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Growing Your Own Vegetables

Six Reasons To Garden

Growing your own garden has so many benefits and is an amazing way to get more fresh organic vegetables into your diet. This is the best way to access the highest quality produce, no doubt. However, not everyone has a green thumb, so you may want to enlist a local farmer who can help with your urban garden planning. Either way, it’s all about having the freshest food at your doorstep. Literally.

Here are 6 benefits of growing your own veggies. Plus, it’s an easy and fun activity for the whole family!

1. High in Nutrients: Organic, locally-grown food has been shown to have a much higher mineral and vitamin content than store-bought food that is typically sitting on shelves for weeks after they are picked. In addition, veggies laced with pesticides have also been linked to a higher incidence of health problems from allergies to long-term diseases.

2. Fresh Taste: Foods that are free of pesticides and harvested straight from the garden are fresher and taste better! You will find that your veggies actually taste like what they are supposed to. Garden veggies are tender and sweet and make your mouth tingle. (I am not kidding) There is nothing like chomping into a fresh carrot out of the garden. You must try it.

3. Quality Control: In your garden, you will have full control over what you plant, what you want to eat and have more of at home. You will not only have a handle in being part of the planting process but you get to watch it grow and then ultimately harvest your yield. It is a beautiful thing to have control over your food from farm to table!

4. Cost-Effective: Growing your own vegetables significantly reduces food costs. It also saves you less time at the grocery store and more time in your garden! It is amazing how many bunches of kale you can get, bowls of tomatoes and more that will come from just one harvest. The yield that comes from a home garden is worth every penny you save.

5. Helps the Environment: Home gardening will lower your carbon footprint by helping to prevent soil erosion, improve water and air quality, save energy and reduce transportation costs. You can even create you own compost from your garden waste which can help to create new soil that you can use year to year in your garden.

6. Provides Fun, Knowledge and Beauty: Gardening can be a fun and satisfying learning experience for individuals, families and children! It also helps create a beautiful personal space. Whether you have your garden in your backyard or front yard it becomes quite the conversation piece when you have guests over during the summer months.

Best things to grow at home: Carrots, Beets, Radishes, Tomatoes, Arugula, Lettuce, Green Beans, Snap Peas, Cucumbers, Kale, Swiss Chard, Dill, Parsley, Basil, Mint, Thyme and Rosemary

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Waldorf Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup of arugula or watercress or other salad green
1 large head of red leaf lettuce (or two cups arugula)
¼ cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 beet peeled and chopped
3 radishes, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green apple, diced
1 cup sunflower sprouts
½ cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups Waldorf Dressing
½ cup raw tahini
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey or coconut nectar
2 tablespoons Bragg’s amino acids or tamari
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons minced onion
½-1 cup filtered water (optional or as needed)

The water is optional, so only add if you want the dressing more thinned out or you can leave it out for a creamier texture.

Place the lettuce and greens into a large bowl.

Add the carrots, beets, radishes, celery, apple and sprouts.

Combine the first 5 ingredients of the dressing in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until combined.

Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss until well combined.

Serve into bowl and enjoy for lunch.