Nothing tastes better than homegrown ingredients picked fresh from the veggie patch.
And if you garden as organically as possible, your crops will be rich in vitamins and minerals, and free from poisonous chemicals.
The summer holidays are a great time to start a new vegetable garden, so you can get the children involved.
This means they can feel connected with their food and have fun planting seeds and tending the garden. After all, kids are the gardeners of the future.
Before you begin
It’s important to decide on how much free time you have to tend your new organic vegetable patch before you get going.
If in doubt, start off small because you can always expand.
If your chosen plot is covered with weeds, they must be completely removed using a hoe.
Another chemical-free method of killing weeds is to solarise the soil.
Simply position black plastic over the entire area, anchor it with rocks, then leave it for a month.
The heat will cook and destroy the weeds.
Once they’ve been removed, dig the garden bed to the depth of your spade, taking care to remove any rocks.
Dig in compost and cow or chicken manure over the whole garden bed.
The more you add, the richer the soil will become, and the healthier your vegetables will be.
Check the level of acidity in the soil with a pH kit, and add dolomite or liquid lime if it is acidic.
Vegetables like a pH of about 6.5.
To garden organically means you have to become more aware of the environment and also respect the balance of nature.
Using sprays that contain chemicals can alter this balance by killing off beneficial insects, such as ladybirds, parasitic wasps, and hoverflies.
The organic gardener observes the laws of nature and puts plant residues back into the soil through mulching and composting.
This in turn feeds the bacteria, fungi, insects and earthworms that prepare the soil for living plants.
Summer selection - climbing beans
These can be grown on wire attached to a sunny fence or wall, on a frame made from upright timber posts and covered in chicken wire, or on a teepee in a large pot.
Use the same frame for growing peas in the cooler months.
Sow the seeds directly where the plants are to grow.
Fertilise when the flowers appear and water regularly as the pods begin to swell.
Make a cubbyhouse by creating a three-sided teepee. Get the kids to plant seeds at the base and after a few weeks it will be covered in foliage.