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Plan to Grow Your Own Vegetables

Category: Patient Stories
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Person holding a basket of vegetables Now is the perfect time to plan your garden. If you’ve never planted vegetables before, there are many resources to help you get started, and you can get the kids involved by having them help you research at the library or on the Internet.

"The healthiest diet is a plant-based diet," says Dr. Eric Enberg, a family physician at St. Luke's Denfeld Medical Clinic. "I recommend five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. One large salad can be a number of servings."

To get started, find out which vegetables grow best in our cooler climate. The University of Minnesota Extension Services has a Web page that shows vegetable varieties that thrive in northern Minnesota. Food right from the garden is simple and healthy. "The more processed food is, the more salt and fat you get," says Dr. Enberg, who raises organic vegetables in his own garden. "Keeping food simple is best."

"Foods such as potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, pumpkin and squash can be grown in your garden, and can store well for long periods of time," says Karen Johnson, RD, LD, clinical dietitian at St. Luke's. "And studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of cancer."

Fresh produce from the store can be expensive, but by growing your own, you can save money and enjoy the health benefits and the fun of having your own garden.