If we are going to make the serious decision to live green to help the planet, ourselves and future generations, we must include in our living green plans, a garden. The benefits of a home garden are enormous. Not only do you save a tremendous amount on your home budget, but the health benefits far outweigh the effort involved. Obviously you can’t grow everything that you would potentially buy from the produce section of the supermarket, but the percentage is quite high of the things that you could grow. The most common things like Tomatoes, Green Beans, Carrots, Peas, Squash, Melons, Lettuce, Cabbage, Onions, etc. are things that you can grow at home. As you can see, these items are high in vitamins and minerals as you control how they are grown and what goes into the process. Not only that, you reduce the trips to the supermarket and the waste created by the packaging materials. And, the waste that is created by the garden itself, is used in the compost pile to perpetuate the garden! The compost pile is a complete article in itself and will be following this article soon.
A home garden is really a simple and fun thing that the family can do together. When my wife and I started our first garden, it was in four large flower pots and consisted of tomato plants and beans. It was great to see the plants grow and to eat the produce that we ourselves had grown. As our gardening skills and enthusiasm have grown, so has our garden. We now utilize a variation on the container gardening concept called “raised bed” gardening. We have eight 4’X10′ wooden boxes where we grow enough produce for ourselves, our neighbors and our children. The raised bed concept is really quite simple and easy to put together. I used plain 2″X12″ lumber which I painted with a common wood preservative. This prevents or prolongs the rot from developing. Then I screwed them together with deck screws. We put a fabric liner you can get at a garden center to prevent grass and weeds. You can also build your raised beds with concrete blocks laid end to end and on top of each other without the mortar. Two blocks high would be sixteen inches and a formidable garden bed.
Anyone can garden. It’s simple and easy and fun. If you live in an apartment you can still garden on your patio or balcony. Just use large flower pots or boxes. Even if all you did was grow a tomato plant. I’ll bet the next year you would grow more, then more, then more. We have a couple of chairs out in our yard near the garden. When we go outside, we might pick a hand-full of strawberries or a tomato or cucumber and sit in our chairs near the garden and just take it all in. I guess that’s as close as you can get to living green and being close to the earth other than being buried in it. It really gets you in tune with green living and helps inspire you as to other things you can do to make living green a reality in yours and your family’s life.