Late last night, I started watching the last episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Hulu. I enjoyed the episode as always, but something toward the end of the show really hit home. The episode showed school children and families working in their gardens, harvesting their own vegetables. Scott and I have talked about planting our own vegetable garden for years, but have never really made an attempt. Then, last night, around 11 PM, I declared that we would start our own garden.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr)
There are many reasons why I want to have our own vegetable garden:
- Convenient, fresh produce – A vegetable garden, if it is appropriately tended, can yield an abundance of fresh produce, right outside your back door. So, if you’re lucky enough, you won’t have to make those last-minute trips to the market to pick up peppers or tomatoes, you can just meander into your backyard.
- Cost Savings – We all know that most fruits and veggies are very expensive these days. By planting some of the more expensive veggies – like bell peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce, you may end up saving quite a bit of money by the end of the summer.
- Life Lessons – Although my two children eat many vegetables, I would love for them to eat more. By getting them involved in the planting and care of the garden (and picking the veggies!), I’m hoping that they will be more excited about eating them.
So, after my garden declaration, Scott and I discussed where we’d like to plant a garden, what we’d like to plant, and when.
- Where – The most obvious place to plant the garden is in our current raised garden which, before today, was home to a few flowers, weeds, and a ton of rocks that we had from a small pond we drained a few years back. The raised platform can help with water drainage and keep a few pests away.
- What – Everything we’ve read about starting your first vegetable garden says to not take on too much your first year. We decided to pick a few of our favorites, particularly those veggies which are expensive at the store. These include tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, romaine or spinach, jalapeno, possibly melon, and a few herbs like cilantro and basil. We also intend to grow strawberries using one of these hanging planters. I really hope it works because we love strawberries and they are so expensive at the store.
- When – Well, there’s no time like the present! We decided that we would start today! Our first step was to get the garden ready to plant, which meant, taking most of the rocks away, digging up weeds and other plants, and turning over the soil. Little did we know that this first step would take nearly 6 hours – and we still have more to do!
Next week, we’ll tackle the potting soil and maybe even plant our first vegetables! Stay tuned…