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The Benefits of Growing and Using Food from Your Garden

By Sheriann Richerson

With spring fast approaching, many of you are in the early stages of planning your garden. Growing our own food produces better tasting produce and allows us to control the chemicals that come into contact with our food.

Basic garden produce usually includes green beans, peas (I personally prefer Sugar Snap Peas because the pods are edible), corn and tomatoes.

Companion planting has become quite popular in the past couple years. It is especially useful in small areas. Try planting tomatoes, geraniums and basil together. The geraniums will help the tomatoes to turn color faster and produce more, while basil has always been a good companion plant for tomatoes. It also makes it more convenient when picking for freezing. Just add a few leaves of basil to your tomatoes and freeze. This allows the basil oils to flavor the tomatoes without much additional work on your part.

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Vegetables are an important part of our daily diet. Along with providing essential nutrients to our system, they are delicious. The summer months give us the best opportunity to experience fresh produce, a taste that cannot be duplicated on your grocers shelf.

Even if you can only grow a "container" garden, you will most likely find that it will be well worth the effort.

So get out there, plan a garden and enjoy the fruits of your work in your culinary efforts!

© Sheri Ann Richerson
Sheri Ann Richerson has over 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine and creative writing. She is the Plant-A-Row For The Hungry Region III Representative, a longtime member of both the Garden Writers Association of America and of the American Horticultural Society. For more information, please visit her website at


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