Archive for category Goals

The Square Foot Gardening Escapade

Sq Ft Gardening bookMy 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.”

True.

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.

SeedsWe 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!

So, armed with my Square Foot Gardening book, a Farmer’s Almanac, The Western Garden book, and Your Backyard Herb Garden, I’m planning and plotting an organic backyard garden, square foot style.Gardening 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.

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The Curtain Closes–A Bright New Year Dawns

What was your most rewarding accomplishment of 2013? What are your dreams as you embark on a new year? What reality will you create for yourself, and those around you?

Colorado seems to plunge into a deep freeze this time of year, and it’s an ideal time for me to cuddle up by the fireplace with my favorite mechanical pencil and a fresh, recycled notebook. The pristine pages beacon my dreams, goals, and to do lists. With each entry, and each passing day, the folio will transform into a smudged, rumpled, and cherished proof of my endeavors.

This juncture arrives every year. It’s ideal for reminiscing, as well as looking forward. It gives us an opportunity to look behind with gratitude for knowledge acquired and goals achieved. The dawn of a new year represents the chance to embark on a meaningful new path–a hopeful, peaceful path of personal growth.

The blank pages before me fill me with wonder as I weigh the best of 2013 against its challenges and lessons. Remarkably, I’ve emerged with a sense of peace that I realize comes only through letting go. I look forward with a grateful heart.

A pristine new year is waiting for my mark, and it’s waiting for yours. What will we make of 2014?

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