So you want to start a garden? Where do you start?
Gardening has become one of my favorite things to do at home or any where. To start a seed, nourish it and have something wonderful to eat from it is just a miracle to me. Gardening allows you to be in touch with something greater than yourself. The knowledge we do not know about the soil would fill a whole library. We do know that plants need sun, water and nutrients. There is not much we can do about the sun other than to have the plants have access to it. Water is an easy one. Just turn on the hose and away you go. Soil is the big one. No matter how you get started you will need to have good soil. I am not an expert on soil building so I went down to the nursery and bought some soil and put it in my raised beds.
If you are hesitant about starting a garden and do not want to make a raised bed then you can use containers. Just buy a couple of containers and put in some potting soil and add the plant and away you go. I would encourage you to start some sort of raised bed. A 4 x 4 is a good size to start. Fill the bed with soil and start planting. You can either plant seedlings or seed, whichever you prefer. Do not worry about if you fail, because you will. Sometimes things just do not work out. The plant could be int the wrong place, too much sun, not enough sun, disease, frost, all types of variables will come into play. It is important you start and learn from your experience.
The food you raise will be of much higher nutrition and taste better. We love to grow lettuce. We found when we cut lettuce it keeps about three to four weeks in the fridge where store-bought lettuce keeps about a week.
Taking control of your food is the most empowering thing you can doo. Do not become overwhelmed. Start small. Increase when you have either more time or more knowledge. Join a CSA(community supported agriculture) if you don’t not have enough time. You can go and see their operation. Visit farmers markets. You may not be able to grow a cow on your land but you can sure buy the benefit of grass-fed beef.
Try to plant some perennials rather than just annuals. With perennials you do the work up front for a greater pay off down the road. We have a pear tree that produces a 55 gallon drum worth of pears every year. We have to give away most of them since we can’t use them all. By having extra we are also forming community. You will be amazed how many of your neighbor will become or are interested in gardening if you just talk about it or give some of your extra to them, even zucchini.
What are you planting this year?
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother