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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Paleo Quick Tip of the Day #75 Growing a Garden is a No Brainer

Start of the season!
If you don’t have a garden, of some sort, you have a real problem!  Actually, perhaps opportunity is the better word, since almost nothing gives you more of a feeling of accomplishment, fulfillment and happiness like creating something...

And to grow plants that produce vegetables and flowers and even fruits is the ultimate act of creation.  You get a huge bang for the buck, for really comparatively little effort or expense!  And what effort you do expend, slight as it may be, is so very good for you-

it gets you outside in nature- out in the sun to help you get real vitamin D!

it gets your hands into actual soil, with its attendant good soil microbes that that your but biome is craving to keep you healthy and happy!

just planted!
it gets you thinking about where your food comes from, and just what is really healthy (natural veggies and fruits, with flowers for the soul!)

and, on top of all of this, it saves you money!

Perhaps you have never grown any sort of a garden, and you think it’s too late in the season to start, and you live in an apartment with just a tiny little deck, etc. etc.

You can grow a great garden in a few pots on your deck, or in a four by four  foot square bed in a yard!  In fact, there is a great book called Square Foot Gardening by Bartholomew out there, and he lays out a detailed approach to a small garden.  Great book, but it is so simple you can just do it like this:

Get some potting soil, organic of course is the best, and fill your pots.  Get pretty large ones, so you can grow tomatoes and peppers; you could even grow pumpkins if you want to train them to grow on a net!  One large plant per large pot, fill one pot with lettuce and spinach, another with herbs.

There you have it- a one trip to the store, spend 15 minutes, and now you have a garden project!!  Just put them in the sun (most important of all!), and then WATER.  Easy Peasy!
It really is just as easy to make a square foot kind of garden if you have space for that-

Either make a raised bed of 2x4’s, or just dig a hole about 6 inches deep.  4x4 is a good size, but whatever fits, that you can reach into the middle from either side. (You never want to walk on your garden bed!)  Fill the hole you’ve dug with a good potting soil, and you will never have to weed hardly at all!  Existing garden soil is loaded with countless weed seeds from years and years- remove it, replace with potting soil, and the only weeds you’ll get will be from windblown ones!  Very easy, and very nice to look at.

Tomatoes and Peppers from Seed Saver's Exchange
I have a few acres, and could have as big of a garden as I’d like, but I have gravitated to the small bed approach.  Partly now because I have to enclose it all in a high fence to protect it from the many deer in the valley here, but also because it is just more efficient!  I have several small beds, each of which is surrounded by paths of mown grass to walk on.  My weeding sessions take less time than my picking sessions, which average maybe 5 minutes or so, although I may choose to sit on the stone bench I constructed in the garden to just contemplate nature...

However you look at it, every single person or family in our nation should have a garden of some sort.  As Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms likes to say,

“Anything else just ain’t natural!!”

Check out this episode!