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From Italian herbs and vegetables to other ethnic foods – gardening is still alive and well.
Growing your own herb and vegetable garden is one of the most practical and economical hobbies of all time. Before the growth of supermarket chains embracing nearly every corner in suburbia, families once relied on their own ingenuity and gardening skills to put food on their table. Even though modern society has changed quite a bit from previous generations, the joy of gardening is far from extinct. However, this is not say that the style of gardening has not changed along with society. In fact, indeed it has.
With the expansion of townhomes, condos, and apartment dwellers, the ability to grow one’s own food could be falsely assumed impossible under these circumstances. However, thanks to the changing methods of gardening, more of us are able to participate in the world of gardening – even when no yard is available.
What Happened to Growing Your Own Food?
In the mid to late 20th century Suburban sprawl became more common as single income households soon became two income households. Neighborhoods were built with smaller yards to accommodate constructing more residential homes. With busy schedules and families to raise, folks began to buy more and more of their fresh vegetables and herbs at the local supermarket, thus abandoning the task of cultivating their own gardens at home. Why grow your own when you can buy them on your way home from work?
Self Sustainability Desirable Again
Ironically, today there seems to be a change of tides. On one hand people are busier than ever, leaving less time to spend at home. Yet, these same people are now embracing the idea our ancestors had, not so long ago – grow your own food and be more self reliant. In the past, self-sustainability was a necessity. Today it has become a choice as concerns over higher prices and quality assurance have encroached on the conscience of many consumers. The tide is turning – people want to grow their own food once again.
Container Gardening Finds its Home
But this doesn’t solve the issue of city dwellers or pint sized suburban yards. Where does one grow food if a backyard is not an option? The answer for many successful gardeners is container gardening, which allows the growth of plants in smaller areas without cramping or overcrowding. Containers can be strategically placed on patios, walkways, steps, or even balconies. For those who have the larger yards yet are afraid of a creating an eye sore, container gardening offers just as valid an answer.
Practical Uses for Smart Pots
Growing Herbs in Smart PotsThree common popular Italian herbs which are easy to grow are basil, oregano and parsley. All of these are perfect candidates for container gardening. Place your pots in a location which receives full sunlight and offers easy access, and you will have your dinner’s ingredients within easy reach. Here are some examples:
Basil is perfect for sprucing up a marinara sauce, creating a fresh tomato mozzarella salad, and many other quick Italian recipes.
Oregano is perfect for pizza or pasta sauce.
Parsley is used in Italian potato salads, and is perfect for seasoning meats such as lamb chops or roasted chicken.
You can grow more than just herbs in containers. In fact, vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, Italian green beans, cabbage and salad greens, which are frequently used in Italian cooking, are all excellent choices. Here are some examples:
Use your tomatoes for a fresh pasta sauce. Or chop some fresh tomatoes along with your fresh basil and add them to some pasta, drizzle with olive oil and serve in a nice decorative pasta bowl set.
Use zucchini for making zucchini bread and Italian green beans are a perfect side dish when steamed with crushed garlic and olive oil.
Other plants suitable for Smart Pots include rosemary, peppers, potatoes, even watermelons and more.
Container gardening offers a full range of benefits from convenience to using seasonal healthful ingredients.
Growing your own food, whether for Italian recipes (as this article discusses) or not, is a rewarding and fulfilling achievement for the novice to the generational family gardener.
This article is provided by Elizabeth Trementozzi an Italian American who enjoys writing and learning about the simplicity of Italian foods. She is publisher of her own cooking site, where she showcases easy Italian recipes and discusses Italian appliances such as a stainlesssteel stovetop espresso maker – a true necessity in every home in Italy.