Black Gold

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This is my black gold (compost) from last year. It was a little wet, so I opened up the lids to my compost bins. Then the compost got a little too dry…LOL. Gardening is never boring.

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I used some of the compost to plant this years seeds the other night. It’s hard to find more nutritious soil. Looking forward to see them sprout in a few days. I really enjoy growing my own (and other peoples) food.

Do you have a garden? How is your spring gardening coming along? What are you planting this year?

Yours,

Maria

How to grow your own organic food, on a budget, in your backyard

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So you want to eat good healthy food? You want to have your own garden? You don’t want to spend a fortune? And you don’t have that much space? There’s many ways to do that!

I’ve tried different options. I love fruit, berries, and vegetables! I love how good I feel, when I eat a lot of green, organic food. I’m going to share my garden project that I have right now. It’s obviously an ongoing project, and I am by no means a professional gardener. It’s more like learning by doing. My goal is, to one day be able to grow the majority of our food myself. Your ideas and input is always welcome!

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My garden this year is located on about 1/4 acres, in a back yard, in Northern California. The mediterranean like climate in this part of California is great for gardening.

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Radishes, started from seed, directly into the garden bed, three days ago. 

The one thing I have to keep an eye on, is that my garden get enough water during the hottest part of the summer. The area is known for three digit temperatures during the summer. I am going to have to check on my garden, and water, every morning, and evening. If it was a bigger garden, I would set up an automatic drip system, but I’m not going to bother with that, for this garden. It’s easy enough to do it by hand, and the project becomes more alive for my 3 year old daughter. She’s been hands on involved in the project since the beginning. Making sure our plants have enough water is going to be her job, with help, and supervision of course. She is thrilled, and very proud over her important role in the garden.

We started out by ordering organic seeds from Amazon. Simply because there’s a lot to choose from, and you can find what you need to a decent price. (I’m not an affiliate with Amazon, or any particular brand of organic seeds.) I’ve spent less than $30, so far.

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After ordering seeds, the next thing on our list was to make garden beds. The garden area is less than 1/4 acres. We had to use the area wise, utilizing the sun to the max. We decided to make our garden beds out of used truck tires. I often see free truck tires on Craigslist. We got ours for free, leftovers from a local business. I’m a big believer in reusing materials, and working with what you have on hands. I didn’t have a set number of garden beds that I wanted to make. Right now, it looks like it’s going to be 21 garden beds. Each bed is two truck tires high. The tires are heavy, and I simply put them on top of each other, in a row, tight together. They are very stabile, and are not going to move.

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One of our friends have a property near the Sacramento River. I had two truck loads of dirt delivered from his property last weekend. We were lucky to get top notch, fertile soil for free. There was some work connected with sorting out rocks from the dirt. A job that I didn’t mind at all, considering that we got it all for free.

I’m still in the process of filling up our homemade garden beds with the dirt. I’ve filled a little more than half, and planted those beds. I’m going to finish the rest this coming week. If I still have dirt left, when I’m finished, I’m going to pick up some more tires, and make more beds. There has indeed been some heavy work involved; unloading truck tires from the back of my pickup, putting the tires on top of each other, and shoveling the dirt into the beds. I enjoy this kind of work, and find it very rewarding.

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We’re growing strawberries, radish, cilantro, basil, oregano, culinary sage, garlic chives, Sugar Daddy peas, cherry tomatoes, carrots, Crimson Sweet Watermelon, Orange Tendersweet watermelon, squash, and pumpkins in our garden so far. I’m thinking of adding artichoke hearts, lettuce, and black berries. (Maybe some grapes, climbing up on the fence?) I am hoping, and I believe, that this garden will yield more than enough vegetables for our family. I am planning on selling the rest on a local farmers market. It’s an exciting project! I’ll keep you posted!

If you have a garden project this year, I would love to hear about it!

Love & Light, Always

Maria