How to Grow a Vegetable Garden

           Americans need to get fresh.  Fresh vegetables, that is.  Say goodbye to Green Giant, Del Monte and other canned and frozen vegetables that are sucked of their nutrients, texture and flavor.  These imitations should be returned to the preservative- and chemical-saturated plants from which they came.  Instead, get in touch with your green thumb.  Join other innovative and dirt-savvy Americans and plant your own vegetable garden.

            If the thought of growing plants intimidates you like raising children, take a deep breath.  Unlike children, these vegetables are happy to sprout and spread their leaves if given a few simple necessities.  Another benefit:  You can eat them when they're grown.

            The wide variety of vegetables from which to choose can be overwhelming.  If you enjoy the classics, use the list of traditional and common vegetables below that can jump-start your garden.  Follow the tips and suggestions, and you will be one step closer to a fresh lifestyle--of vegetables, that is.

GREEN BEANS:  At harvest time, this vegetable kicks into high gear.  You will need to harvest a batch almost daily.  Each plant produces a heavy crop of six-inch beans that are ready for cleaning, cooking and eating.  Plant this vegetable as a seed about one to two weeks after the last frost in the spring.  Seeds should be planted one to two inches apart, and rows should be three to four feet apart.  The sprouts will emerge after 10 days.  Thin the plants (pick excess sprouts) to six inches apart when they are four inches tall.  Cooking use:  Fresh green beans are great when boiled and lightly buttered or when saut