By Siew Guan Lee, MS, RD – University of Idaho Extension
The taste of sweet, juicy fresh veggies with vibrant textures cannot be beat, especially if you grow them yourself. As Spring is here and you are maintaining social distancing, you may consider growing your own veggies, fruits, and herbs.
Gardening adds nutrition to your diet. It not only provides fresh, nutritious vegetables and fruits you can enjoy, but also gives you and your family the opportunity to spend time together. The hands-on experience can be fun and educational, such as showing little ones where food comes from.
Gardening is also a great way to relieve stress and get active. Before digging into the garden, make sure you warm up and stretch your muscles. Start slowly and build up as your muscles get stronger during the season. Proper positioning and balancing strength on both sides of your body can help prevent injuries.
Have we picked your interest yet? You can find gardening supplies, seeds, soil and more at local stores and garden centers. You can also get expert advice and starter plants at your local nursery. If you receive SNAP benefits or food stamps, you can use your EBT card to buy plants and seeds to grow your own food.
Pick a sunny location to plant. If you don’t have a backyard or space to plant, use a container on the patio, balcony or on the windowsill in the kitchen. You can also join a local community garden when you need a larger space. It is always good to start small and be mindful when caring for your plants.
If you are new to gardening, you can check out the Idaho Preferred website for resources or contact the Twin Falls County Extension Office to find out what plants grow best in your area as well as the best time for planting them. University of Idaho Extension is offering a free online course called “Idaho Victory Garden.” The materials can be accessed for free until December 2020. Check out the website at http://bit.ly/IDVictoryGarden.
The next time you go on a grocery run, grab a few gardening items and start planting those mouth-watering vegetables and fruits.