Tips & Tricks on what & how to grow to ensure a successful growing season! In today’s class Jean Roman will discuss the best fruits, vegetables, and herbs to grow in your home garden, and how to care for them. She’ll share her wealth of knowledge on growing and how you can have a bountiful harvest. Roman will provide information on gardening in containers, raised beds, and traditional tillable gardens. Downloadable PDF will be provided to all attendees.
The container gardener is limited only by your imagination! Whether you have a large garden, raised beds, or the smallest patio or balcony, Jean will show you how you can reap a crop of herbs. It’s all in the harvesting friends!
In todays class held at The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market, Jean Roman will showcase how you can create thriving herb containers you’ll be able to bring in during the winter as well, if you choose! Whether you are an experienced or novice gardener, this class will be loads of fun with tons of great information!
Lifestyle expert Jean Roman shares gardening and cooking tips
The Market is excited to welcome Jean Roman with her gardening and cooking tips to our 2023 lineup.
Jean is a mother of six, published author, podcaster, YouTuber, organic gardener, organizational guru and influencer who lives in Waterford. A cookbook author and self-professed master gardener with more than 20 years of experience, Jean loves to share her passion for and knowledge of organic gardening, the local food movement and food preparation and preservation.
On her weekly podcast, “For Dragonflies and Me,” Jean gives gardening, cooking and organizational tips and tricks; discusses healthy lifestyles, and welcomes a wide variety of entrepreneurs.
Jean will make six presentations at the Market throughout the season. Please join her as she discusses and demonstrates:
“You know, when you get your first asparagus, or your first acorn squash, or your first really good tomato of the season, those are the moments that define the cook’s year. I get more excited by that than anything else.” ― Mario Batali
I am getting so itchy to get out and plant stuff!!! If you’ve been following me on my Facebook & Instagram, then you’ve seen my new greenhouse go up & the raised bed gardening coming to fruition. We’ve been at a stand still the last few days with the weather… yep, I’m in Michigan. We need a bit more pea stone for the raised bed garden, and more compostable materials for the beds themselves…. Then the dirt and I can plant.
Next year at this time, I will already have lettuce and other greens in the beds, but I must be patient this year. As the temperatures start to rise and the sun shines a little brighter, May is the perfect time to start planting our vegetable and herb gardens.
Many of you ask me what we can start planting, so last month I threw together a blog post, and I thought I should do the same for May. After all, now is the time we can really start thinking about the garden and the beautiful bounties she will hold this year.
Benefits of Growing Your Own Vegetables and Herbs
There are many benefits to growing your own vegetables and herbs. For one, you can ensure that the produce you are consuming is fresh and free from harmful pesticides. Additionally, gardening can be a rewarding and stress-relieving hobby. Not to mention, it can save you money in the long run. By growing your own vegetables and herbs, you can reduce your grocery bill and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that your food was grown with your own two hands.
Best Vegetables to Grow in May
MId to late May is the perfect time to plant a variety of vegetables in Zone 4 & 5. Some of the best vegetables to grow in May include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans. These plants thrive in warm weather & will grow beautifully once the evenings stay above 50 degrees. It is essential for them to have warm soil and night temps for them to mature and develop.
Tomatoes are classic vegetables & super easy to grow & can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you prefer cherry tomatoes or beefsteaks, May is the ideal time to get these plants in the ground.
Peppers are another popular vegetable that can add some spice to your garden. Bell peppers, jalapenos, and habaneros are all great options for May planting. Cucumbers and zucchini are also easy to grow and can be used in salads, stir-fries, or even pickling.
Carrots & green beans are other versatile vegetable crops that can be served as a side dish or used in casseroles and soups.
Here are a Few Planting Tips for May Gardening
When planting your vegetables in May, it’s important to choose a spot that receives plenty of sunlight. Most vegetables require at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. Additionally, make sure the soil is well-draining and has plenty of organic matter. This will ensure that your plants have the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.
When planting your seeds or seedlings, as I always say, be sure to follow the instructions on the packet or label. Some plants may require a certain depth or spacing between each plant. If the information isn’t detailed enough, simply Google the plant and all those details will pop up! Water your plants regularly, especially during dry spells. Mulching around your plants can help retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from growing.
Top Herbs to Grow in May
Herbs are a great addition to any garden, and May is the perfect time to plant them. Some of the top herbs to grow in Zones 4 & 5 during May include basil, cilantro, chives, parsley, and thyme. These herbs are easy to grow and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Basil is a fragrant herb that is commonly used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. It can be used in sauces, salads, and even on pizza. Cilantro is another herb that is commonly used in Mexican and Asian cuisine. It can be used in salsas, curries, and stir-fries. Chives and parsley are versatile herbs that can be used in a variety of dishes, while thyme is a great herb for seasoning meats and vegetables. CLICK HERE for my delicious Pesto Recipe!
Maintaining Your May Garden – Watering, Fertilizing, and Pest Control
Maintaining your garden is crucial for a successful harvest. Water your plants regularly, especially during dry spells. Most vegetables require about an inch of water per week. Fertilize your plants every few weeks to ensure they have the nutrients they need to grow.
Pest control is also important for maintaining a healthy garden. Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids, caterpillars, and slugs. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control these pests. Additionally, companion planting can help deter pests naturally. For example, planting marigolds next to your vegetables can help repel aphids and other pests.
Harvesting Your May Garden
As your plants start to mature, it’s important to harvest them at the right time. Generally, vegetables should be harvested when they are ripe and before they become overripe or start to rot. Herbs can be harvested throughout the growing season as needed.
When harvesting your vegetables, use a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut the stem cleanly. Avoid pulling the vegetables off the plant, as this can damage the plant and reduce future yields. Herbs can be harvested by snipping off the leaves or stems as needed.
Gardening in Zones 4 & 5 in the month of May can be a fun and rewarding experience. By following these simple tips & tricks, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh vegetables and herbs. Whether you’re a novice or beginner gardener, there’s no better time to start planting than now. So grab your gardening tools and get ready to dig in the dirt!
Looking to the future, consider trying out new vegetables and herbs in your garden. There are countless varieties to choose from, each with their own unique flavor and characteristics. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Who knows, you may discover a new favorite vegetable or herb that you never knew existed!
I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start!
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Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day, Jean
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What is an Heirloom & why should you plant them?May 6th, 10:00am
Have you registered for my upcoming class taking place at Goldner Walsh Garden & Home on May 6th, at 10am?
If not, click the button below to register!
Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, and self-professed Master Gardener will discuss the value of Heirloom vegetable seeds & plants regarding their bio-diversity, and natural disease resistance, along with some of her favorite varieties she has grown for over 20 years!
She will also discuss the benefits of companion planting and how Heirlooms benefit from it.
Container Gardening with Herbs: Learn how-to make & grow an herb garden planter!
The container gardener is limited only by your imagination! Whether you have a large garden, raised beds, or the smallest patio or balcony, Jean will show you how you can reap a crop of herbs. It’s all in the harvesting friends! Today Jean Roman will showcase how you can create thriving herb containers you’ll be able to bring in during the winter as well, if you choose! Whether you are an experienced or novice gardener, this class will be loads of fun with tons of great information!
It’s strawberry season in Michigan friends! Join Jean Roman as she teaches you how easy it is to make homemade freezer strawberry jam! Recipe will be included. Roman will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Easy & Delicious Pesto Sauce- How to make & preserve it! Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, & Self-professed Master Gardener will teach you how to make her delicious & incredibly easy Pesto recipe, and how to preserve it so you can have it all winter long. She will share tips on how to grow & stimulate continued growth of your plants. Roman will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Plan your fall garden now! Lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli, & more!
August 5th, 2023
Did you know you can continue growing delicious, fresh veggies late into the fall? Well, you can even here in Michigan. All you need to know is the right crops to plant, and how to care for them. Join Jean Roman as she guides you through the steps of preparing for a bountiful fall garden.
Homemade Marinara Sauce- How to make & preserve summer’s bounty! Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, & Self-professed Master Gardener will teach you how to make her delicious & incredibly easy Marinara sauce recipe from your homegrown tomatoes. Don’t grow your own? That’s ok, Jean will share how you can purchase large quantities at your local farmers market. She will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Fall Garden Clean Up: 10 Step How-to Fall Vegetable Garden Clean Up
Cleaning up your fall vegetable garden is an important step in preparing for next year’s crop. By removing dead or diseased plants, clearing debris, and adding compost and organic matter to the soil, you can improve the health of your soil and reduce the risk of pests and diseases for years to come. Jean Roman will go over her easy 10 Step How-to Fall Vegetable Garden Clean Up.
This month I’ll be discussing how to source local food, the issues with locating it, and why it is so important to support our local farmers markets. Be sure to visit my Facebook Event Calendar & register so you don’t miss an episode!
May 3rd, 2023
Walt Gajewski, Market Manager for The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market!
If you are a regular listener, you all know I love to share the back story with all of you on how I know and met my podcast guest… and this one is really near & dear to my heart.
I met this guy over a decade ago during my Mennonite days behind my table at the Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market. He was a volunteer with the market and always was so happy & energetic about it. He had real passion is the best way to describe it. Of course that’s why we clicked! Our hearts were both in that happy place!!!
Are you a biking enthusiast? Podcast with Bike Dearborn Founder & Lead Biker, Tracy Besek
Join me today as Founder & Lead Biker for Bike Dearborn, Tracy Besek & I chat it up about biking safety, advocacy, and being a part of this great group!
This month’s focus has been on local food, and healthy life choices. I tend to focus a lot on farmers markets, but obviously there are so many other ways to invest in healthy life choices, exercise being another obvious one!
My guest today and I met almost ten years ago during my tenure in Dearborn with both the DDA and the Chamber of Commerce. We collaborated together with the city’s farmers market I managed… OK, yep I’m going to tie in the farmers market again, LOL.
5 Reasons to Support Your Local Farmers Markets: How they benefit people both health wise & the local community!
If there is one thing I’m passionate about, it’s local food & farmers markets! I was a farmer for almost 15 years, and most of that time a farmers market vendor. I know what it’s like to be on both sides of the table~ as a vendor, and a market manager.
My heart is most at home in the garden & the farmers markets. Today I will talk to you about my heart felt desire to inspire every person to shop at the farmers market. When you do you are supporting local producers, your local economy, help the sustainability of farmland, and so much more!
Maybe you’ve even been contemplating becoming a market vendor! Do you create, bake, grow, or develop something? Well, a farmers market might be your first step to a successful business start up. Farmers markets are great starting points for local entrepreneurs!
I want this podcast to inspire you… please let me know in the comments below if I did!
Let’s talk food advocacy with Michigan Farmers Market Association (M.I.F.M.A.), Executive Director, Amanda Shreve.
Food is Medicine! Join Jean as she chats it up with Amanda Shreve, Executive Director for the Michigan Farmers Market Association.
During the month of May Jean will be focusing on local food and how to source it, along with talking to professionals in the industry who fight the good fight advocating for fair food. Jean couldn’t think of a better organization to include than MIFMA~ Michigan Farmers Market Association and its wonderful Director, Amanda Shreve!
Amanda has been part of the MIFMA team since November 2009. She says, “I am passionate about connecting the public with agriculture and growing awareness of what it takes to produce our food supply in a safe, equitable and environmentally sustainable way. I recognize that farmers markets are a very visible and tangible way to establish, maintain and grow this connection.”
May 31st, 2023
Let’s talk about growing food with Dawn Green, Horticulturist & Owner of Dawn Gardens, LLC!
Join Jean as she chats it up with fellow gardener extraordinaire, Dawn Green! We’ll discuss the importance of raising your own food, and the joy & fulfilment it brings!
“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. ” Gertrude Jekyll
Did you know rhubarb is a vegetable, not a fruit?
Rhubarb is a versatile vegetable, & its tangy flavor can easily be combined with the sweetness of strawberry, or left on its own! It is a favorite among gardeners and chefs alike, thanks to its unique taste and versatility in the kitchen.
Never tried rhubarb? Well, if you’re new to gardening or have never grown rhubarb before, you might be wondering where to start. Fear not! In this episode of Gardening 101, I’ll take you through everything you need to know about planting and caring for rhubarb.
From choosing the right variety to harvesting and cooking, I’ve got you covered. So whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or a novice looking to grow something new & different, this episode will equip you with all the knowledge and skills you need to grow your own delicious rhubarb. Get ready to add a touch of tangy goodness to your garden and your plate!
Watch my YouTube video how-to on How to Grow & Care for Rhubarb, along with some Bonus Recipes, click below~
How’d you like the video? Give you your thoughts & feedback in the comments, & be sure to let me know if you have any additional tips & tricks on How to Grow & Care for Rhubarb!
Check out my video on How to Properly Harvest Rhubarb at my YouTube Channel below~
Did you come back for some Rhubarb recipes? Click these links for some great recipes!
“In our society growing food ourselves has become the most radical of acts. It is truly the only effective protest, one that can ―and will ― overturn the corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world ― we change ourselves.” ― Jules Dervaes
Strawberries are a really easy & delicious fruit for the home gardener to grow! Even if you don’t have a garden, you grow these beauties in a container. You may not be able to overwinter them if you live where the snow flies, but in warmer climates, you bet you can.
Strawberries are also a fun thing to have the kids help you grow… and boy oh boy, do they love the harvest. I’ll be sharing with you my recipe for Homemade Freezer Strawberry Jam at my blog today as well, so be sure to head over there for more on strawberries!
“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
If you have been following me for any amount of time here, at my podcast, YouTube, or my social media platforms, you know I am a huge advocate for including kids in both the kitchen & the garden. Today I am going to give you some ideas on how to incorporate fun activities for kids, as well as discuss some of the benefits to kids helping grown their own food!
Over the years you’ve seen my kids grow up in the garden and the kitchen. They have helped in the soil & bed preparation, seed & plant purchasing, greenhouse work, planting the seeds and seedlings, and then tending to them until they finally bear the fruit of their labor!
Sure my kids grumbled about the weeding & harvesting, but overall they had fun and learned so much! Now lets look at the benefits of getting your kids out into the garden!
Let’s look at the benefits of including our kids in the process of gardening!
What are Some of the Benefits of Teaching Kids to Grow Their Own Food?
Besides the obvious of promoting a healthier lifestyle, it encourages them to eat more fruits and vegetables because they grew them. When kids are involved in the process of growing their own food, they are more likely to try new things and develop a taste for fresh produce. Letting your kids help pick out the seeds or plants at the nursery is a great way to get them excited about not only gardening, but eating what they grew!
In addition to the health benefits, it’s also a great way to get them outside and active. Gardening is a physical activity that can help improve their coordination, balance, and overall fitness.
Gardening can be a valuable learning experience for kids. It helps them develop important skills such as responsibility, patience, and problem-solving. They learn about the life cycle of plants, the importance of soil and nutrients, and the effects of weather and climate on growth.
Getting kids in the garden also is a great way to teach kids about sustainability and the environment. It encourages them to think about where their food comes from and to appreciate the hard work that goes into producing it.
How Do You Start a Garden with Kids?
Get dirt, seeds & plants! Starting a garden with kids can be a fun and exciting project for the whole family. Whether you have a large backyard or just a small balcony, there are plenty of ways to get started. The first step is to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has good soil drainage.
If you’re starting a garden in a small space, consider using containers or raised beds. This can make it easier for kids to reach the plants and can help prevent damage from pests.
Have the kids help you decide what you want to grow! Let them help you choose the seeds by going through seed catalogs and even more fun, take them to the greenhouse to purchase the plants you want to grow. Be sure to bring a catalog that shows a wide variety of pictures so the kids can see what the final product will look like!
It’s important to choose plants that are easy to grow and maintain. Some great options for kids include tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, and strawberries. You can also consider growing herbs such as basil, parsley or mint, which can be used in cooking and can be a fun sensory experience for kids. You can show them how to use the mint to make tea!
Be Sure to Choose the Right Plants for Kids to Grow!
When choosing seeds & plants for your kids to grow, it’s important to consider their age and skill level. Younger children may enjoy planting fast-growing seeds like beans or radishes & even sunflowers! Older children may be ready to tackle more challenging plants like tomatoes or peppers.
It’s also important to consider the climate and growing conditions in your area. Some plants may require more sunlight or water than others, so be sure to choose plants that will thrive in your specific location.
What are the Appropriate Gardening Tools for Kids?
Remember they are kids, so again think about age appropriateness. Having the right tools can make gardening a lot easier and more enjoyable for kids. Some essential tools include gloves, trowels, watering cans, and pruning shears.
It’s also important to choose tools appropriately sized for your child & that are easy for them to use. You can also consider purchasing child-sized gardening tools, which are designed to fit smaller hands and make gardening more comfortable.
There are also child sized rakes, and shovels that will make your child feel extra special. Be sure to get them their own padded knee pad as well!
Watering and Caring for the Garden is an Important Task to Understand!
Watering and caring for the garden is an important part of the growing process. Kids can learn about the importance of watering plants regularly and how to tell when plants need water. They can also learn about the effects of weather and climate on plant growth. It’s important to teach kids about pests and diseases that can harm plants and how to prevent and treat them.
Weeding is never a fun part of gardening, but if you utilize containers or raised beds and mulch, it will make the watering & weeding process much more enjoyable for everyone!
You should also teach your kids how to watch for harmful insects, as well as teaching them about the good bugs. They need to learn to never kill a praying mantis or ladybug, but to destroy tomato worms & squash bugs. You can make this a fun project for a rainy day by showing them gardening books or looking up the information online!
Now for the Best Part… Harvesting and Using the Produce
You & the kids have worked so hard and now it’s time to reap what you’ve sown! Harvesting & using what you’ve grown is by far the most rewarding part of gardening. Kids can learn about different ways to prepare and cook the fruits and vegetables they’ve grown.
This can be a great opportunity to teach them about healthy eating habits and the importance of a balanced diet. You can also encourage them to share their produce with friends, family, & neighbors which can be a fun way to spread the joy of gardening.
Here are a Few Fun Gardening Activities for You & Your Kids
Whether you are homeschooling your kids and want to use gardening as part of your curriculum, or just want to show your kids the joys you maybe had growing up, gardening can be a fun and creative activity for kids.
You can incorporate art and sensory activities into the gardening process to make it even more engaging. For example, kids can create garden markers using rocks or popsicle sticks. They can also create a sensory garden by planting different textures and fragrances. Gardening can also be a great way to teach kids about the different colors of fruits and vegetables.
Another really fun activity is to plant a sunflower tent! See my blog here for the fun & easy how-to!
Here are a few of my previous blog posts on how to incorporate kids into the garden!
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