Power To The People: Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening On Your Front Lawn

Now, I didn’t quite know how to approach this post about raised bed vegetable gardening. I was actually thinking of calling this something like ‘Raise your economic awareness with raised bed vegetable gardening‘, or something like that. I happen to very much agree with the writer’s observations regarding the current state of our economy and the intentions of the multinational corporations who have steered us all over a financial cliff. I do believe very strongly that these overly large corporations, both directly and indirectly, have decimated the world economy in their quest for more profits. This is not capitalism at all, but crony corporatism. As a direct result of these sustained practices, there has been a steady and unrelenting dismantling of the middle class in this country, sending many hurtling far down the economic ladder. The writer of the article I’m highlighting here, Nancy Oden, presents some very compelling reasons to become more self sufficient with regard to food production in these challenging economic times. She recommends putting readily available resources to work by turning your front lawn into a source of food for your family. Her article is excerpted from the Bangor Daily News.

Power To The People: Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening On Your Front Lawn

All this talk about “economic recovery” is delusional. This economy is not going to “recover.” What we had is gone forever.

Economies around the world are being deliberately crashed by Wall Street, banks such as Goldman-Sachs and owners of large corporations. They’re working hard to destroy the gains workers have made over hundreds of years, so they can return us to near-feudal times when workers were completely at the mercy of owners.

Their object is the Holy Grail of the extremely wealthy and their corporations: cheap labor. Corporations and their bought-government are replacing local workers with cheap foreign labor at an accelerating pace. Even poor-paying jobs are now given to cheap foreign labor.

raised bed vegetable gardening

Raised bed vegetable gardening can be done at low cost almost anywhere. Photo by Kenneth Wiedemann c/o Photos.Com.

One cannot blame the laborers who come here to work, or who take formerly American jobs outsourced to their countries; they’re desperate people, just as the corporations want the rest of to be, so we’ll do anything and work for any pittance to survive.

There’s no morality involved; it’s all about the money and how much more corporations can pocket every quarter.

The market knows no right or wrong, only profits.

The situation is difficult to accept, but accept it we must since neither you, nor I, have the power to stop this downhill slide.

So what can we do instead? What are our resources? We have lots of land and lots of water. This suggests, of course, the growing of food.

We can grow food in our own yards so we’re not dependent on industrial food from far away. Our gardens do not need pesticide poisons, thus saving money and insuring our better health.

While working in our raised-bed garden (raised beds are the most efficient and easiest way to grow food), we are getting healthy exercise, thereby lowering our risk of diabetes, obesity, cancer and other ills associated with a couch-potato lifestyle.

Once we taste our homegrown food, and have saved thousands of dollars by growing even a small garden, then we can grow more next year so there’s enough to share or sell locally. We can expand to become small, organic (no-spray, if you prefer that term) farmers growing diverse crops for local consumption.

Read the original article here at bangordailynews.com:

There are many places you can easily and cheaply implement raised bed vegetable gardening. Look around your yard. If your neighborhood allows, put it on your front lawn. You’ll be growing your own food and making a political statement at the same time. I do believe that there will be fewer well paying jobs in the future, but this isn’t necessarily a cause for dread. It’s an opportunity for all of us to take back our economy from the ground up (sorry). An economy based on individual effort and service to our neighbors and our communities is really what capitalism is all about. Let’s get growing!

Let me know what you think about this by leaving a comment below. Share this with people you know by clicking the like button.

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables.  They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.     — Elizabeth Berry

Vegetable Gardening For Better Health

When it comes to vegetable gardening in general, I doubt that anyone would debate that growing your own vegetables isn’t good for your health. After all, the assumption is that you eat what you grow. That’s a given. Not many of us (well,not me anyway) would actually consider that simply by participating in the activity of growing your own food in your garden you are promoting your better health. That’s right! Yet, it’s so obvious nobody discusses it. Simply by going through all of the routine gardening activities like digging and moving soil, weeding, watering, planting and harvesting, you’re more or less doing the equivalent of going to the gym on a regular basis. Here is a short article outlining four health benefits derived from vegetable gardening written by Emily Main of Rodale News reprinted on the Mother Nature Network.

Vegetable Gardening For Better Health

If the idea of digging in the dirt has never much appealed to you, consider this: A growing number of studies are finding improved mental and physical health benefits of gardening that extend far beyond the obvious rewards of exercise and fresh air. And in this economy, the free food certainly doesn’t hurt. There’s no need to dig up your entire back yard, either.
You need only a window box or a few houseplants to see these improvements in your health:

vegetable gardening

Vegetable gardening promotes good health through regular physical activity. Photo by Comstock c/o Photos.Com.

1. Improve your satisfaction with life.
It’s hard not to enjoy life when you’re surrounded by flowers, vegetables and all the wildlife they attract — and now there’s science to back that up. Professors from the University of Texas and Texas A&M asked 298 older adults how they would rate their “zest for life,” levels of optimism, and overall resolution and fortitude and found that gardeners had significantly higher scores in all those areas than non-gardeners.
Whether you’re vegetable gardening as a hobby or you’re doing it on a larger scale for profit, there are significant health benefits to doing so. Eating what you grow is beneficial to your health in more ways as well. Just think, by tending your vegetable garden regularly, you’re saving yourself the cost of a gym membership too. What a bargain!
Participating in moderately intense, regular but sustained physical activity helps to maintain good health and can be done at almost any age. As we boomers get older, we’d be wise to consider activities such as gardening, walking, or even yoga as ways to keep ourselves fit and out of the doctor’s office.
Why not leave a comment below and share this post with a friend. You could also click the like button and share this with a gardening buddy and share the good news about how hard they’re really working on their health!
Red beans and ricely yours.  — Louis Armstrong

Organic Vegetable Gardening: Cheap And Delicious

When you think of organic vegetable gardening, do you think healthy, inexpensive or just plain tasty? Well, you can certainly think of all three and be correct. Raising vegetable crops organically means using the energy of the soil and the sun efficiently, which is simply what nature already does. Nutrients are recycled and move through the system while maintaining an equilibrium, never needing to be replenished from any external sources. This is also the least expensive method of raising vegetable plants for the long run. Many restaurants prefer organically grown produce and work their menus around what’s available locally. This is because it’s freshest and has the highest nutrient content when it’s just harvested and hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to get to the end user. Here’s a short article from WRAL.Com that highlights some of the major benefits of organic produce that local markets and restaurants prefer over non-locally sourced vegetables.

Organic Vegetable Gardening: Cheap And Delicious

Two reasons many people don’t eat enough vegetables are cost and flavor. Many turn to cheaper processed foods packed with

organic vegetable gardening

Organic vegetable gardening produces crops with more flavor and nutrients than commercially grown. Photo by Paul Grecaud c/o Photos.Com.

sodium.

But one easy alternative is to grown your own.

Organic culinary farmer Maggie Lawrence is getting the most out of her summer produce before time runs out.

“One more good month of warm weather before we get a frost,” she said.

Everything she grows in a garden on the campus of SAS Institute in Cary ends up in Chef Scott Crawford’s kitchen at Heron’s restaurant.

“The key here is that it’s harvested today, cooked today and consumed today,” Crawford said.

As picked produce sits day after day, it loses flavor. So the restaurant menu is built around what’s available and ready for harvest.

Read the entire article here at wral.com:

When you factor in all of the costs, including transportation, organic vegetable gardening techniques are far more economical if you source the produce locally. Using natural fertilizers instead of petroleum based enhancers also does not deplete the soil of trace elements. Organically grown vegetables are available from local producers, and buying from them supports the local economy as well. So why not support your local growers and go organic?

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Never eat broccoli when there are cameras around.                                  —  Michael Stipe

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening In Bay View

Walk with me and take a step by step raised bed vegetable gardening tour of some points of interest here in Bay View, a community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I happen to know this area very well as I go there quite a lot. It also just happens to be where my wife grew up and many of our best friends still live. Here is a very entertaining and informative article I stumbled on from The Bay View Compass highlighting some of the local resident’s efforts at gardening in a space restricted environment while still achieving very respectable yields and improving the neighborhood all at the same time.

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening In Bay View

Anodyne Café, 2920 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., sports a sidewalk vegetable garden on the south wall of the building. Lacee Perry, Matt McClutchy and their three children tend the garden next they’ve tucked up next to their café. Peppers and tomatoes proliferate in

step by step raised bed vegetable gardening

Using step by step raised bed vegetable gardening techniques in an urban setting can provide ample yields of produce in a small space. Photo by Jupiterimages c/o Photos.Com.

the petite garden. “We grow vegetables because they taste so good right out of ground, and it’s a good way to get the kids to eat more vegetables,” Perry said. “[Our children] can’t deny a cute little green bean they have planted, watered, loved, and picked themselves.”

The garden soil was enriched with compost from Sweet Water Organics. No synthetic fertilizers are used. Instead Perry and McClutchy use worm castings and tea to enrich the soil during the growing season. In fall, composted bedding from the family’s chicken coop is spread on the garden soil.

The biggest obstacle for gardeners Perry and McClutchy is the dearth of space for gardening. “Early spring rolls around and we have visions of stacks and stacks of home-canned goodies. The challenging part is to adjust those visions down to a city-size plot,” Perry said. “[Matt and I] were used to larger garden beds as kids. The city lots have forced us to plant in small beds carved out between swaths of concrete, both at our home and at Anodyne. Despite space constraints, the garden has been a source of delight. It’s great to talk to the customers and neighbors as they walk by about our garden’s progress and about their own patches of earth.” —JK

Read all of the creative efforts of Bay View’s resident gardeners at bayviewcompass.com:

There are many raised bed vegetable gardening techniques that will give surprisingly large yields of vegetable crops in confined spaces. Using raised bed methods also gives you more control over soil composition and makes it easier to weed and harvest. Just make sure that there is a little more frequent watering since raised beds tend to dry out more quickly than planting at ground level. I hope you enjoyed this small tour of this area that’s so close to my heart.

Please leave a comment and share your own thoughts and vegetable gardening experiences. You can even click on the like button to share this with a friend.

To create a garden is to search for a better world. In our effort to improve on nature, we are guided by a vision of paradise. Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece or only a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the expectation of a glorious future. This hope for the future is at the heart of all gardening. —  Marina Schinz

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening Easier On The Elderly

Raised bed vegetable gardening is a very good approach to help alleviate some of the drudgery of gardening. As we are all getting older (I should only speak for myself at this point), finding ways to lessen the need to bend, stoop and kneel while tending our plots is a welcome idea. As the young lady in the featured article has just turned 92, she certainly does appreciate being able to actively garden since her raised beds were built for her recently. In this short piece by Amy Menery for the Rapid City Journal, be sure to take a good look at the beds in the photo.

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening Easier On The Elderly

When gardening has been not only a passion but a lifestyle, getting older shouldn’t hold you back, which is why Della Colman’s garden got a lift — about two feet off the ground.

raised bed vegetable gardening

Raised bed vegetable gardening makes for less work. Photo by George Doyle c/o Photos.Com.

Colman found it was getting difficult to work in her garden, which is laden with vegetables and flowers, so she had a raised bed built a few years ago. At 92, she can still get around the narrow garden passages behind her Gallery Lane home while using her hoe as a walking stick.

“Oh honey, I’ve been gardening all my life,” Colman said, when asked about her interest in growing things. “I was born in the mountains in North Carolina and all my folks were gardeners — they raised everything we ate.”

Onions, carrots, beets, corn, peas, cabbage, grapes and even raspberries fill the raised beds, but among them are also some colorful, less edible growths.

“There’s larkspur,” she says, pointing out purple flowers along the garden path, “and look, the little birds, they planted them in a row.”

Other cheery flowers have found their way into the garden, and, though pretty, Colman said she didn’t plant them.

Original article here at rapidcityjournal.com:

Raised bed vegetable gardening techniques can save us from a great deal of strain and unpleasantness by simply changing the way we relate to our plants. Bringing them up and letting more sunlight in and keeping more unwanted plants (aka. weeds) out gives you more time to enjoy your vegetable garden and lessens the amount of time you’re forced to spend doing the things you don’t enjoy so much or have a harder time doing physically. Get more pleasure out of your vegetable garden by eliminating some of the pain of maintaining it by setting up a raised bed.

Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts and opinions. You can also click on the like button and share this with a friend.

Gardeners are–let’s face it–control freaks. Who else would willingly spend his leisure hours wresting weeds out of the ground, blithely making life or death decisions about living beings, moving earth from here to there, changing the course of waterways? The more one thinks about it, the odder it seems; this compulsion to remake a little corner of the planet according to some plan or vision.                    

                                                                                         — Abby Adams

Elevate Your Planting With Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening

So what is it about raised bed vegetable gardening that’s all the rage? Well, when you think about it, there are several advantages. The first and foremost is that it’s much easier on your back. More importantly for your plants, the soil warms more quickly, it stays fluffy because you aren’t walking all over it, vegetable crops are easier to get to and there’s less area to take up weeds. Now there is one major drawback, and that is raised beds dry out more quickly. If you take some measures to arrange for drip irrigation and proper mulching, it can be made into a minimal problem. An article by Susan Mulvihill written for the Spokesman-Review highlights a recent experience between a student and her teacher.

Elevate Your Planting With Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening

Talk about your fast learners. In February 2011, Ann Windham attended a class I taught on raised-bed gardening and another one on drip-irrigation systems.

raised bed vegetable gardening

Elevate your planting game with raised bed vegetable gardening techniques. Photo by Audaxl c/o Photos.Com.

A few months later, she sent me an enthusiastic email, saying she and husband Bill had “the best garden ever,” thanks to their new raised beds and the drip-irrigation system. She included several photos of their beautiful, productive vegetable garden.

For many years, I’ve been extolling the virtues of growing veggies in raised beds. I’ve been gardening in them since 1981 and am absolutely sold on them. It was gratifying to get such positive feedback from a new convert and even more gratifying to be invited to their garden to see the results firsthand.

The Windhams live in Colbert. They have a sunny backyard with a view of Mount Spokane and their raised-bed garden is certainly a focal point. They primarily deal with deer in the area so the garden is fenced.

Ann admits she’s the main gardener but is quick to say Bill has been a hardworking partner. After all, he helped with the construction of the raised beds, filled them with many yards of soil, and built trellises and a garden bench.

“The bench was particularly important,” Ann said recently, “because we love to sit out in the garden each evening and watch things grow.”

They have 14 beds: nine are 3-by-9-feet long, and five are 3-by-14-feet long.

“We made them out of 2-by-10 common lumber,” Bill said, “and we screwed the boards together with decking screws. I wouldn’t make the beds any wider than 3 feet because otherwise it’s really a stretch when you’re tending the plants.”

They chose untreated lumber for their beds because Ann had learned in class that the chemicals used to treat wood – to make it weather better – will leach into the soil. Once that happens, vegetable roots will take up those chemicals. Because of this, gardeners should avoid using pressure-treated lumber, railroad ties or any wood treated with chemicals or sealants.

To read about all of their suggestions and tips, go to spokesman.com:

Try your hand at raised bed vegetable gardening as soon as your growing season permits. You will find that the overall control you can have over your garden will be much greater and there will actually be less work. Let’s see…more produce and less work. Works for me.

Leave a comment and share your thoughts. Have you planted raised beds before? If so, let us know what you ended up with and how it all went.

Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.                                                                                                                             — Marcelene Cox

Grow Herbs on Your Balcony

Grow Herbs on Your Balcony

It’s easy and fun to grow herbs in a small space like a patio or balcony. When you grow herbs, remember that for the most part they are very hardy plant species and tend to grow where the conditions are pretty rough. They will do just fine in your vegetable garden, especially in between your other plantings, but they also grow well in less favorable settings. These are ideal plants for small spaces and also for raising in containers.

Grow Herbs You Enjoy In Your Cooking

First you need to decide which herbs you’d like to grow. Think about what herbs you like to use in your cooking. You can just grow them for their visual appeal, but why not get the most out of your efforts and be able to include garden fresh herbs in your cooking, too. Of course, some will die back during the winter if you leave them outside. Just remember to put a tag where they were growing so you’ll remember what was planted there next season.

Always Grow Herbs in the Proper Container

If you’re planting in small pots, choose terra cotta because it dries quickly and allows your plants to grow without getting overly wet. Herbs can tolerate having their soil dried out much better than being too soggy. If you decide to grow mint, remember to containerize it within the pot or bed, otherwise it will take over the area it’s planted in. With a minimum of effort, anyone can easily grow herbs almost anywhere.