Tuesday, August 10, 2010

3 Ideas to Feed Your Family Healthier Foods

It seems like today's world is filled with news stories about unsafe food, movies about how food has become immoral and mechanized, economic hardship making it difficult to feed our families, and a confusing array of products that may or may not help any of these situations. Rather than navigate grocery store aisles deliberating between cage-free or organic eggs, locally grown, seasonal or year-round shipped produce, many people are taking their food into their own hands. From small-scale vegetable patches to backyard chickens, the options for growing and harvesting your own food has become an increasingly popular and smart way to take back your family's food.

Regardless if you have a tiny patio or acres of land, here are some ideas to get you thinking about ways to begin providing your very own food. 

Mmm... fresh peppers
for salsa and casseroles
Grow a vegetable garden. Often the afterthought of a landscape plan, vegetables can be beautiful and functional. Free plans from Better Homes and Gardens make it easy to plan and plant something that will feed your family healthy food and be a joy to look at. Since we've talked so much about the importance of play with your children, it shouldn't come as a surprise that there's even vegetable gardens are a great place to involve your kids. This plan offers a simple children's vegetable garden with plants that will continue to produce and require minimal upkeep. Think of the fun and lessons after an entire summer of growing and eating from your very own garden. 

Keep backyard chickens. Eggs from backyard chickens are different from the eggs you buy at the store. The fresh yolks are tastier and colored bright orange, thanks to the hens' access to greens and the bugs and other goodies they snatch up in their scratching. Needless to say, even when fenced out of the garden itself, they keep pest populations down. At season's end, you can turn your chickens loose in the garden for a time-honored solution to clean it your garden and prevent pests from overwintering. If you're concerned neighbors may not like chickens are much as you do, try ducks. Ducks lay delicious eggs without making such a ruckus. You do not, contrary to popular belief, need to provide them with a pond. Their manure is less conspicuous than that of a chicken's, sinking effectively into your increasingly green, well-fed lawn. Finally, your coop can serve double duty to enhance your landscape and house your egg-producing darlings. 

Grafting can make one apple tree
bear several varieties of fruit

Plant a fruit tree. While it will take a few years for your tree to bear fruit, you'll be rewarded with a remarkable supply of fruit for twenty to fifty years to come. Dwarf and semi-dwarf trees make it possible for anyone with an average-sized yard to grow fruit trees. Plant trees in the spring or fall and begin to enjoy the fruits of your labors in three to five years.

Visit www.fancybuilder.com for pictures and pricing on playful outbuildings to enhance your landscape including coops, gazebos, playhouses, and more.

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