I’ve always loved the idea of gardening. Being out in nature, soaking up all the nutrients as the sun hits my skin, facilitating the miracle of growing things.
When I was twelve, I started growing baby carrots and radishes in green rectangular garden boxes, outside my bedroom window. My little sister and I walked to Canadian Tire and somehow managed to carry the boxes and dirt back home. I read the fine print on the back of the seed packaging and somehow, magically I didn’t over or under water and we grew food.
After that one summer, I never attempted to grow food again. I’m not sure why. It was probably because I read more on gardening. I read that you should use specific dirt for food. I read that each plant likes a different type soil pH. I read that you should start your plants indoors at a certain time.
When we grew food, we had no idea what we were doing. We planted the seeds in the dirt and added watered Once I learned about all these rules you were supposed to follow, it has been just too much uncertainty and fear of doing it wrong.
I never stopped wanting to be a gardener though. I bought books and intended to take action. I kept the containers, lugging them through each move until I became a home owner.
If I was ever going to start a garden, start growing my own food now was the time. Our house came with some pretty nice trees, bushes, and plants. The only problem was finding time to weed it. Each year my mother in law would come over and we’d have a weeding a day, but only after it had gotten so bad the neighbors were probably complaining to their significant others that we were bringing down everyone’s property value.
Ultimately, my problem was all in my head. Weeding the front and back garden seemed like it would take forever, and I didn’t have forever. I was a new mom. Then, I was a working mom. Then, I was a pregnant working mom. Then, I was a mom of two, and one had a heart condition. Then, I was a working mom of two, with one child having a heart condition. Then I was pregnant again. And on and on.
Who has time to weed and take care of a garden, let alone grow food? It wasn’t until I had my third child that I realized, I can just go out and weed, and guess what, it really doesn’t take that long, and I can do it with all the kids. It did take a few days of doing a little here, changing a bum, a little more weeding, making snacks, more weeding, chalk drawing on the sidewalk, and on and on till it was done. But I did it.
The reason I finally did it was I had a vision, I had a goal, I could finally see myself being a grower of food, a gardener. I finally found a way that didn’t make it see so time consuming and daunting.
I’m a big believer that if you have a goal, the best use of your time is to pay or get someone who is already doing what you want to do, to teach you how to do it.
One day, someone made a post on our community Facebook page, that they were looking to help others start growing their own food. This is it, I thought, the motivation, the help I need to get going with this.
After talking about how to set up the garden, Ian (our gardening teacher), mentioned the documentary Back to Eden Gardening. This was the way he gardens, to minimize the need for weeding and watering!
My two biggest gardening issues. I have a tendency to either over or under water.
After watching the documentary, which I recommend you do right now, life changing! Before watching, please see the note at the bottom of this page. I realized that this is what I was missing, this is what makes gardening so much easier, even the busiest person can grow their own food.
I also realized that I don’t enjoy weeding my current garden because it’s not my creation. The garden was here when we moved in, I have no idea what most of the plants are called and, other than one of the plants which flowers most of the summer I’m not a fan of them. They don’t do much for me other than creating work.
My garden vision is one mainly of plants that produce food. If I have to rake up leaves I want it to be from an apple tree, a cherry tree, a pear tree. If I need to pull weeds, I want to pull weeds so they don’t crowd out my strawberries and raspberries.
If I’m going to have flowers in my garden, those suckers better be flowering all spring and summer long. What is up with these flowers that blossom for a week and then sit there looking like a weed! F@ck that!
Now that I know what I want, I can see it and taste it. It was easy to get outside and clean out all the weeds. I didn’t stop there though. I took out all the bushes in the backyard and all the plants along the fence lines, I cut down the little trees and mulched it all up.
This is the garden chipper that we got. It worked great for all these little trees and bushes. Check it out on Amazon. Earthwise GS70015 15-Amp Electric Garden Chipper/Shredder with Collection Bin. Affiliate Link.
We also decided to have a large tree in our backyard taken down to allow for more sun, for growing food. The tree company allowed us to keep all the mulch from the tree.
I went to work putting down mulch as a decorative touch and as a way to improve our backyard soil, which tends to be very dry.
Steve started setting up our raised garden. Now we are going to wait till our city has its compost giveaway days, to get free black dirt for our Back to Eden raised garden beds. Then we add more mulch and wait till next spring to start planting.
In the mean time, we are going to get our strawberries and raspberry plants going.
Ian also gave us a few tomato plants to start container gardening, and I’m pleased to say, that thanks to adding a layer of mulch over the dirt, I have not killed them. I start checking them if I’ve noticed it hasn’t rained in a few days. The mulch is excellent at keeping the soil moist, I think I’ve only watered them once.
I also have a few herbs that I’ve added mulch too, and they are also still alive!!!
As the mulch helps keep the soil moist, the weeds are getting easier and easier to pull out. Normally I just end up ripping the top of the weeds off, but now I’m starting to get the whole root. Then I do the, “I got the root, happy dance.”
I’m not sure what the whole point of this post was, so if you’re still reading, thanks for staying with me on my tangents.
Oh yeah, so the whole point was if you’ve wanted to have an awesome garden or grow your own food and you’ve just found the idea too time-consuming, watch the documentary. There is an easier way.
Note: This documentary is very religious. If you can’t get past someone talking about God, to hear what they are saying, then this documentary is not going to work for you.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find this documentary as life changing as I did. Here is to growing our own food.
Improving your life 1% each day. 🙂