Locally grown

You should also take into account which crops grow well locally. If you are not sure, find out by visiting nearby gardens, talking to your neighbors, or asking the growers at your local farmers’ market. Use your common sense, too, when it comes to selecting
crops that will do well on your plot. If you live in an area where the summers are cool and wet, then heat-loving crops such as eggplant and tomatoes will produce well only in a greenhouse.

Gardeners in hot, dry climates may struggle to keep leafy salads and brassicas going during the height of summer. It makes sense to put your effort into growing things that are either expensive or impossible to buy in the stores. What these crops might be depends on your local suppliers, but soft fruits, such as currants and berries, are often pricey, as are herbs, runner beans, and good salad varieties. Globe artichokes, kohlrabi, and the full range of winter squashes are often unavailable in the stores, so if you like them, why not grow
your own?

If you have never harvested food fresh from the garden before then you might not know how incredibly different it can taste, even compared to produce bought straight from the farmers’ market. When there are just minutes between picking and eating, none of the precious sugars have been turned to starch and the cells are still plump with water, so you get sweetness and crispness that simply cannot be bought. Some crops, including peas, beans, corn, tomatoes, and new potatoes, lose this freshness faster than others, making them worth growing just because their flavor can’t be matched by produce in the stores.

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