Declare Victory With A Garden

June 3, 2011   24 Comments

Last week, Snack Girl complained about the high price of organic produce (see: How Important Is It To Buy Organic?). This week she did something about it.

Vegetable Garden

A bonus of living in the middle of nowhere is that you have a lot of SPACE. My, new to me, yard has a small garden plot (seen above) that needed some lovin'.

I will be victorious over high produce prices and my struggle of the expanding waistline with my new garden!

Since I have an ENORMOUS green thumb (not not not), I decided to plant a garden to save money and grow organic produce.

Yes, the plants in this garden will not be treated with pesticide and I bought a little organic fertilizer to help them grow. Before I started my garden, I did a soil test because I was concerned about lead-arsenic in my soil. My house was built on former orchard land - and, guess what? They used lead-arsenic in the 1950's to kill pests.

Since it also kills humans (in high doses), that was a stupid move.

I exhaled when I read that there was very little lead in my garden soil. Hurray! Then, I got digging, hoeing, and weed pulling.

Here are my assistants:


As you can see, they are very helpful.

Now, you are probably wondering when I had time to work on this garden. I didn't actually have the time - but I made gardening a priority because I have two little kids. Just as it is my responsibility to ensure they get a decent education, I also feel it is my responsibility for them to learn about healthy eating.

My dream is that they will go out to the garden and grab a couple fresh beans for a snack. Wouldn't that be cool? Less work for me, and they feel empowered by harvesting their own food.

We will see if that dream becomes a reality. Here is my planted garden:


We planted zucchini, tomatoes, beans, peppers, arugula (because I am an elitist), basil, and kale. It cost about 40 dollars in plants and fertilizer and I am hoping to get many more dollars out of it.

For those of you without huge yards and no preexisting garden plot for planting, I have found this amazing YouTube video (see here: where a University of Maryland researcher uses newspaper and compost to make a small garden plot.

My pal Laura told me about a "No Till" gardening concept which is really cool. You just make layers of compost to create a garden and you don't have to dig. Maybe I will try it next year :)

Are you growing a garden this year? Please share how you manage it.

Want to read about snacks?
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First 20 Comments: ( See all 24 )

I encourage anyone with space restrictions to check out Square Foot Gardening. It's great, and I've yielded successful crops. It also has a lot of good beginner tips for novice gardeners. My newest addition this year is growing fresh herbs. They are in containers, and seem to be doing really well. Instead of wasting money on a thing of rosemary that I'll only use a smidgen of, I know just go chop what I need from my patio!

Good for you, Lisa! Your garden looks great. $40 is a great deal for all the produce you should be able to get out of it.

This year I am starting small, with herbs. I planted basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, and thyme. I have sprouts in the basil, oregano, and thyme pots. If I can do a good job, then hopefully next year I can start some vegetables.

I also started gardening this year, samll like Cristina with herbs. I planted chives, cilantro, basil, italian parsley and oregano. Everything but the oregano has tons of nice sprouts. I've been talking to the hubby about starting to compost this year and planting a garden next year. I may venture out a little more this year and plant a couple of veggies in some big pots.

I am told that I have a black thumb but I love to try to garden. Because of my lack of growing skills, I started a small veggie garden this year in containers on my deck. No use in putting all the work into a garden plot if I am going to fail at gardening. So i planted Green and Yellow peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, romaine, zucchini, cucumbers tomatoes and cantelope. I have already had to pick my lettuce and everything is growing very nicely!

We LOVE our vegetable garden. We also have raspberrie, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, cherries, and apples.

Yep - I've done container gardening for the first time ever, and I'm having good results so far. I'm using Miracle-Gro Organic Choice soil - both the container kind and the garden kind (for my raised bed). I have tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, salad greens, cucumber, peppers (bell), as well as oregano, tarragon, rosemary, sage, lavender, chamomile .... oh, and strawberries & a blueberry bush! So far, the growing is going great, and I can't wait to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of my labors!

My tomatoes are growing great! Living in Arizona, we can get ours out early and we are enjoying the bounty! Green onions grew like crazy too. Next year, lots more to go in. I have a Rosemary bush in my yard, about 5 foot tall shaped like a Christmas tree. Smells wonderful and tastes great in dishes.

This is my second year at having a garden and it is the most awesome thing!! It inspired me to eat and cook a much wider variety of vegetables, and get creative with ways to use them b/c my garden went nuts last year. I had so cucumbers/basil I didn't know what to do! I'm hoping I have that same problem this year ;) So far I've harvested lettuce, spinach and basil. Lots more things are growing. It does take time to weed, and water, and care for it, but it is so worth it.

Wow, that first picture is intimidating. You go girl and helpers! You will be lovin' the fresh vegies (and the deer won't). : )

What a difference! Looks beautiful. And kiddos already look like they're having fun. It'll be so worth the effort. Please keep posting pics as everything grows!

yes ma'am we've been growing quite the garden since last summer. our zucchini are off the hook. we've enjoyed delicious amounts of broccoli (my fave!) and, yesterday i harvested some beautiful red beets - can't wait to eat them this weekend! we have some overgrown celery which just keeps growing but is still good for chopping and putting in chicken salad or tuna salad. our cauliflower didn't grow properly, but it does look pretty. it is so much fun to watch the garden grown and to enjoy the food that you have harvested and cared for!

Lisa, your kids are so cute! They definitely look like a combination of the two of you.

A word about arugula - ours reseeds itself every year. We now have it all over our garden. But that is ok because we can just weed it out wherever we don't want it. Also, it has been a great example of evolution. Each year it gets spicier. And my final comment: You MUST make pesto with it. Just use it instead of basil. Toss it in the food processor with some olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and we use walnuts instead of pine nuts because we are cheap. It is heavenly!

Congrats! This year we have Purple hull peas, corn, yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, cabbage, and cauliflower. i have herbs in a window box planter on my porch - basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary. Daily monitoring of weeds and bugs will help you take control of what's growing and what's in danger of eating your produce before you do! ;-) Love your garden and it will love you back. it's so fun to watch it grow. be sure to water it! Do your homework on the internet about putting up produce in cans, freezing, and such to take advantage of the days when you're harvesting more than you can eat! it will be here before you know it! i'm in texas and i'm freezing squash right now by the gallon bag full. ;)

I extended my garden this year. I have been harvesting strawberries, broccoli and cauliflower. I have green beans, sweet peas, lima beans, eggplant, peppers, italian squash, zuchini, spaghetti squash, cantalope, radishes, kale red kale, swiss chard, potato's, cherry tomatos and beefsteak tomato's. I love my garden and its nice to save money

I think I might try that no-till thing next year :)

I planted spinach, and tomatoes too. I also just randomly (for fun and out of boredom) planted carrots. The weather where I live is sort of cold.

Great looking garden! We are on our second year of square foot gardening even though we have plenty of space. It is much easier for me to contain and control and keep organic. My kids are very active in maintaining our garden, now if they would only eat it!

Momming it, one way or another: 15 in 30 outside activities- Day 5

I could not garden without my topsy turveys. They are so easy and wonderful. You can also make your own by empty milk jugs or buckets that you put hole in and then turn upside down. I have seen the homemade ones done and they are wonderful as well. Only I dont have a handy pair of hands, so I just buy the topsy turvey, $10 at walmart. Good luck with your garden, would love to see progress pictures! Maybe ever month?

congratulations! your garden looks great! good for you and your family!

June 5, 2011


I love your idea of a garden. We are pre-purchase for a home of our own. Where we live they dont allow plants of any kind near the building, because they attract rodents and bugs. A small kitchen garden for herbs has to hidden, and is banned.

I look forward to growing our own food, in our own garden. We are expecting the third grandchild and dont have an extra moment. We were considering a "community garden" and if the house doesnt work, we will do this.

It is good to sustain ourselves. Have a good day.

Great work Lisa! Lucky kiddos :)

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