large vegetable garden
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Food for the Family Table

There's nothing like the earthy crunch of a just-picked carrot or the sweetness of a juicy tomato still warm from the sun. And the taste is even sweeter when it's one you've grown on your own.

For parents like Phil Nolan and Michele Rast, backyard vegetable gardening has intangible benefits, too. "We want our kids to appreciate the way things grow and to understand the value of food," Nolan says when asked why he dug up part of the family's New Jersey lawn to put in a formal 18-by-32-foot veggie garden.

Shown: The 576-square-foot plot produces veggies all summer for a family of four, with plenty left over to share. Tidy raised beds and gravel paths make it easy to care for, and evoke an English country garden.
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