Happy Gardener

Hi All,

Well summer is upon us and it’s time to get your produce seeds/plants in the ground or in containers. I’ve been working super hard getting my garden ready to go.

My hubby built us a raised vegetable garden box along with a potatoe box and we have multiple containers for the bigger plants. I just finished putting my veggie seeds and plants in them and I’m so excited to have organic veggies this year. I don’t have a very big yard so we use a lot of containers to grow our produce. I have them spread out all over my deck and yard. Where ever the sun is, there is a container with some kind of veggie/fruit in it.

Why I am growing my own veggies?

I grew up on an orchard in the Okanagan; my parents ran a fruit/veggie stand. My mom had a huge veggie garden out back where she grew every kind of vegetables you can think of. Her garden was all organic with no chemicals fertilizers or pesticides. As for the fruit trees on our land, well they would get sprayed with chemicals fertilizers and pesticides. My dad would get up on his tractor with a white full body suit; including a respirator (he looked like he was going into a radiation room or contaminated area) he was completely covered from head to toe. Behind the tractor was a big tank on wheels full of pesticides and chemicals. He would spray all the trees and we were not allowed outside until the air cleared. It was brutal and stunk so bad. These chemicals and pesticides would burn his skin if it came in contact. Now imagine putting that in your body…. No thank you… My mom would get so angry with us if we didn’t wash the fruit before we ate it. I remember her saying “it will burn your insides if you don’t wash it off”.

Now that was many years ago, I’m sure today they have come up with a better solution (or I hope they have), that isn’t as harmful. All of the articles I’ve read so far say the pesticides are still being used. Here is one article written from the government of BC. http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/animal-and-crops/plant-health/pesticide-toxicity-hazard.pdf

Anyways, I find gardening very relaxing and enjoyable. It’s my happy place. It gives me a sense of pride to be able to put fresh organic food on the table that was grown in my own backyard. It is also fun to watch what you planted, grow into beautiful yummy food. The flavor is so much richer and you know what you’re putting in your body.

What am I growing in my garden?

New raised garden box: Carrots, few different lettuces, radishes, peas, green beans, peppers, edamame beans and cucumbers.

Smaller box #1: Yellow squash, spaghetti squash and zucchini.

Smaller box #2: 4 different kinds of onions and garlic.

Potatoes box: 4 potatoe plants.

Barrel Container #1: Spinach.

Barrel Container #2: Chives.

Barrel Container #3: Watermelon.

Barrel Container #4: Raspberry.

Barrel Container #5: Gooseberry.

Planters: Tomatoes (Beef eater and Cherry).

I’m also growing my own herbs in my greenhouse this year. They include thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, dill, cilantro and sage.

I want to try something new this year as well. I want to grow and learn to make my own teas. I’ve purchased some calendula, peppermint, lemon balm and a few others. I will let you all know how that goes. If any of you have done this before I would love to hear about it and which plants you used.

So what are the benefits of growing your own veggies?

Save Money

Growing your own vegetables will trim a significant amount of money from your grocery budget. Seeds are inexpensive and can be dried and used year after year. By learning to preserve, can or freeze your yearly harvest, you can enjoy fresh produce all year long without spending a fortune at the grocery store.

Get Healthy

Home-grown vegetables are healthier than those in store bins. They retain more of their vitamin content when eaten straight from the garden. They are also more likely to be free of pesticides or chemicals. It is also easy to get children involved in vegetable gardening, increasing the likelihood they will want to eat what they have grown. Gardening is also a good way to get exercise and fresh air. It’s relaxing and a good stress reliever. It’s also fun to see what you can grow.

Fresh is Best

There is nothing like the taste of vegetables freshly picked from the garden. Vegetables from the grocery store have endured lengthy and stressful shipping conditions, only to arrive at the store and sit for an undetermined period of time. Fresh vegetables are available to eat practically off the vine and are better tasting than their store-bought counterparts.

Safety

There are many ways in which food may become contaminated, whether at the farm, the manufacturer or the transportation center. When you grow your own vegetables, you can control the conditions and stop worrying about the safety of your food.

Environmental Impact

By growing your own vegetables, you are also helping to preserve the environment. Organically grown vegetables reduce the amount of chemicals introduced into the Earth by way of pesticides and herbicides. Pollution from fossil fuels will also be reduced by decreasing the amount of fresh, offseason vegetables being shipped all over the world.

Build a sense of pride.

Watching a seed blossom under your care to become food on your and your family’s plates is gratifying. Growing your own food is one of the most purposeful and important things a human can do—its work that directly helps you thrive, nourish your family, and maintain your health. Caring for your plants and waiting as they blossom and “fruit” before your eyes is an amazing sense of accomplishment!

Happy Gardening everyone!

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