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Get Your Garden On!

A roundup of inspiring gardening stories & tips

Given the weather over the last few months, many Americans have likely felt some relief at the change of seasons. As the spring sun melts away the last memories of winter’s harshness, it’s a good time to get gardening tips and info from some inspiring green thumbs!

Gardening and diabetes David Mendosa, who lives with type 2 diabetes in an apartment complex in Boulder, Colo., knows the pleasures and benefits of eating locally – the food may often be fresher, he writes, and the short trip from soil to plate can leave a smaller carbon footprint. David explains: “No food that I eat is more local than the vegetables I grow in my own garden.”

Further reading: How David makes the most of his shared garden, a farmers market and a local Community Supported Agriculture farm.

Martinez grows her own organic tomatoes
Madeline grows her own organic tomatoes

Madeline Martinez, who was diagnosed with T2 in 2012, went from stocking up on local organic produce to learning how to grow her own organic tomatoes, broccoli rabe, radishes and carrots in her Miami, Fla., backyard. The healthful eating and physical activity – even on her relatively small patch of soil – paid off, she believes. “I went down from a size 26 to a size 18 in jeans.”

Further reading: Madeline’s quest for organic seeds and the all-natural weed-killer she makes from ingredients in her kitchen.

Jane K. Dickinson
Jane finds affordable organic produce

The deeper you dig, so to speak, the more questions you may have about certain types of food in the garden. Certified Diabetes Educator* Jane K. Dickinson highlights the differences between organic and nonorganic fruits and vegetables. Like David Mendosa, she is a “locavore,”  a proponent of eating locally grown produce, dairy and meats.

Further reading: Jane’s tips for buying organic fruits and vegetables without breaking the bank.

 Robin Haglund’s chicken taco bowl with cabbage
Robin’s chicken taco bowl with cabbage

Third-generation Seattle farmer and horticulturalist Robin Haglund has been a locavore her whole life. But when her husband was diagnosed with T2, Robin decided to modify the family’s diet to make it even more healthful. She now leads a seminar on “Gardening Against Diabetes.”

Further reading: Robin’s advice on starting a garden, even for those who don’t have a green thumb.

A guide to eating seasonally
A guide to eating seasonally

Food is most flavorful when it’s in season. Whether you’re growing your own greens or splurging on fruit from farms, you may want to print out Registered Dietitian Jill Weisenberger’s Seasonal Guide to Fruits and Vegetables and stick it to your refrigerator so you can better keep track of what’s freshest, when. (For instance, strawberries in spring; snap peas in summer!)

Further reading: Download and print the PDF.

herbs rosemary

Herbs can add flavor to your meals

If your outdoor space is limited, you can still get your hands dirty and your thumbs green. Any of these aromatic and flavor-enhancing herbs can be grown in windowsill pots, or even empty mason jars filled with fresh soil and starter seeds. Just add water!

Further reading: A slideshow of 6 versatile herbs.

You may also enjoy:

Deborah Kanter tries out farmers markets

Kathryn Sheehan finds joy in hidden vegetables

In the Test Kitchen: The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook

Cooking up budget-friendly, diabetes-friendlier meals

*“Certified Diabetes Educator” and “CDE” are certification marks owned and registered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE). NCBDE is not affiliated in any way with Sanofi US. NCBDE does not sponsor or endorse any diabetes-related products or services.

Madeline Martinez and Robin Haglund received no compensation for their posts on Discuss Diabetes; David Mendosa, Jane K. Dickinson and Jill Weisenberger are paid contributors to The DX. All opinions contained in this post reflect those of the interviewees and/or contributors, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.

© 2015 The DX: The Diabetes Experience

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