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How Does Your Garden Grow?

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One of the things I've loved most about writing here is hearing your answers and advice. Something came up repeatedly in the comments on my most recent post about buying organic food, and I took it as a bit of a sign. You see, in response to a question I raised in my post focused on buying organic food, a number of people referenced GROWING their own fruits and vegetables. And like that, a light bulb went off...

I grew up in the suburbs, and my parents had a fantastic garden that they carefully tended to each spring and summer. We also had a cherry tree, and a strawberry patch. It was amazing, and I have a lot of happy memories from my childhood, helping to plant, weed, and of course eat the produce we had helped to grow.

I moved to New York City for college, and right into a cramped apartment. This became my new normal for nearly the next ten years. My husband and I got married, and both of our kids spent their first few years in apartments. We moved to our first house less than a year ago. It's been great for all the obvious reasons, and we've spent the past months making it ours. Now, we're ready to move on to the "extras;" the fun stuff like redecorating, and prettying up, and not the responsible, boring essentials you know, "OMG WE MUST REPLACE THIS AGED TOILET ASAP."

One of those "extras" about which I'm now fantasizing is a garden. I remember how much fun it was as a kid, and I'd love to have that same experience with my own children. It would be a wonderful way to teach them some basic responsibility, and give them a sense of where food comes from. It would also be a great way to get even more fresh fruits and vegetables into our diet without a ton of extra expense or effort. We even have a perfect corner in our backyard that I have my eye on.

But about that effort...for the gardeners among you, where do we begin? What are the hardest fruit and vegetables to kill? Given our location (New Jersey), I know we're not going to have much luck with a lemon grove or an avocado tree, but I would think that strawberries (like the ones I had growing up), tomatoes, and cucumbers (all of which my kids love to eat) should be (relatively) straightforward to get going. I right?  Or am I underestimating this whole undertaking?

Do you have a garden? Do your kids participate with it? Are there any other recommendations (specific things that are easy to grow, timing, practical advice, etc.) that you have for us?  

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (41-50):
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 1:15 AM

we need to get on this gardening thing.  i'm just afraid our cats will eat everything

by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 1:56 AM
I'm afraid I have a black thumb too

Quoting goddess99:

We don't have a garden. My family always did when I was growing up and I loved it. But I have a black thumb, I just can't do it.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 7:29 AM

I have a black thumb, but Iam going to try to grow some lettuce this year.

by Ruby Member on Apr. 26, 2012 at 7:48 AM

 I don't have a garden. There is no place for it with the dogs and all. We never had one when I was growing up. Sorry I'm not any help to you.

by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 8:11 AM

I wish I had a green thumb.

by Jennifer on Apr. 26, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Don't have a garden.

by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I don't have one, but I'd love one!

by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

we are growing zucchini, tomatoes, banana peppers , lettuce 

by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM
I have an herb garden.
by Member on Apr. 27, 2012 at 9:47 AM

 Yes, we have planted tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers. Can't wait for summer!

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