Earth Month: Gardens and Markets

(Photo Credit:

Catherine Cowlin

Wellness Writer

Looking for a healthy way to honor Earth Month? There are plenty of options as the weather warms up. Attending a local farmers market or starting your own vegetable garden are opportunities to enjoy nature’s bounty. Asparagus, arugula, and snap peas will be available soon. As the season continues, tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini will be ready to harvest.

Farmer’s markets are wonderful places to make connections with health-conscious vendors. They allow you to speak to the growers and find out more about their product’s background and benefits. The markets often offer much more than just local fruits and vegetables. Some offer meats, honey, flowers, baked goods, hand-made items, and information on area conservation and nature organizations.

Naperville Farmer’s Market is open year-round on Saturdays 7 am -12 pm. More vendors attend in the spring and summer months. Find out more at The Downtown Lisle French Market begins May 6 on Saturdays 8 am – 1 pm through October 14. More information is available at

You can’t get more wholesome fun than with vegetable gardening. You get the multiple benefits of fresh air, physical activity, and, if Mother Nature smiles on you, fresh produce. If you have the luxury of a backyard, take advantage and set up a small plot that receives lots of sun exposure. If you are in an apartment or dorm, you can grow certain vegetables in containers on a balcony or you can also look for local community gardens. Sometimes these are available through your local park district.

If you are a complete garden novice, I strongly recommend starting with tomatoes. You can buy them as seedlings, so part of the work is already done. Tomatoes do well in garden plots or planters as long as they have enough room, sunlight, and water. You will be pleased you made the effort when you taste your freshly grown tomatoes.