Friday, May 16, 2014

Plant Your Garden with Your Plate in Mind

MEDIA RELEASE
May 2014

Plant Your Garden with Your Plate in Mind

Experience the multiple health benefits of gardening

MILTON, Ont.It’s the time of year when gardeners are starting to plan out the plants and flowers that will be decorating their yard, supporting a variety of wildlife — and even adorning their plates.
Buttercrunch Lettuce
Buttercrunch Lettuce
In keeping with the growing local food movement, more urban gardeners are using their patches of land to growtheir own produce, helping ensure a fresh, healthy menu for their family and friends over the summer months.
“It is a healthy and rewarding experience to plant your garden with your kitchen in mind,” says Denis Flanagan from Landscape Ontario. “There is an amazing diversity of vegetables and fruits available to plant in your garden. Eat them fresh, or make them part of an interesting recipe. You won’t regret it!”
Tomatoes and peppers are staples in backyard gardens, but in vogue this year are healthy, leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard as well as items like okra and heirloom veggies. Flanagan also recommends a herb garden that will bring life and fragrance to your yard as well as flavour to your favourite salads and barbecued dishes.
Parsley and chives should be staples in your herb garden, and fragrant herbs like rosemary, rue and lavender are gaining popularity.
“It’s incredibly easy to grow and harvest herbs,” says Flanagan. “With the increasing popularity of backyard barbecues and cooking outdoors, it is almost a must to ensure you have a herb garden nearby, whether directly in your garden, in a container or in a hanging basket nearby.”
The trend towards urban fruit and vegetable gardening is about more than tasty dishes coming off the grill or out of your kitchen. It’s about an increasing concern for our health.
“We are all aware of the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but it is more than just that,” says Flanagan. “A good diet is just one part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting out into the garden is exercise that has multiple benefits. It is good for your yard, and it is good for your body!”

Purple Oregano
Purple Oregano



LOGreenforLifeTradeTree-colourLandscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, one of the most vibrant associations of its kind, is comprised of over 2,000 member companies, ten sector groups and nine local chapters. Its trade mission is to promote the horticulture industry in Ontario, and its public mission, Green for Life, promotes the joys and benefits of plants and green spaces. Visit http://www.landscapeontario.com for more information, and follow Landscape Ontario on Twitter @Green_for_Life and like them on Facebook.

Via Stephen Murdoch, Enterprise Canada. Photos are my own.

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I started my "working life" as a holistic and allopathic nutritional consultant with a love of cooking. Teaching the value of wholesome meal choices to families became close to my heart after I battled a long history of struggles with weight and health, and the passion for teaching led me into where I am now. My blog, which focuses on "bringing good taste to healthier food" through creative use of whole grains, fresh produce and acknowledging the importance of the occasional treat, also features a wealth of "specialty diet" friendly recipes for gluten-, egg-, dairy- and sugar- tree nut-free items that everyone can enjoy without alienating those who need them.

Overall, I want to bring back the desire for good quality, homemade, (mostly) healthy food into the hearts and kitchens of families so that the next generation will be less box-reliant than mine. I firmly believe that any “homemade” food, even when labelled as "naughty", is a more wholesome treat than pre-packaged, cookie-cutter junk. With the knowledge of good food (and how to cook good food) as a base, a healthy lifestyle can follow, and then anything is possible!

Today, my love for teaching is branching out even further - I'm in Montessori training to solidify my love for the system and working with children and families!