It’s safe to say that as a child, my family, like many Americans, ate a diet fairly high in sugar, carbs, and processed foods — and I loved it!
Every morning my six-year-old self munched on my favorite breakfast of Cap’n Crunch. For lunch, I packed a Honey Loaf and Wonder Bread sandwich topped off with a golden, luscious Hostess Twinkie for dessert. On Friday nights we looked forward to McDonald’s cheeseburgers and fries.
Fortunately, in the mid-80s God plopped my newlywed self in San Diego, right where the organic, fresh food culture was taking root — and it took root in me too. While I still loved certain junk foods, I also started experimenting with recipes using fresh foods — with mixed success. Just ask my husband and kids about how I used to try hiding grated carrots in their meatloaf. Well, you can always try …
About that same time, I searched the Bible to see what it said about food. It turns out — a lot!
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.1 Cor. 6:19–20, NIV
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29 NIV
Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. Genesis 9:3 NIV
The Biblical Nutritionist, Annette Reeder, has a wealth of resources on this topic. Interested in knowing which foods the Bible includes in a healthy diet? Download her free list here. And check out the rest of her website for all of her resources.
Farm to Fork Movement
Today the farm-to-fork movement is alive and well. But like any good thing, eating fresh food takes time — time to change your eating habits and time to learn how to prepare it.
As a busy mother, caregiver, and/or worker, you may not have much of that commodity. How can you eat more fresh food with limited time to spend on it? Let’s look at some ideas.
- Check out your local farmers markets. You’ll find wonderful fresh food from produce and plants to meat, honey, and dairy products.
- Shop the produce section at your store first and plan at least one meal a week around fruits and veggies. Many grocery stores carry organic produce too.
- Buy a Vitamix. Yes, they are pricey, but I used my first one for 20 years! It still works, but I just got my second one as a birthday present. Save up for it if you can; they are well worth the splurge. They also have a reconditioned store, so be sure to check that too. Here’s a favorite recipe of mine called Going Green Smoothie from Vitamix. If you’re new to trying to get more greens in your diet, this is perfect to start with — delicious! You can also join their reward program to earn points toward their products.
- Join a food co-op.
- Hoosier Harvest Markets is one in my community.
- Plant your own garden. Time strapped? Keep reading … I have a low-maintenance garden idea for you!
No Time for Growing Fresh Food?
Fortunately, my grandparents and parents were gardeners, so I have that history to draw upon, but as a child I wasn’t in love with gardening chores and, in all honesty, only participated when they made me. But you know what, the concept stuck. As a young mother, I started a garden and began experimenting with growing some of our food.
If you don’t have the time or energy fo dig up your yard, a container garden is a wonderful option. Even one pot planted with favorite vegetable(s), herbs, or edible flowers can make a big difference. A few years ago I interviewed herbalist, author, and artist Sharon Lovejoy for some gardening ideas for families and kids that are fast and easy. You can read the whole article at the link, but here’s an excerpt from the article that will get you started:
Container Gardening in a Half-Barrel
Half barrels or big pots are just right for growing vegetables. You can plant almost anything in them including vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Sharon pointed me to her book Camp Granny on page 141 for the details.
- Put your pot in an area of your yard that receives at least six hours of sun a day.
- Drill a few 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch-size drainage holes in the bottom of the basket or pot (if it doesn’t already have them).
- Cover the drainage holes on the bottom with pieces of screen or cheesecloth so the soil doesn’t fall out of the holes.
- Add a few inches of gravel to the bottom of the barrel (it helps with drainage).
- Fill the pot to the brim with bagged potting soil. If you’re planting a plant rather than seeds, you may have to remove some of the soil to make room. Water thoroughly.
- Plant your seeds or plants following the directions on the package. Water seeds lightly (a spray bottle works for seeds) and plants more thoroughly (a watering can or hose). Always try to water plants from the bottom so you’re not dousing the leaves whenever you water.
Container Garden Ideas
Now let’s look at some ideas on what to plant in the containers.
- Herbs. Some favorites are basil, oregano, dill, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, garlic, and thyme. Take a trip to the nursery, and you’re sure to find some new ones to try too.
- Vegetables. Cherry tomatoes do very well in big pots, as do lettuces, radishes, tiny carrots, squash (remember it will vine out over the pot unless you have a trellis for it to climb), and bell peppers.
- Flowers. Try some edible flowers to add to salads like nasturtiums, violas, pansies, chive blooms, bachelor’s button, and dianthus.
In my yard, I have a mix of raised bed and container gardens, but when you’re limited on time, a container garden is low maintenance yet still yields a nice harvest!
Let me know if you have any questions or if you’re inspired to try a container garden. I’d like to hear your ideas or even one of your favorite fresh food recipes.
Note: I have included my affiliate links for Vitamix in this post. If you were to use my links, I could earn either reward points or a small commission. At Spaces of Grace, we only include links to products we believe in and use. Thank you for supporting us in our work.