Friday, June 26, 2015
A proven way to get the kids interested in gardening and the outdoors is to grow a pizza garden. Engage the little ones in choosing what their favorite pizza ingredients are and grow a garden with those in them.
It is amazing how many children will swear they don’t like a vegetable until it is in their backyard! Have them help you plant the seeds or plants, monitor the seedlings, water, and harvest. You will likely catch them picking green tomatoes to sample because they are so excited about eating what they have helped grow.
You can even throw a few other healthy ingredients in the mix as everything tastes better when you grow it yourself.
So, what are some ideas for pizza ingredients?
Tomatoes-any you can’t eat, you can easily freeze for winter pizzas
Basil, oregano, chives, garlic for seasoning (very easy to dry any extra)
Onions-you can grow Egyptian walking onions in a pot and they are perennials to boot
Spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli and peas for spring and fall pizza toppings (easy to freeze for later)
Green peppers, eggplant, zucchini for summer pizzas (maybe some hot peppers for the adults)
You can make tomato sauce or pesto based pizzas. Three basil plants will provide lots of fresh basil for pizzas as well as enough to make pesto sauces. Basil is a tender herb so be sure to plant after all danger of frost has past or give it protection. Oregano and chives are perennials so they can be planted as soon as they show up at the garden center and all the way to fall.
Garlic is typically planted in the fall to get the largest bulbs, but you can also plant in the spring as well. If you plant the hardneck varieties, you can use the garlic scape (its flower) to flavor pizzas, sauces or salads.
For those that are real adventuresome, you can get mushroom kits to grow mushrooms indoors.