Tiffani Thiessen digs into her backyard garden to teach her kids valuable food lessons, interview

Tiffani Thiessen for Lowe's, photo provided by Lowe's, photo by Rebecca Sanabria
Tiffani Thiessen for Lowe's, photo provided by Lowe's, photo by Rebecca Sanabria /

While Tiffani Thiessen is a successful actor, cookbook author and television host, she is also a mom who navigates the daily struggle of getting the kids to make better food choices. Similar to many other chefs and parents, Thiessen has learned that getting kids involved with the cooking process can entice them to make balanced eating choices. In her household, the backyard garden is part of that culinary conversation and she invites everyone to get their hands dirty through the entire process with a little help from Lowe’s.

Certain topics often bring extra flavor to the food conversation. Although many people may not contemplate how that avocado arrives into the store or the reason why a farmer’s market tomato, in season, is more flavorful than the one in the produce section, the reality is that fresh food does, and always will, taste different. Beyond the amount of travel time from harvest to store, the care used in growing that produce can be tasted in every bite.

As the daughter of a landscape architect, Thiessen has a better understanding than some about gardening. Still, she appreciates that the experts at Lowe’s can lend a hand when it comes to those plant questions for her own backyard. In conjunction with her partnership with the brand, Tiffani Thiessen spoke to FoodSided about how her backyard garden has inspired her family to dig a little deeper into a timely food conversations.

Over the past couple of years, more people have ventured beyond their comfort zone when it comes to their food choices. Whether it is a simple herb garden in the windowsill, a tomato plant on a balcony, or planting that fruit tree in the backyard, the idea of a backyard garden has taken hold.

Tiffani Thiessen for Lowes
Tiffani Thiessen for Lowe’s, photo provided by Lowe’s, photo by Rebecca Sanabria /

Thiessen said, “over the past several years I’ve seen a lot of my friends start gardening. Many people have gotten into that DIY aspect and wanted to learn more. While my dad has taught me pretty much everything that I know about gardening, the helpful people at Lowe’s are always ready to lend a hand to anyone who has a question. Personally, I enjoy the connection that gardening offers and in a way it de-stresses me. Now, more people are discovering that enjoyment, too.”

Specifically, Thiessen shared how her own backyard garden is teaching her kids a valuable lesson both on and off the dinner table. She shared, “I’m a big believer in teaching my kids not to waste food. By showing them the basics of gardening, it is helping them not waste as much. I think that sometimes we’re so used to seeing these shiny, beautiful fruits and vegetables in the store that it can be easy to forget the time and effort that is associated with growing that produce. By teaching my kids the importance of growing things, to understand the attention needed, and reap the rewards, it helps them see the value of the food on the table.”

Thiessen commented that she was surprised to see her kids’ evolution and their thought process through food. Sometimes growing food, putting in that effort, can make a difference. If it can work for kids, it could work for anyone.

In her upcoming cookbook, Thiessen will be covering how to make those leftovers flavorful, and in the process, avoid food waste. She said, “in every chapter there is a topic that covers what to do with that extra food. From the pantry to fridge, there is a recipe and use from everything, like even turning over ripe berries into jam. “

Beyond the creativity on the plate, Thiessen is a big supporter of composting. She shows her kids that leftover food can be used in that method or even as food for their chickens. Basically, nothing goes to waste in her household.

Tiffani Thiessen for Lowe's
Tiffani Thiessen for Lowe’s, photo provided by Lowe’s, photo by Rebecca Sanabria /

Speaking to composting, Thiessen shared, “I’ve been seriously composting for over a year. All that dirt goes into my vegetable and fruit gardens. The food grown tastes better, including my VIP tomatoes.”

While Thiessen has a large space to grow her garden, she said everyone can grow something. “Start small and that could be a pot, literally a pot from Lowe’s with a citrus tree or some sort of tomato tree small. You don’t need a big yard. You don’t need acreage. You don’t need any of that. I have friends in New York City who are doing them literally on their little patios outside their apartment.”

The growing season is here, and Lowe’s has everyone covered with a variety of options to grow that garden space. Just look for the helpful team member in that red vest and they can guide you along the way.

Tiffani Thiessen is excited for the bounty from her garden. Will you join her to grow something great this year?