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Plant a Pizza

Pepperoni doesn’t grow on trees, but plenty of other pizza ingredients can be grown in your own backyard! It is the perfect time of year to clear a raised bed or to grab some colorful pots for an easy and edible garden. Growing the ingredients to make pizza’s at home from freshly harvested herbs and vegetables is easy and fun. Kids and parents alike will enjoy the process from getting dirty hands to enjoying a delectable pizza grown from items in your own yard.

The plants for this project are great starter  plants for kids, because they are very easy to grow. Plus it is a big reward and a great teaching experience to see how you can plant things and bring them to use in your household food with something kids love like pizza.

For a container garden:

These plants can be started from seed or from young plants that have already been started. Make sure you choose containers that are large enough for the tomato’s to grow in with holes drilled in the bottom for proper drainage and good soil like Miracle Grow to provide nutrients. The other plants will do well in medium to small pots depending on how much of the herbs you choose to grow.

So gather together your pots, soil and seedlings and choose a nice sunny corner to place them in. Planting in containers makes for easier planting and harvesting and only takes up about as much space in any yard as two large pizzas!

For raised beds:

The general same rules apply, good soil to begin with and strong seedlings that have already started to grow are what I recommend. Dedicate an entire raised bed to your pizza garden so that all of the herbs and tomatoes can be grown together in one section. Of course if you want to grow more varieties of tomatoes or more adventurous ingredients like zucchini you will have to plan accordingly when planting your beds.  

Whatever method you choose, it is easy to do and with proper watering, care and sun the fresh herbs and vegetables will make for a fun family meal. Kids will have a great time taking care of and checking the weekly progress of their plants. There is nothing better than fresh grown tomatoes for making sauce or just slicing to put on your pizza. It is fun to get the whole family involved in the entire process from cultivating, tending, and harvesting to creating and eating a delicious and healthy homegrown meal.

Plants suggested for growing a pizza:

Tomato’s of all varieties. Remember they can be used for sauce, slicing or just snacking in between making pizza’s!  Roma tomato’s are great for making sauce, and cherry or yellow pear varieties are great for slicing up or snacking.

Chives or green onion add great flavor to a pizza and grow easily. If growing in a container just let the stems spill over the sides of the container.

Bell peppers add color, crunch and flavor to all types of pizza’s especially veggie ones. Peppers are fun to grow and they come in  a beautiful array of colors and sweetness. you can even plant them in a container and put one of the herbs in the same one. Plant the peppers near the back of the pot and pick them regularly for a better harvest.

Parsley is a great companion herb to put in the pot with the bell peppers. It is a well behaved companion herb that will take up little space in the front of a pot, but add flavor and texture to your pizza.

Oregano and basil are also wonderful herbs to add to your mix for flavor and authenticity. They are easily grown and can be clipped regularly to keep them compact in shape and to add a little rustic flavor to pizza’s or other dishes.

These are the basics for growing a garden dedicated to making pizza’s at home, but be adventurous depending on what your family likes or wants to try. Also try to get fresh or locally grown cheese to accompany your home grown ingredients. You could even go as far as making your own dough from scratch! Have fun with the whole process, and feel free to share your creations!

For a wonderful garden fresh pizza recipe and cooking instructions please visit: http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/idea-library/projects/Garden_Fresh_Pizza_0311.aspx

For great tips and more information on home farming please visit: http://www.homefarming.com/

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