Thursday, May 16, 2013

Our First Family Organic Garden

Do you ever wander around the grocery store, over-thinking every purchase decision you make? Whether it's because of the pesticides used or the unpronounceable ingredient list, most of us have second guessed our grocery purchases at one point or another. This has become even more true for me since I started making homemade baby food and organic carrots became no longer available at our grocery store.So, I decided to take matters into my own hands...literally.

After taking Holistic Nutrition last year, I had every intention on starting a vegetable garden with my family, but something about being enormously pregnant, and the extreme heat, made me keep putting it off.

So finally, last weekend, me and my family chose a variety of organic seeds and a little dome with pods of soil to start some seeds before planting them outside. Most of the packages said that germination (when the plant starts to grow from the seed) would take place between 7 and 14 days. After only 5 days, our cucumber plants are already an inch above the soil and our tomato plants are roughly half that size.  So exciting! My kids are so interested in watching them grow and keep asking how long until they can see the vegetables. What a great experience for them! We're still waiting on the cayenne peppers and green peppers to make an appearance, but I'm sure they're on their way.

Once the final frost has come and gone, we will be transplanting our mini plants into our new garden and also planting zucchini, green beans, carrots, lettuce, snow peas, garlic chives and chives. There is something so thrilling about knowing that we will be growing our own food, in organic soil, in our very own backyard! Up until recently, I knew absolutely nothing about gardening, but after researching online, and having a great conversation with a seasoned gardener, we're off and running!

When gardening, you can have a fair amount of success with little to no prior knowledge, but one thing I recommend looking into is companion planting. There are plants that are best grown near each other and others that should be kept at a distance. For example, planting basil near tomatoes can actually help improve their taste. Planting onions near carrots help repel carrot flies, etc. There is so much information on the internet on this topic. Just type "companion planting" and you will have tons of sites to reference.

I have no expectations for our first garden, but with the amount of positive attention these little plants are getting, I'm sure it's going to be great. I highly recommend planting a garden with your family. It's a great activity for everyone to be involved in and the kids love to see what can grow out of even the tiniest little seed.

Happy gardening!

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