Writer’s Note:  This post is part of the Healthy Child Blog Carnival, an effort by Healthy Child Healthy World to help inspire a movement to protect children from harmful chemicals. This month’s topic is “Splendor in the Grass: Greener Gardens, Yards and Outdoor Spaces.”

Continuing my on-going quest to make healthier and more natural choices for my family – I’m proud to report that this year’s vegetable and fruit garden in our back yard is thriving and helping to feed us on a weekly basis.

As our garden is treated with nothing other than rain water and the occasional hose spritz when it’s hot outside, it’s safe to say that our veggies are about as chemical-free as we can get them. 

We have plenty of tomatoes growing.  Back in April I had reviewed the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter and we’ve been getting tons of ripe cherry tomatoes off of it daily.  (Picture was taken the day after my kids picked it pretty clean!)

While you can see that it’s growing a bit sideways more than down – the end result is the same, our own home-grown tomatoes great for pasta salads and salads this summer.

Hubby also takes a ton of pride in our side garden, where this year we have a whole slew of vegetables like spinach, lettuce, snow peas and zucchini. As you can see from the photo, the lettuce has taken over but that’s because we just got home from two weeks of beach vacation and haven’t been out to pick anything yet! Obviously everything’s thriving despite the record heat we’ve had here in Philly.

I’ve gotten more involved this summer than I have in the past (honestly, hubby’s the one with the green thumb in our family) and been a great experience for us all.

And spefically for me, it’s been really refreshing to see that with our organic gardening, we can still produce wonderful and fresh foods for our family to eat. 

It makes simply selecting organic foods at the grocery store a much easier decision for me as well.  Because what I can’t get from our garden I get at our local grocery store – Wegmans – which not only has an awesome organic produce selection but also has a local organic growers produce section where I can support local farmers who grow their products free of pesticides and other harsh chemicals I would never want my children putting into their bodies.


  1. We have had an organic garden for the past three years and we love it. Some things I grow because I love to grow them and give them away. Others we enjoy eating ourselves.
    We started a homemade compost bin last fall and now have pumpkins growing out of it! The plants have taken over and are now growing on the fence. It’s so cool to see little pumpkins growing on our fence! Luckily, these are the small pumpkin varieties used for decorating.
    We also have purple hull peas, 4 varieties of tomatoes (including 2 heirloom varieties), poblano and bell peppers, watermelon, yellow squash, garlic, marigolds, rosemary, basil, and sunflowers. We mix it up every year. I love growing tomatoes and peppers and giving them away! People love getting fresh produce! I took some of the yellow pear tomatoes to the post office, when I got stamps, and gave them to the workers and they were thrilled. Makes your day!
    We do use organic fertilizers, though. Not just water. We also try to do companion planting to cut down on bugs. Like marigolds and garlic. We are still figuring out what works best for us and how much to plant to get a particular yield that we want.
    I’m glad to see you are gardening in the city! It is nice to see that! I hope you do it next year and make it a family tradition!

  2. I love that tomato planter! We actually had to scale back our gardening efforts, and my husband has the green thumb in this family too, but we are still growing some things. I love it when i hear my 6 year old exclaim that tomatoes from the garden are sooo much better!

  3. ooooo, I need to get that tomato planter. I would so love to have my own tomatoes. The ones at the grocery store are completely tasteless.

  4. Organic fertilizers are a great tip… we don’t use any fertilizer so far but obviously our garden’s not so serious yet, maybe next year! I’m kind of getting into it this year so might have to do more research for next year’s!

  5. I’ve used compost tea for the past few years replacing the applications of fertilizer. I had huge tomatoes, no blight. Give it a try, you will love the results. It is easy to make. I think this is the next best thing after compost. By the way, the taste of the tomatoes were just incredible!

  6. Superb post as it tells the snap of fresh vegetables are in mkraet and give signal to the end of the summer.I miss summer already as we dig in the autumn weeds and get ready to set the next crop.


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