By Andrea Grom
Have you been thinking about adding more fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit to your diet? Going to the farmers’ market and purchasing produce from local vendors is a great start. Better yet, try creating a kitchen garden.
Kitchen gardens are special in that they’re totally geared toward your preferences. The scale and variety of plants is up to you. For example, if you like cooking with fresh herbs, consider planting a variety in a nearby patch of earth or in pots on your patio. If you love salads, plant lettuces, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumbers.
When creating a kitchen garden, consider how much time you can devote to it, your space, and who can help. Most food plants prefer full sun, a well-drained, fertile soil, and enough water to get them established and keep growing. Locating the garden close to your kitchen will make it easy to grab things for meals. Having a small garden is ideal for beginners and busy people. For those with kids or grandkids, encourage them to help and try a few things that they might like.
Many Saratoga Farmers’ Market vendors are selling plants that are perfect for a kitchen garden. Here are their ideas:
Green Jeans Market Farm: Jason and Andrea enjoy fresh herbs, so they always plant a lot in their kitchen garden. They especially love rosemary, basil, dill, thyme, cilantro, and parsley.
Lovin’ Mama Farm: Lucas likes oregano because it’s easy to grow, versatile and it overwinters. Also special are violas (an edible flower) and their salad bowls with a variety of lettuces in a large pot.
Gomez Veggie Ville: The Gomez family suggests large tomato plants and mixed herb pots for an instant garden.
Balet Flowers: The crew recommends planting basil for an abundant supply, herbs like mint for teas and salads, sweet peppers, and tomatoes.
Burger’s Market Garden: Andy recommends planting lettuce, tomatoes, greens, cucumbers, and herbs. Their hanging baskets of tomatoes, green beans, and strawberries are perfect for smaller spaces.
Old Tavern Farm: Nicole suggests their herb pot packages. They have three levels with a collection of herbs for every chef.
Scotch Ridge Farm: Ryan recommends their everbearing strawberry baskets, which will produce an abundance of delicious strawberries over the entire summer.