thinking about our actions in this world and openly discussing them. Just this month I decided to revisit and read it again. Wow! It is amazing how over a decade later I can see the changes we’ve made AND so many more possibilities for change to go and how everything she has shared in this volume is still so very relevant. The part I like best about this book is how Barbara takes you month-by-month through the growing cycle and highlights the how and why for gardening and local foods.


Pass it on!!!

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is offering encouragement for all. Sharing is caring so please pass it forward!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee” (Yay! The bees are back = spring special!).

Simply BEE!