Archive for August, 2010

Celebrate Self-Sufficiency during World Kitchen Garden Day

Sunday, August 22 is World Kitchen Garden Day! It’s a perfect time to haul in some produce from a backyard garden and cook up something worthy of this great holiday.

My wife and I installed a garden in the backyard this year, I have come to love it wholeheartedly.   Our garden has been one of the best experiences of my adult life.  Nothing is more satisfying than grabbing a fresh cucumber off the vine when I come home from work, then immediately chopping it up and making a salad for dinner. I have been eating healthier, having more fun, spending more time with my wife and less time in front of the TV, and paying less for groceries.

Seriously, growing your own food is something that everyone who eats should try out at least once.  Gardening is a simple and easy thing to do (so easy a caveman could do it!).  Actually, agriculture began almost 10,000 years ago and made human civilization possible.  Small plots are a fun way to pay tribute to our ancestors, while creating a more sustainable future for our descendants.

And the quality of the food is unbelievable. The fresh ingredients easily surpass anything you might find in a restaurant.  Try it out, and you too will know the pleasures of small-scale gardening.  It may be too late in the season to start a garden this year, but make a resolution to grow some of your own food next year!  Here are some photos from my garden construction to give you some ideas:

BEFORE PHOTO: we composted on the site for a year before to help prepare it Step #2 was tilling in all that organic debris and making beautiful soil Laying out the new garden and fence line We installed a fence to keep out dogs and provide a visual separation Garden construction is complete with pavers and weedblock Our first plantings were herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and eggplant We also put in some non-edible landscaping for a finished look A few months after planting and the garden is doing great The weed barrier and mulch have kept maintenance to a minimum Now our garden provides most of our vegetables and all of our herbs We repaired our gutters and are testing out our new rain barrels Soon both barrels will be hooked up to our pressurized distribution system

NOTE:  if anyone is interested in using rainwater for potable uses (such as gardening), please consult the Texas Rainwater Harvesting manual to ensure the water is clean and safe.