Featuring: Janet G., from Kokomo, IN.
“Our raised bed organic garden gives us a wonderful source of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables all through the spring, summer, and fall, and I freeze and can as much as possible, so that our garden provides good food for us through the winter, too. Not only is our garden a source of fresh organic food for us, it’s also one of the ways that we do our part to help the environment.
Our garden has 25 organic raised beds, and our goal is to grow as much as we possibly can, from early spring and right on through late fall. We added three hoop houses last fall, and they allowed us to extend the gardening season into early December. We’ve always overwintered our spinach, even before we had the hoop houses, and this year we had fresh spinach in one of the hoop houses in mid-February–even earlier than usual! We continue to add new vegetables and fruits to our garden, and we’re continually learning new organic methods that increase the harvest and keep our environment safe from dangerous chemicals. This year, we’re also adding vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers to the beds that surround our house, so that those beds will become an “edible landscape,” rather than only ornamental beds.
We’re also adding four beehives to our property this year. Our bees will help increase productivity in the garden, but even more important is the fact that we’ll be nurturing our honeybees and will be adding our effort to those of thousands of other beekeepers who are working to save the bees. To provide healthy foraging for our bees, we’re going to plan white, red, and crimson clover all over our property, and we’re going to plant as many bee-friendly flowers and herbs as we can make space for.
Just looking out the window and seeing our garden–green and growing and beautiful–is part of what keeps us gardening. But it’s more than just the beauty. It’s knowing that we’re growing healthy, organic food right here, with our own hands. There’s nothing like harvesting our own fresh produce and eating it while it’s at the peak of flavor and nutrition. And it gives us peace of mind to know that the food we eat from our garden is free from chemicals and GMOs and that growing our own food is reducing our impact on the environment.
No day goes by without reading an article about the damage that’s being done to our earth by chemical farming and the increasing use of GMOs and monocultures, and those stories can be very discouraging. But when we go out to work in our garden and we see the beauty and the bounty all around us, and we know that so many other gardeners feel the same as we do, that gives us hope that more and more people will join us in learning and caring for the earth. And together, we WILL make a difference!”
Thank you for sharing your amazing garden with us, Janet!
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