Summer is here, and despite enduring an entire month of rain (seriously, it rained for 28 out of 30 consecutive days here in Virginia this spring), our kitchen garden survived and is thriving!

cherry tomatoes, zone 7, summer garden

Cherry tomatoes are *finally* ripening!

As a fitness professional, I not only value exercise, but also healthy eating. Both are vital to living a long and happy life. But like many other Americans living in the modern day, I struggle at times with getting in all my vegetables. We live in an overly processed, fast-paced world where it is much easier to give in to a packaged treat than it is to wrangle together a fresh meal.

homegrown carrots

Carrots! Watch the video below to see them as they’re pulled.

My “secret” to eating fresh veggies is to grow them myself. No, it’s not easy. Yes, it’s a ton more work, but you know what? I am much more likely to eat things that I worked hard to grow myself, because I don’t want them to go to waste. We, in modern times, live in a grossly wasteful society. I read in the past that Americans throw out about 50% of their food. The availability of food has made this an easy thing to do. I definitely won’t judge you for it, because I am still a bit guilty of it myself (although less so than I was years ago…a very slow process and hard habit to break).

But try throwing out your homegrown veggies that you put blood, sweat, and tears into creating, and something will tug at your heartstrings so hard that you will never want to throw food away again. 

On a less serious note, homegrown tends to taste better than store produce, yes? (Yes.)

So here is a first look into our garden. I say “our” because my husband was a great help in supporting me in getting this running, and he is learning to enjoy fresh vegetables, too.

(For you gardeners out there wondering, we are in Zone 7.)

In my next post, I’ll provide a recipe for the salad I made from all the picked goodies.

Your turn: Do you grow your own veggies, and what kinds? What would you like to try?