My family probably thinks I’ve gone ‘round the bend, but after a close call with cancer I’ve done enough research to be appalled at the American food supply. I’m convinced the pesticide laden, genetically modified foods, pumped with growth hormones is unhealthy, and may actually contribute to a plethora of illnesses that plague Americans.
Salad with a side of pesticides, anyone? A glass of wine with hormone laden cheese?
No thank you.
Buying USDA certified organic food is expensive for most budgets. Who can afford to pay over $9.00 for a head of cauliflower? Yes, I recently looked at my grocery receipt and discovered I paid nine dollars for a single head of cauliflower! Yikes!
My husband and I enjoyed patio-home living. No grass to mow, no walks or driveways to shovel. It’s a great lifestyle, but it also means no digging up or occupying any part of the yard for a garden.
“Besides,” my husband said, “you’re a writer, not a farmer.”
Nevertheless, as if December wasn’t busy enough with Christmas, my son’s birthday, and our wedding anniversary, we decided to go house hunting.
A small ranch-style home with an equally small yard caught our attention. Small is the operative word here, but we reasoned, small also means manageable. We’re empty nesters, and I’m no longer interested in cleaning four bathrooms.
After some negotiation, we bought the house, which will have to last through retirement, because I am never–did you hear me–never moving again. Especially not in Colorado’s snowy, minus nine-degree winter. But, I digress.
We went to the Colorado Garden and Home Show to take a break from unpacking. The displays were stunning. One vendor offered a healthy supply of organic seeds, which I bought. Another merchant mentioned a book called Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
I bought the book and am enthralled with the idea!
The concept of square foot gardening is a revelation. If this pans out, I can:
- Grow my vegetables in 20% of the space it would take for a traditional garden.
- Use raised beds to save wear and tear on my back and knees.
- Vary the sizes of my containers to make the yard and garden visually pleasing.
- Use only 6” of a specialized light weight soil mix.
- Eliminate fertilizers and pesticides.
- Move the garden containers around the yard, if needed.
And the real kicker… Are you ready for this? No weeding! This is apparently because you don’t use weed-infested dirt from your yard. Instead, you mix three simple, lightweight ingredients, and put the mix in a container.
Someone re-invented the garden while I was busy reading Harry Potter books!
Can I really grow carrots in six inches of soil that never needs weeding? I don’t know, but this is my spring and summer project and I’m about to find out.