The first thing I think about when the sun comes out and the flowers start blooming, is all of the yummy produce that will soon be in season. From fresh berries, to sun-ripened cherry tomatoes, to pole beans and sweet yellow onions; nothing is better than fresh, organic, non-GMO fruits and veggies straight from the garden.
At my house, we’ve been slowly expanding our garden each year with the hope that we will soon be able to grow most of our own produce during the warmer months. Whether it’s juicy blueberries in our morning Non-GMO Project Verified cereal, or fresh grilled veggies with a glass of Non-GMO Project Verified wine on a sunny summer evening; everything tastes better when it’s picked from your own backyard. Not to mention that when you grow food yourself, you know for sure that you are eating plants grown from non-GMO, organic seeds and starts that haven’t been treated with toxic herbicides or insecticides.
For the past couple of years we’ve been late to the game and have had to plant from starts, but this year we’ve started early and are planting most of our garden from seed. It takes more time and energy, but there is something inherently rewarding about coaxing life from a tiny seed, and nurturing it into a producing plant that will provide you and your family with a delicious and nutritious harvest. If you’re new to gardening, starting from scratch can seem like a daunting task — but if you’re willing to put in the time and the effort, it is more than worth the trouble. Not to mention that planting your very own non-GMO garden could be a great way to take the Non-GMO Challenge for Earth Month!
Don’t know where to begin? Seeds or starts, healthy soil and fertilizer are a good launching point for a bountiful garden. While most of the seeds for produce you would want to grow in your garden are not genetically modified, check out the full list of high-risk and monitored crops — as long as you avoid these, you should be good to go! My favorite place to get organic seeds and starts is from several of the local nurseries and small farms in our area; which often sell soil and fertilizer as well. Want to create your own fertilizer? If you compost kitchen waste, you’re already halfway there. Check out Planet Natural’s “Composting 101” guide to get started. If you’re unsure as to whether your local nursery is organic, don’t hesitate to ask! And if you don’t have one in your area, we strongly recommend checking out High Mowing Seeds, who offer a full line of organic, Non-GMO Project Verified seeds available in many stores across North America.
For those of you with kiddos, gardening can be a great way to introduce them to the importance of non-GMO and organic food. Let them pick a fruit or veggie they want to grow, and encourage them to follow all the way through with it; from picking and planting Non-GMO Project Verified seeds to harvesting. While I always hated weeding when I was younger (and am admittedly still not a fan), working in the garden with my dad both as a small child and as a young adult are some of my favorite memories — not to mention that having baskets full of fresh berries, cherries, and apples every summer was a delicious and healthy way to grow up.
Let’s get growing!