Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pizza Garden

If you are trying to think of ways to get your kids interested in gardens, and to "eat their veggies", why not plan a pizza garden. You don't have to have a large space, even containers will do to house veggies for your pizza.

You will need:

  • Good garden soil, either in an existing garden, or a purchased garden soil. (not potting soil)
  • Organic all purpose vegetable fertilizer, or compost
  • Plants. I prefer plants instead of seeds. Children are impatient, and with plants they can see immediate resuts. Tomatoes, onions, basil, oregano, and peppers are good choices. They all require the same light requirements, full sun. Oregano, may need a little less water than the others.
  • Water
  • Mulch to keep weeds at a minimum and conserve water
  • Tomato cage

Allow your child to accompany you to the garden store or nursery to pick out their plants. Have an employee talk to your child about varieties, planting, and care of their plants.

After planting, create a garden journal with your child, taking pictures of the plants as they grow, find recipes for pizza dough, sauce etc, and place in the journal. After the harvest, learn how to preserve some of your garden's bounty for winter use, and lastly take a picture of your child eating that delicious pizza they grew themself.

Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 bell pepper, finely chopped

3 large, very ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 6oz can of tomato paste

dried crushed red pepper flakes to tast

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

chopped fresh herbs to taste (basil, oregano)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stir in onion, and bell pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes and garlic, and cook until juice begins to thicken. Stir in tomato paste, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in fresh herbs during the last few minutes of cooking.

Makes about 2 cups. Freezes well.

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