A new year, a new opportunity to start a new hobby! Corny intro sentences aside, it’s true. Nothing beets the clean-slate feeling that comes from taking up something in the free trial month of the year. But the clock’s ticking and thyme is running out to get a start on the “new year, new you” mentality. What hobby should you take up before all the new year excitement gets squashed? Well…if you’ve noticed our well placed vegetable puns, you should have a clue as to what we’re going to suggest: GARDENING.
A brilliant perk of living in Southern California is our beautiful and varyingly warm-to-hot Mediterranean climate, which certainly helps maintain a home garden year-round. Imagine, being able to grow some of the fruits and vegetables that you’ll use in your meals, as well as save you a few bucks at the grocery store. If you want to get started, here are a few veggies you can start growing in our state’s slightly colder time of year:
BROCCOLI: Of all the foods that are hard to get young children to eat, broccoli is definitely among the top tier of the list. Maybe it’s the texture, or the resemblance to trees, or a bias to the color green? Whatever the reason, an oft overlooked way around that is to grow it in your own backyard and get the kids in on it. Over the growing season, they will become curious as to what they’re making, and often ready to at least give it a taste test.
CARROTS: So, contrary to popular belief, carrots don’t actually improve your eyesight. You can thank the British for that rumor. However, we are giving you the foresight to plant carrots now so that they’ll be ready in time for the spring, and not to mention little ones will love leaving your fresh garden carrots for the arrival of the Easter Bunny. Carrots are also a great ingredient in a number of side dish and soup recipes. Click this link for a salivating list of recipes that’ll inspire you to start growing you carrot harvest now!
GARLIC: Who doesn’t like the smell of garlic in their pasta or pizza? (On one’s breath long after the meal is over is certainly another story.) It’s a staple ingredient with which a little bit goes a long way, and handy to have, well, on hand. Forget the bottle of garlic seasoning. Impress everyone with the taste of fresh garlic in your meals.
For a successful harvest, we recommend that you begin growing your seeds indoors in January to early February. After your area experiences the last of the frost, transfer your growing plant to your garden outside. If you’re interested in growing these vegetables for your own garden, check out these links for broccoli, carrots, and garlic.