Vegetables straight from the garden are fresher than those from the grocery store or even the farmer's market. That means they retain more of their vitamins and minerals. Growing vegetables also means the gardener knows exactly what kinds of pesticides and fertilizers were used, so the veggies may be safer to eat as well.
One fun idea is to plant a garden that is all one color. Of course, vegetable plants are mostly green, but there are varieties that have different colors in the leaves, and some veggies themselves are colored. A red garden, for instance, would consist of radishes, beets, tomatoes, bright lights chard, red lettuce and red onions. Edge the color garden with flowers that match.
Pick your favorite type of cuisine and plant a garden with the vegetable and herb ingredients. An Italian garden would have tomatoes, garlic, onions, fennel, basil, oregano and marjoram. A Mexican garden would consist of green sweet peppers, hot peppers, scallions, tomatoes, lettuces, corn and cilantro.
Kids are not terrifically fond of veggies but love gardening. Most kids will eat the vegetables they've planted. Look for fast growing and maturing varieties. Use both seeds and plants that have been started in a commercial nursery. Plant seeds for peas, beans, cucumbers, beets and corn. The seeds are big enough for children to easily handle. Use plants for tomatoes and green peppers. Lettuces sprout quickly but the seeds are tiny. Mark the rows with radish seeds. They sprout almost overnight.
Mix It Up
Who says that vegetables can only be grown in a vegetable garden? Mingle veggies with flowers and bushes in your landscape. Many vegetables are pretty and colorful. Plant spinach as a border around a flower garden. Chard with its broad thick leaves looks lovely. It even comes in varieties that have contrasting colors of red and yellow against the green. Kale with its curled edges looks right at home next to marigolds and nasturtiums. Onions and garlic are said to have insect-repelling properties; in any case the sword-shaped leaves contrast with smaller leaved bushes.
Potato Pile Up
Potatoes are an underground tuber and grow in the space between the "seed potato" and the stem of the plant. The seed potato can be from your grocery store--look for potatoes that have an eye, or order them from a nursery. Put an old tire on the ground. Fill with 2 inches of good garden soil. Place four "seed potatoes" on the soil and cover with another 2 inches of soil to the top of the tire. When the potato plant reaches about 8 inches, place another tire on top of the first and fill with soil, covering some of the plant's leaves and stems. Continue the process until the pile is four tires high.