As I turned the calendar page today to yet another month I realized that soon we will be in another season, which means that our garden will start to slow down and finally stop producing anything at all. But for now we are still enjoying some of the bounty of our small raised beds and benefiting from our own homegrown organic vegetables. My children love to eat the tomatoes just by biting into them like you would a big juicy apple and our cucumbers are eaten as fast as we pick them. The bell peppers should be ready within the next few days and the pole beans will soon be ready as well since we got a late start on planting those.
With the way the economy is and the price of food (especially fresh organic foods) it only makes sense to set aside a small plot of space and grow a vegetable or two for your own family. Even in town with a small space it is possible to grow enough to drastically notice a reduction in your grocery bill during the summer months. When we are forced to cook what we have on hand; such as more salads, BLT's, and tacos you become more creative in the kitchen and learn to not rely so heavily on the grocery store and running there whenever you need one or two items.
I found the best advantage of having our own garden though to be that the kids are more willing to try new things if they are the ones that planted it and helped tend to it. My four and five year old help me dig up the warm spring soil and plant the seeds. They checked the garden daily and ran to tell me when they saw the tender shoots emerge from the ground. They helped water it and then reaped the rewards when the fruits of their labor were ripe. That, I think, is the most effective way in teaching a child to enjoy healthy eating.