I’m all for no GMO and growing ones own food. You don’t have to own a “south 40” to be able to grow a variety of healthy organic foods. I live in an apt complex now, so my plantings are required by management to be attractive and within limited space requirements.
I started with having my son build a container, (with no bottom, but lined with several inches of clean cardboard)….. approximately 2 ft. deep x 2 ft. high x 5 ft length with left over 3/4 inch plywood which I stained with an attractive color. I then attached a sturdy home made “rustic” wooden branch trellis to the back. I have since attached a couple of other rectangular containers in various sizes to the original which compliments the design.Then started filling the entire shebang with good quality organic garden soil such as Burpees, I get at Tractor Supply. I use only organic fertilizer such as Jobe’s. Oh, and some garden worms; Red Wigglers I buy at the sporting goods section at Walmart. Their just fishing worms, but they work just fine. 🙂
In addition I have other large pots for container plantings which I arrange on my porch. This is where I grow mostly decorative culinary and medicinal herbs and flowers, so I have my own medicine chest European style, right at my front door. This is a valuable resource for me, one which I’ve also been able to encourage my neighbors to start their own little pocket gardens. My near neighbor said she was inspired by my garden, and started her own with a two bale straw bale garden, which she surrounded with a pallet “fence” arrangement to cover the straw, and then painted it with an attractive color. Our gardens are the talk of the neighborhood and get lots of complements.
Since this is basically a retirement complex, living color, flowers and actual live growing food, and being able to grow these wonderful healthy vegetables and herbs right at our doorstep is a blessing and excellent therapy for body and soul as well.
Here in the Southwest desert, the soil is simply not conducive for growing much of anything but cactus, but the way I make the desert climate work for me year round is by growing vertically.
Anyone can do this, even when living in urban areas or places where space is limited. Just think in terms of vertical and raised beds. It’s not expensive, ( lots cheaper than store bought organic), and lots fresher as well. I actually grow all the vegetables I want or need in my garden. All I have to buy extra are things such as squash, potatoes, eggplant, artichoke….plants that would grow too large to fit in my area.
It’s now the middle of May here in the Southwest desert. Here is a partial list of some of the things I have growing at this time. I am harvesting snow peas which were planted in March. These will be cut down when the weather gets too warm, not long from now, and will be replaced by my Sun Gold cherry tomatoes which will climb all over the trellis. I have three other tomato plants, in 2 of the largest containers, which I prune so they will grow more vertically and save space for the shorter veggies growing intensively, (close together) near them, such as basil, green onions, spinach, lettuce, bell peppers. Some of these veggies will have to be rotated out as it gets hotter, and room made for the ones that will grow larger. The various beautiful greens such as the chard, kale and collards surprisingly keep on growing all summer long and even into the fall and winter here.
Obviously, I don’t have room to plant rows and rows of veggies the way I used to when I had the room on the “old home place”, but the idea is to plant a large variety of what I want, not just so much of everything. For example, I have a small consecutive planting of bush green beans which I keep replanting all summer long….they mature every 45 days so it’s easy to keep a supply going that’s enough for my table.
I’ve selected and planted a bush cucumber which I will prune to keep it within limits. Since cucumbers produce plenty of cucumbers all season long, this will be more than enough for my needs.This fall I will be replacing all the summer veggies with cold hardy plants in my endeavor to have a four season garden. I am blessed!
The list goes on….I would like to encourage folks to try this, if you’re not already.We’re living in an hour where we may actually need to have access to food we’ve grown ourselves. Many of us have simply grown too dependent on running to the grocery store for everything. Our ancestors knew nothing of such a lifestyle…..and they were the ones who made it through famines and the Great Depression without having to stand in food lines at the soup kitchens. The other thing about growing your own is being able to thumb your nose at the devil and Monsanto. I do believe he has stock in that company. In any case, I cringe when I hear the the M word, and avoid it at all costs.