Home Grown Food

Edible gardening and local food

It doesn’t get fresher than picking it just before you walk in the house. It doesn’t get more local than your back – or front – or side yard. We can grow so many things right here, organically. The usual suspects are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beets, carrots, beans, peas, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard and kale. And, of course, zucchini, the gift that keeps on giving. For fresh fruit, strawberries also make a great, and edible, groundcover.

Dwarf fruit trees (check out Stark’s Nursery) will provide fresh fruit from June through October.

Kids are also known to have fewer issues with eating their vegetables when they grow them.

Check out our vegetable and recipe of the week pages – and feel free to send us and share your favorite fresh fruit and vegetable recipes.

For the “bible” on fresh fruit and vegetables, their history, vitamins, and culture, check out From Asparagus to Zucchini, A guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce (FairShare CSA Coalition: Madison, Wisc. www.csacoalition.org)

Oak Park’s Edible Garden Co-op has developed a tremendous network of folks who share their expertise for all things fresh and edible. Check them out. Ask them about Karen’s Garden, an new community garden developing in a large yard at a home in north Oak Park.

Check out the Oak Park Farmers Market and Sugar Beet Food Cooperative for local heathy food.

“What’s for dinner” can now be answered with “what’s ready to pick?”