Five Steps to Food Safe Fruit and Vegetable Home Gardening
Growing fruits and vegetables in a home or community garden
can be a source of pleasure, exercise, learning, friendship, and, of course,
good food! Over the years, food safety experts have identified a number of common-sense
practices that gardeners can use to reduce the chance that good food from the
garden will make someone sick.
The four key practices are:
- Keep “poop” out of the
garden during the growing season. This includes uncomposted manure, wild
animals, domestic animals, and kids in leaky diapers.
- Wash your hands with soap
and water before you go to the garden.
- Keep everything clean: including
tools, picking containers, and work boots.
- Use clean water to
If you have been gardening for decades, some of these
recommendations may surprise you. But if you think about how you approach food
safety in the kitchen, and then consider that the garden is just a step away
from that, they may make more sense. And if you add to that the knowledge that
it is virtually impossible to wash 100 percent of the harmful microbes off
harvested produce, then it makes even more sense to follow practices that
reduce the chance of harmful microbes getting on produce in the first place.
Learn more about food safety in the home garden by exploring
the resources below.
Food Safety in Community Gardens, website from North Carolina State University
- Includes a Food Safety Handbook for Garden Organizers
, from the New England GAP Project.Garden to Table: Five Steps to Food Safe Fruit and Vegetable Home Gardening
, from the New England GAP Project.