Give a thought to gardening

Even in a tiny yard like mine you can grow your own produce. My entire lot, which has a 1000 sq ft house, a garage, a shed, a large duck pen and a pond system on it, is only .167th of an acre. By using several gardening methods including square foot gardening, deep mulching, container gardening and vertical trellising, I am able to grow melons, pumpkins, grapes, apples, pears, zucchini, beans, tomatoes, peppers, several herb varieties, kale, lettuce, kohlrabi, and even some exotics, flowers and flowering shrubs to attract the local bees and other pollinators.

I harvested this basket of food out of my back yard just yesterday morning. The tomatoes and peppers are just starting to take off, all the grapes are ready and I need to harvest more today and over the weekend. The squash, which got a late start, are just now ripening. Cucumbers and beans will be ready next month.

With the drought, rising food prices and the ever increasing genetic modification of foods from the store, you might want to consider your own garden. Food inflation has been creeping up year after year and projections for next year's harvest is grim. Even if you can not grow enough to entirely support your family's food needs, anything you can grow yourself is less you have to buy in the store. Not only that, there is a growing body of evidence that the nutriton level in commercially-raised food is dropping. This means you have to eat more food volume to get the same amount of nutrients that used to be in food years ago. Nutrient density is of particular importance for people with weight and digestive problems like me. Growing your own food and properly managing soil means the food you grow will be more nutritious than food you can buy.

While summer is almost over in the US, you can prep growing beds NOW for easy spring planting. In fact, fall is the time you plant garlic. Thinking of a garden as a spring to fall thing is very much a thing of the past. In some areas you can even grow greens through the winter. My kale survived several hard frosts and a few snow storms with no problems at all.

Give gardening a thought or two next time you see the sorry state and high price of what is available in the stores. Better food could be available right outside your back door.