Aside from bringing the bounty of the garden into the kitchen, for the most part, we'd like the outdoors to stay, well, outdoors. We'd be super happy if all the bugs stayed put in grassy jungles and all the dirt to be in (or rather part of) the ground. It's not a terribly difficult thing to do, but it does require a little thought.
Aside from washing your hands with the garden hose and doing your planting and potting work out on the porch, here's a few other tips that might come in handy this growing season.
1. Garden Shoes: Although it seems silly to purchase another pair of shoes just for the garden, farmers have been doing it for years. For starters it means you're not ruining your good running shoes or running the risk of jabbing your exposed foot with pokey sticks, but it helps to keep the dirt where it belongs, outside. If you can't leave them on the porch when you come in, try leaving a snow boot tray right inside the door. Then you can dump the dirt and dust out every few days to keep things tidy.
2. Wear An Apron: It's easy to step out into the garden for just a second and end up spending an hour out there. Even if your garden consists of three pots on a fire escape, you get in this weird groove of checking leaves and making sure the soil is wet enough and pulling our weeds and other things that have blown into the area. If you leave an apron by your door, it makes an easy place to hold small items like scissors and gives you a built in place to wash your hands. Although it just transfers the dirt to the apron, it can easy be shaken out once things are dry (outside of course).
3. Go Outside Prepared: Before you head out to do a little work, make sure you have your phone with you and have hit the bathroom. Hands down those are the two main reasons people bolt back inside without regard to the mud on their feat or their seat! So next time you're ready to get down and garden, make a drink, find your cell, update your Facebook and for heaven's sake, lay off the Activia (we're only partially kidding).
4. Lined Collection Basket: When bringing your garden harvest back inside, even if they weren't dug up or pulled from the soil, there's a good chance they still have a layer of dust or dirt that needs to be washed off. Try using a container that can either be wiped out easily or shaken to remove loose particles. We've never been fond of intricate things like wicker, dirt always seems to get trapped and then falls out once you finally make it back to the kitchen.
5. Banish The Bugs: Certain plants attract specific bugs and animals. Peonies and ants go hand in hand as do gophers and tomatillos (at least that's what ours go for). Check out this post to toss out household pests (no matter how many legs they have), the most common being fleas, ants and moths.