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Outdoors or indoors, growing your produce is a healthy habit

By Dr. Janet Seabrook

Can you believe it? In just a couple of weeks, summer will be over. It seems like only yesterday I was planting seeds in anticipation of a bountiful harvest. I was proud to serve my family fresh produce from the garden to the table. Minus the rabbits, I absolutely love gardening! I even incorporated some of the ingredients from my garden into the recipes I’ve been sharing all summer at

The best news of all is that gardening doesn’t have to stop once the weather starts to turn. In this column, I am excited to share the benefits of growing your own produce and how to get your indoor garden started.

Benefits of homegrown fruits and veggies

There are plenty of studies that support the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. According to Harvard Health Publishing of Harvard Medical School, growing your own fruits and vegetables helps ensure the following:

It helps the grower (and potentially the family) eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. After all, the produce is right on-site and you don’t want it to go to waste, so keep on indulging in nature’s goodness. I can’t talk enough about the vitamins in tomatoes and antioxidants in the strawberries and blackberries. I also grew cucumbers, eggplant, spinach and broccoli. The health benefits are countless!

As the gardener, you get to decide what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food. When we go to the store, we have no idea what our food has been exposed to prior to being placed on display for purchase. (That’s why thoroughly washing your produce is so important.)

It lets you control when to harvest your food. When growing your own garden, you decide the timeframe for planting and can estimate when your fruits and vegetables will be ripe and ready.

Starting an indoor garden

Now that you know it’s a good idea to try a little gardening, let’s not wait until next year. Your agricultural experience can start today. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Per, whatever fruit or vegetables you decide to grow indoors, remember, they require well-draining soil, which means you will either need to use a pot with holes in the bottom or pile up stones in the bottom of your pot before adding soil (so that the water can drain through the stones). If you choose to use a pot with holes in the bottom, be sure to put a shallow drainage container under the pot so the water doesn’t drain onto your floor, shelf, or windowsill.

Pacement of your seedlings will be very important. Find locations where there is plenty of sunlight and stay on a steady schedule for watering.

Stop by your local garden center at Lowe’s, Menard’s, etc. to get advice on what fruits and vegetables to grow in the winter and how to take care of them.

Before you know it, you’ll have a refrigerator full of healthy snacks and recipe ingredients and will save a little money while you’re at it! Happy gardening!

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