In honor of Earth Day I thought I would share what I pulled out of our garden this evening for part of our dinner.
I also brought in some fresh spinach.
In an effort to care for the earth God has graciously given us and keep toxic chemicals out of my family, I garden organically. Can you tell? This little guy below almost went down the garbage disposal until I rescued him! Now, where to put him….
My garden is nothing to write home about, but here I sit writing about it in hopes of encouraging someone else to start a garden too.
I placed it on the side of the house so I would be more likely to take care of it. It is just a few steps out the front door and through the gate. I love that we can see it out our dining room window. I love checking on it. 🙂
It’s amazing what a couple of small, raised garden boxes purchased at Home Depot can produce. Our lot is solid rock beneath the grass, but with a variety of rich organic compost, vermiculite mixed in (to help retain water), occasional watering and love, plants just grow!
My gardening knowledge is slim at best. I buy small starter plants for a couple of dollars each season from various garden centers and just stick them in the ground and let nature take its course. It’s so much fun watching the plants grow and seeing what is produced!
I learn what is grown each season in my region by simply checking to see what is available at the garden centers.
A couple of ways I get the green goodness into my boys–who are not huge fans of salad or sauteed kale— is through juicing
I believe the key to my garden’s success has been a good variety of organic compost. I started my boxes with four different varieties and in the past couple of years have only added in one type of compost from the garden center each year to add a fresh boost of nutrients. I also add compost that we make ourselves. We keep a ceramic container on the counter by the sink for all of our egg shells, coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable scraps. My dad lifted the lid once thinking cookies might be inside. Nothing like rotting fruit to dash your hopes! Surprisingly, I have never been able to smell anything coming from the container. There is a carbon filter in the lid that does the trick.
I add the contents to the tumbling composter we purchased at Costco that is next to the garden just inside the gate. My four-year old loves spinning the composter with me. I try to spin it a couple of times a week. My husband adds our grass clippings to the mix to help balance the mixture. You learn after a while when the mix needs either more grass or more fruit and vegetable scraps. Sometimes, I add a little water to moisten everything up. Eventually, golf ball sized clumps of dirt form that I crumble up into my garden. It’s fascinating!
Ideally, I would love for my garden to look more like the photo below with pea gravel surrounding my beds
and flagstone steps leading to it.
When I initially started the garden, my fifteen year old doubted I could produce anything from it. He saw the small boxes of dirt and little plants and was not impressed. I’m so glad I’ve been able to show him that it’s possible to grow your own food! It’s wonderfully therapeutic to spend time planting and tending the garden and I love showing my boys the amazing creations that come out of it. If you have at least a small area that gets a good amount of sun, you can do it too! Happy Earth Day!