Here's How To...

 Grow Your Own Pizza

"You can't really do that! Can you?" asked my seven-year-old son, both incredulous and intrigued.

"Sure," I replied. "You can grow everything you need to make a pizza here in our home garden. Tomatoes. Garlic. Basil..."

Delicious Pizza

We're talking about a vegetarian pizza here, of course, and if we want cheese we'll have to rely on mozzarella from the market (no goats or cows on this acreage).

We could grow and mill our own grain for the crust too, but the store-bought kind will do.

"You can't grow everything you need to make a pizza, but you can grow lots of goodies to pile on top," says Constance Hardesty, who authored the book Grow Your Own Pizza: Gardening Plans and Recipes for Kids (Fulcrum, 2000).

Hardesty says to list the veggies you like on your pizza, then start planting. Her recommendations for a personal pizza garden plot include:

  • 1 Mexican oregano plant
  • 1 Spicy Bush or Purple Globe basil plant
  • 1 2 Roma VF tomato plants (Pixie or Tom Thumb varieties if you're growing them in pots)
  • 1 set of green onions
  • 2 California Wonder or Earlired bell peppers
  • 1 package of Aristocrat zucchini
  • Several garlic plants
It will be mid to late summer before these veggies are all ripe and ready for harvest. Garlic stems must die back and zucchini must be about 5 inches long before they're ready for the table. 

But once harvested and stored, the crop from your home garden can provide the makings for a personal pizza for months to come. 

See Hardesty's recipe for One Pizza Twelve Ways 

    Grow Your Own Pizza
    Grow Your Own Pizza
    Gardening Plans and Recipes for Kids 
                      by Constance Hardesty. 
    Paperback - 128 pages. 
                         Fulcrum, 2000.
    "Grow Your Own Pizza" shows you how to grow great-tasting food the natural way, without chemicals," explains gardening trainer Constance Hardesty.

    Designed as an activity resource book for school children, this text is also a handy guide for adult gardeners and family cooks. The gardening advice is well grounded and the recipes are simple, but interesting.
    Garden plots for nearly two dozen different types of gardens are mapped out, with varietal recommendations and cultivation tips included.

    The plans are organized into sections as Easy, Medium or Advanced to match the development and gardening interest level of each youngster.
    No large garden plots are required for any of these plans; most can be grown in containers, flower beds or small garden plots. Basic gardening tools, such as a shovel and rake, are sufficient.

    Hardesty, an instructor at the Denver Botanic Gardens, offers handy tips for both garden and kitchen. Her innovative garden plans and clever recipes help to make gardening more fun for kids of all ages.

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