Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vegetables become tasty treats when you grow your own

From page SHI7 | April 17, 2013 | 2 Comments

When it comes to vegetables, fresh is best. Canned, frozen or pickled, they can be eaten year-round. But when it comes to taste, there is nothing like picking your vegetables out of the garden and serving them at the next meal. And it’s not cheating if you pop a few cherry tomatoes or fresh peas into your mouth before you reach the kitchen.

Nutritionists report that fresh vegetables contain more vitamins and minerals than those prepared for later use, which is another good reason to enjoy the bounty of the season. In the Sierra Nevada foothills, gardeners can harvest their vegetables into October.

Growing your own garden was out of favor for some years, but the interest is back.

“People growing their own food has become very popular. The trend took on a swift pace after the economy took a downturn in 2008,” said Kristie Lamb at The Front Yard Nursery in Placerville.

Many people are putting in vegetable gardens for the first time and some are planting them again after many years.

Kellie Frank Notoli at Green Acres in Folsom sees the same trend. “In the past few years, there has definitely been an increase in the number of people who want their own vegetable garden.”

Today’s gardeners may be planting in smaller areas. But no matter if the garden space is a patio or balcony, a small yard or acreage in the country, anyone can reap the benefits of home-grown vegetables.

A lot of good eating can be grown in small spaces. Raised beds can be purchased or hand-made. They can be wood or steel, narrow or wide, high or low. A walkway of river rock, decomposed granite or pavers around the planter beds makes gardening easier and keeps the garden tidier.

Raised beds are good for root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. Lettuces, cabbages, kale and Swiss chard also grow well in planter boxes. In a wide raised bed, basil can be planted between rows of tomatoes, peppers or eggplants.  Vining plants, such as cucumbers and squash, produce well.

A large pot with a wire cage or trellis will provide a bounty of tomatoes or peppers. Smaller pots are good for herbs. A steel espalier can act as a fence and also a runner for beans. Arched trellises make a beautiful entry to the garden as well as providing a framework for plants.

The foundation of a healthy, bountiful garden is the soil. Lamb said at Front Yard they see a “huge trend in the demand for organic fertilizers, soils and remedies. People like knowing what is going into their food source.”

Many vegetables grow at different times of the season. As one variety goes out of season, gardeners can have another one growing. Notoli suggests amending the soil after every vegetable-growing season to replenish the nutrients in the soil.

Edible flowers such as lavender, calendula, nasturtiums, violas or carnations, make the garden even more colorful and add flavors to meals.

For a nontraditional garden, ornamental plants can be used in landscaping. Different colored cabbages and cauliflower can be used along a walkway or in a circular area mixed with ground cover and flowers.

Whether it is for better health, an enjoyable hobby or a way to de-stress, home gardening has come back. It’s something anyone can enjoy at any age — from preparing the soil, to planting, watering, tending, to harvesting and, best of all, eating.

Want to know more?
Check out Front Yard Nursery located at 5801 Mother Lode Drive in Placerville, call 530-626-3494 or visit Visit Green Acres at 205 Serpa Way in Folsom, call 916-358-9099 or visit


Discussion | 2 comments

  • EvelynMay 10, 2013 - 8:23 am

    "Not even good enough for dog food: Imported food from China loaded with chemicals, dyes, pesticides and fake ingredients" - HERE: P.S. The reason all your dogs and cats are dying from diabetes and cancer these days is because you're giving them highly toxic pet treats imported from China. They are loaded with toxic solvents and industrial chemicals that cause permanent liver and kidney damage, among other devastating side effects. You can find these toxic, colorful pet treats sold at all the major pet store retailers.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James E.May 10, 2013 - 9:16 am

    We feed our little buddies Newman's (yes, that Paul Newman) Own Organic dog food, dry and wet. Nothing from China. I suspect my friend Fernando may have died in 2007 from tainted dog food so nothing more from China (food or treats). Interesting that before he died Paul said that his products had earned (all profits go to charity) more money that his pay from all his movies.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


EDH Fire Dept. annexing Latrobe

By Noel Stack | From Page: A1

Motorcycle fatality in Greenwood

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

Greenwood School being restored

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cal Fire increasing staffing, hiring

By Cal Fire | From Page: B1

EID restricts watering days

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

Lover’s Leap fall injures man

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A1

Tea Party meeting April 17

By Tea Party Patriots Of El Dorado Hills | From Page: A3

Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking May 1

By El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition | From Page: A6

Floating body not a body

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A7

Old mill a goner

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A11, 2 Comments | Gallery



My turn: A fair California flat income tax

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

DA Pierson has been outstanding

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 4 Comments



A great big thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Murder? Suicide?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

‘Drive Clean’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Middle class getting poorer?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Real estate lies

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment



Outside with Charlie: Switch gear

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A8

Ponderosa volleyball is a family affair

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Aussie team makes visit

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A8

Griz have challenging day

By Mike Bush | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Roundup: April 15, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery



At a glance: Take aim on fun

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Men to walk a mile in her shoes

By Center For Violence-Free Relationships | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Runners stampede for Sugarloaf scholarships

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Team works to fight disease

By Placerville Kiwanis | From Page: B3

COOL School is accepting applications

By Rescue Union | From Page: B4

Band of Miwoks fund mission

By Shingle Springs Band Of Miwok Indians | From Page: B12



Crime Log: March 25-27

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Weather stats 4-15-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2



Ronald Russell Rohrer

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Numa Edward “Ed” Roberts

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




By Contributor | From Page: A10


By Contributor | From Page: A10

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10


By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A10


By Contributor | From Page: A10

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A10