5 Home Grown Vegetables for Thanksgiving

The holiday season is upon us which for our family kicks off with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is that one day out of the year where we recognize how lucky we are to have our health, family and friends around our dinner table and of course the gratefulness that even in these tough economic times we can still put a nice meal on the table to enjoy the day.

One thing I am personally thankful for is for the day my dad taught me how to vegetable garden, how you can grow your own food and that it is easier then you think. It is a skill that I can pass along to my two sons and hopefully they pass along to their children one day.

Being able to grow our own food not only puts healthy, fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs on our table but we are able to donate a lot of food to local food pantries and needy families, so my family is very thankful that we can do that as well.

What I wanted to do is give you a list of the fresh items that I will be serving on my Thanksgiving table this year.

Green Beans

A fellow vegetable gardening member on our Facebook page recently sent me a message about the green beans he grew this past season. To make sure he grew enough he had ten Kentucky Wonder pole bean plants growing up on a home made trellis. Of course if you know anything about pole beans in general you immediately say to yourself, “Good Lord, 10!” That is because they produce and produce and produce and keep going. They make the energizer bunny look inferior once they start growing. He even said, “my neighbors stopped answering their doors because they didn’t want anymore.” That is how many ten plants will yield. Beyond that, for my family, the Thanksgiving dinner table would be incomplete without the green bean casserole. With home grown green beans the casserole tastes so much better (at least it does to me).


I will be the first to admit that celery is not the easiest item to grow. The seeds are so tiny that they are nearly impossible to work with. Most of the time when I start my celery seeds I end up planting a lot per each starter cup, which I then I have to trim back. However, once you are able to get the celery going, fresh celery mixed in with the stuffing is fantastic. Also, I have inherited a family recipe from my mom called stuffed celery. Not sure if she got it from somewhere or made it up herself, but it’s nothing more than cream cheese mixed with chopped up gerkin pickles and green olives. Take that mix and fill the celery. Something about the crunch of the celery with that mix is such a great taste.

Salad Greens

This is my generalized category for all items such as lettuce and spinach that would be included in my salad. I will be literally having the freshest salad come Thanksgiving day. That is because greens such as lettuce and spinach will grow well into the cooler months of November and with a well built cold frame you can easily get fresh greens all winter long. Imagine being able to pick your Thanksgiving day salad 10 to 20 minutes before you serve it.

Pumpkin Pie

OK we aren’t actually growing pumpkin pies here, but we can grow the main ingredient in a pumpkin pie recipe and that is the pulp to be used. Everyone has their favorite pumpkin and/or squash they grow for this purpose and I am no different. I like the Blue Hubbard Squash. The pulp inside, once cooked and pureed, makes for a nice sweet addition to any pumpkin pie recipe. Sugar Pie Pumpkin is another good one as well.


What would be Thanksgiving day dinner without the different varieties of potatoes that will be served. From sweet to my wife’s garlic mashed red recipe, home grown potatoes are an excellent way of bringing what you grow at home to your dinner table. I would not consider potatoes a difficult crop to grow in my area, and they can be left in the ground until you plan on harvesting them for consumption (in many cases).

I can list a lot of other items that I have served in the past as well as I am sure you and your family have your favorites as well. Enjoy your home grown Thanksgiving!

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of
http://amzn.to/o926by”>Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the rest of us, the moderator for the largest vegetable gardening page on Facebook and creator of the Seeds Club [http://seedsclub.averagepersongardening.com].