#TWKatHome Ask an Expert

Growing Vegetables and National Salad Month!

Our #TWKAskanExpert series is where we pose questions to our network of food experts and then share their responses with you! Submit questions using the link at the bottom of the page to get your expert opinion! This month for Ask an Expert, we are focusing on National Salad Month!  We talk to two experts about growing vegetables and making salad.

Growing Lettuce

What is salad month?

May is National Salad Month and has been since it originated in 1992 by the Association for Dressing & Sauces.  Each May, people are encouraged to take the month of May to add healthier choices to their meal planning by incorporating salads more into their lives.  TasteWise Kids celebrates National Salad Month to encourage everyone to try healthier eating habits and because it is part of our Days of Taste program. Join us this month as we talk all things salad! 

Let's Talk to...

Tell us about your job and what you do.

I am the owner of Holistic Wellness and Health.  I am a chef that teaches people how to cook plant based products to make delicious meals.  I am also a food safety educator that helps farms develop standard operating procedures.

How would you describe a perfect salad?

I would start with leafy greens like Romaine or Kale.  I would suggest adding a protein such as garbanzo or black beans, nuts, or seeds.  It is important for proteins to be healthy fats.  I personally like adding fruit to my salads.  I add tomatoes and dried fruits.  For extra flavor, a dressing that is store bought or homemade can be added.


What do you think are the benefits to including salad in a weekly menu?

It is important because raw produce has so many benefits for our bodies. High enzymes benefit our cells and helps our bodies work better.

Do you have suggestions for ways families can grow vegetables at home?

It does not matter if you have an acre or live in an efficiency. You can grow vegetables anywhere! I suggest starting with container gardens and to start with herbs. Radishes are fun to grow because they go from seed to harvesting in 3-4 weeks.


What are your 3 favorite vegetables to grow?




What are 3 words to describe the benifits of eating salad?





Let's talk to...

Nick Bailey, owner of Grand View Farm

Facebook Grand View Farm

Instagram @gvfarm

Tell us about your job and what you do.

I have owned Grand View Farms since 2012.  My job is to take care of animals to make sure they are healthy and have a good life.  I get food to the community and customers by fulfilling orders and distributing food. I have a farm store on Saturdays and Sundays.

How would you describe a perfect salad?

A seasonal salad is always the best.  Start with ingredients that grow during that time in your area.  I like adding a variety of color, different textures, tastes, and flavors.  Arugula is a great addition to any salad!  I also like to add protein.  Adding tomatoes, bacon, cucumbers, onions, and bell peppers are some of my favorites. A perfect salad would be one that tastes good without dressing and that the dressing is a bonus.

What do you think are the benefits to including salad in a weekly menu?

As Americans, we eat too much meat in general for a variety of reasons. Sometimes meat is too easy to access or is cheap.  Having a plant based majority to your weekly meal planning is appropriate and important. You can add meat in small portions to any salad. For example, I like thin slices of meat or ham with cabbage on salads.

Do you have suggestions for ways families can grow vegetables at home?

I would encourage everyone to go to the internet to learn. There are videos about everything online and it can help you get started.  You can look up a balcony or backyard garden and see what is needed.  Everyone can grow something.  I would suggest finding the inspiration to grow nutrient rich, clean, healthy food regardless of the area you live in.

What are 3 favorite vegetables to grow?

All colors of bell peppers



What are 3 words to describe the benifits of eating salad?





Let's Do an Activity at Home


 Are you ready to eat a make a shape salad?

  • You can download our Salad Shape activity to follow along at home.
  • Make a salad using as many shapes as you can.  Make one to eat and one to decorate your kitchen.

Here are some shape ideas for you.  These are just a few, remember shapes can be found everywhere or you can make them with the ingredients you choose!

Circles- nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers

Squares- leafy greens, croutons, cut avocado

Triangles- cheese, sliced apples, peppers


Grow your own!  Check out to Veggie Gardens for Kids to learn fun ways to grow vegetables at home for your salad.  Support local farms for fresh local ingredients.

Make a shape salad at home!  Share your shape salads and take pictures.  Tag us at #TWKathome We cannot wait to see your colorful pictures!

Find new Expert tips and tricks here every other week. Have a question you want an expert opinion on? Submit your questions to Julie, TWK at Home Program Manager, at jeugenio@tastewisekids.org