Skip to Main Content
1440_405-1116_628-768_432

Eat Local: 5 Easy Vegetables to Grow in Your Backyard


By Carolyn Heneghan October 04, 2016 Posted in: Family Health , Article

You're probably well aware of the benefits of eating locally produced food for both the environment and your own health -- but no food is more local than what you can pluck from your own garden. Luckily, there are plenty of options for easy vegetables to grow in your indoor or outdoor setup. Consider adding these five veggies to your garden plot and meal rotation to keep your family happy, healthy, and well fed.

1. Salad Greens

Lettuces and leafy greens come in a wide variety of types with different flavors and textures. This makes them versatile, but they also range in nutrient content. Many lettuce varieties grow quickly and easily with little soil and water, and you can grow them indoors or outdoors. If you're planting outside, remember to tend to your lettuce regularly to fend off insects and other animals in your area that like to munch on it, too. Experiment with different types as the base for your healthy lunches -- arugula, butter lettuce, spinach, and kale all make a great base for salads or toppings for sandwiches.

2. Green Beans

In addition to elevating your meal with a bright-green crunch, green beans come packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, as well as manganese, potassium, folate, iron, and fiber. Bush beans and broad beans are among the easiest to grow -- even kids can do it. You may want to consider setting up a trellis or a bamboo post to help your beans climb. Make your healthy harvests last all year by freezing or pickling your beans after they mature.

3. Garlic

All you have to do to grow garlic at home is plant the cloves whole with the pointed tip facing up in a pot with loamy soil. Then, keep them on a sunny windowsill and water routinely, like you would a houseplant. It should take only a week before green roots peek out, and you'll soon be able to use the shoots as garnishes for soups, salads, baked potatoes, and pizza. Plus, you'll gain the added nutritional benefits garlic brings to the dinner table, including nutrients such as flavonoids, selenium, and oligosaccharides. Garlic has even been linked to cancer prevention.

4. Beets

The earthy flavor of beets might make some kids push them away, but when prepared correctly, these deep-red root veggies can be a delicious addition to your meal. They also offer plenty of nutrients, including fiber, potassium, iron, and folic acid, and their pigment comes from a powerful antioxidant called betacyanin. Plant in the springtime, and expect about 50 days for your beet plants to fully mature, but you can plant them at two-week intervals for a continuous supply.

5. Carrots

Carrots bring bright colors to your plate and your garden -- but more importantly, they contain lots of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision, skin, and immunity. Plus, carrots are easy to grow. They perform well in fertile, sandy loam. Plant them in a site with full sun and deep, well-drained soil, and you'll have carrots in two or three months.

These are just five of the many easy vegetables to grow that you can plant in your indoor or outdoor garden today. Gardening can enrich your life and your health while saving you money on delicious, naturally grown foods -- why wait?

Breastfeeding for Working Moms: 5 Tips to Guide You

SEP 12, 2022

It's often said that breastfeeding is a full-time job. And in those first few weeks of motherhood, when it feels like you're feeding constantly, it certainly can be. But what happens a few months later when you have to go back to work?

Read More Additional information about Dignity Health | How to Make Breastfeeding for Working Moms Easy

The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

SEP 12, 2022

It's important to remember that vitamins and supplements cannot take the place of a healthy diet. For example, pregnant women should eat multiple servings of fresh green vegetables and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Higher doses of certain vitami...

Read More Additional information about Dignity Health | *

How to Know When a Child Injury Requires Medical Attention

SEP 11, 2022

Scrapes, bumps, and bruises from outdoor play are a child's rite of passage, but sometimes a fall or a tumble results in a more serious injury. For many parents, the problem is to know when a twisted ankle is just a minor sprain or something worse — ...

Read More Additional information about Dignity Health | How to Know When a Child Injury Requires Medical Attention