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Reason to Garden – Food that Nourishes

This may be the latest I’ve ever been with various garden tasks because of the difficulties Bill and I have been experiencing. However, I’ m not daunted by it. Several reasons account for that.

  •  The weather being cool has worked for me. It’s way too early in my garden for hot weather crops like cukes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants to really take off.
  •  I do have seedlings started although they’re small. And, I’m starting more peppers, eggplants and tomatoes today. They’ll easily catch up with earlier planted ones once the weather turns.
  • I know from experience that a little each day will take me a long way and is certainly better than not doing anything.

And besides, (and most importantly),

  •  if Bill and I want to eat (nourishing food) I HAVE TO garden.

So no matter what the circumstances I have to find a way. (I realize that’s easier said than done sometimes, but we can all do more than we think we can do if we focus on what we CAN do rather than our limitations. AND if what has to be done is of great importance to us.)

What’s the Big Advantage to Having a Healthy Organic Garden

Any product of industrial agriculture has residues of toxic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics, hormones, and/or growth promoters. And yes, FDA says they’re suppose to be harmless. (If you believe that after all the facts to the contrary, I have some ocean front property in Arizona that you may be interested in.)

If one does find one or two things that are harmless, they may not be so harmless when ingested with some of the others chemicals. And since there are literally thousands of these substances out there, chances are you’re ingesting many each day if you’re eating stuff grown by conventional/industrial agriculture.

Even organically cultivated food, although free from agricultural poisons, may not contain enough nutrients and minerals for good health.

I’ve not been surprised to read many statistics that show a vast majority of soils in this country (and the world for that matter) are deplete of minerals needed for healthy soil and thus healthy food.

Replenishing and building healthy soil is an ongoing process that we can’t neglect if we want to grow food that we know will nourish our bodies. And that’s what food is for – to nourish our bodies and keep us healthier. Once we understand that fact, a healthy organic garden becomes more important to us.

Your Main Goal

As you go through the season this year, remember that your main overall goal should be to build healthy soil which will in turn grow healthy plants that resist attack by pests and disease.  It’s healthy soil that will solve almost every garden problem you have.

Think in terms of using everything nature has to offer you rather than some bagged organic fertilizer. Keep the big picture in mind. Don’t just exchange one type of chemical for another just because it’s considered “ok” for use in an organic garden.

A Reader Writes

Toni, a friend and reader in Oregon emailed me today.  She’s really getting the hang of building her soil and is excited about the visual change.  She writes that photos don’t do justice “to the wonderful thing I did per your advice. I wanted you to know I filled the paths of my garden with kitchen waste, straw, and pulled weeds. The resulting soil is amazing! It is such a rich, workable, dark soil! Nothing like the hard packed clay it covered last fall and over the winter. So delightful. I am most grateful to you for sharing the things that I need to grow such amazing food. I sure would love to hug you :)”

Final Thoughts

It gives me great joy when I hear how successful friends and readers have been and are becoming when they cooperate with nature by following my 3 simple Keys to Successful (Organic) Gardening.

And, to use the term that a reader’s 88 year old mom calls a hug sent over the internet, I send all of you a big e-hug and wish you a great growing season!

Theresa

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Related Posts:

Focus on What you Can Do

At Last You Can Order

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9 comments to Reason to Garden – Food that Nourishes

  • Steve

    Theresa,
    Thanks for the friendly reminder of one reason why I wanted to grow healthy foods. I have Parkinson’s. Chemicals are a huge reason why people acquire Parkinson’s. After the fun of gardening leaves there is only the fundamental reason left why we grow produce. I am not as serious about gardening as I should be but I am going down the path none the less. It is easy to think someone can do the gardening for us. Just like a good cook, a gardener wants to be able to whip up a good meal quickly when life gets hectic.
    Just so everyone knows the fun of gardening has not left me, but life does get in the way.
    Thanks again for the inspiration
    Steve

  • RAY KENT

    AFTER THE COLDEST WINTER IN YEARS, (AT TIMES -30F)WHEN THE ICE & SNOW FINALLY LEFT AND I COULD OPEN ONE OF MY TUNNELS TO PLANT, I FOUND GREEN LETTUCE STARTED LAST SEPTEMBER!! NOT MUCH BUT IT’S STILL GROWING AND FLAVOUR IS GREAT. WE ATE LETTUCE UNTIL JUST AFTER CHRISTMAS UNTIL AN ICE STORM STOPPED ME OPENING THE TUNNEL. AFTER PLAYING WITH LETTUCE THE PAST 3 YEARS I AM SURE THAT IT’S NOT JUST THE TUNNELS BUT HAPPY SOIL GROWING HAPPY SEEDS THAT PAY OFF IN UNKNOWN WAYS THAT JUST KEEP COMING. THE TUNNELS ARE JUST PLASTIC PIPE COVERED IN ORDINARY PLASTIC SHEETING AND CHEAP. IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE ,GET THERESA’S BOOK. I’VE DONE IT HER WAY FOR YEARS BUT JUST DIDN’T KNOW WHY IT WORKED. THANKS. RAY

  • Kate

    Theresa – there are three great gardening truths I have learned from you and applied to my own success: Plant your onions in February, Use more mulch, and Just do a little bit every day (instead of an 8 hour marathon once a week).

    This cold spring has really stunted my garden start, so you are absolutely right – it has worked to your advantage. My outdoor plantings have just hung in stalemate waiting for the heat. I am totally good with that as the sheep shearer has not yet arrived and my flock is better for the cool weather, and the plants will catch up. Probably. Or maybe I will come to your house for peppers this year!!

  • Theresa

    Steve, yes, “life get’s in the way” of everyone. The more severe our problems, the more life “can” get in the way. It’s our job to lessen the damage “life” can inflict and focus on accomplishing things in spite of our problems. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but it can be done. I’ve spent most of my life “battling” the problems of the moment and trying to accomplish things in spite of whatever one of life’s problems is trying to block progress.

    The problems we currently have are pretty severe and yet one of the things Bill and I determined right up front was to focus on the outcome we want and not use these problems as an excuse for not accomplishing great stuff. They’ve slowed us down, but they haven’t stopped us.

    Even with gardening, as much as I love the end result, I have to force myself to go out everyday. Some days it takes me a lot of hours “talking to myself” to finally get out there in spite of the pain and/or being too exhausted. I know your having Parkinson puts you in a position to totally relate to that, Steve.

    Anyway — hang in there and keep up the good work!

    Ray – thanks for the lettuce report and the good word about my book. I too think lettuce flavor has been especially wonderful this spring!

    Kate,

    Loved hearing the 3 great gardening truths you’ve learned from me!
    Lifted my spirits and gave me extra incentive.

    I think you’ll still get peppers this year. In my area we have a lot of cold starts to spring. I always have peppers and no matter what the weather it seems they always come late in the season.

    You might really enjoy reading and looking at the pictures in this post: It Ain’t Necessarily So

    Theresa

  • Steve

    Hi Theresa, Bill and all fellow TMGers.
    This time of year is one of increasing activity in the garden here at Lubersac, as every where, and one of joy and renewal. The weather has been abysmal again this year far too warm in the winter and now a very wet start to spring.
    Peach leaf curl is ablaze again on the peaches and nectarines, slugs in the polytunnel eating the tender new leaves on the Wisconsin lakes peppers, but heh ho! these things are sent to “strengthen our character” are they not?

    Out in the Veg garden the other day I dug some of the soil in a bed I had deep mulched last Autumn and could not believe my eyes I picked up a fist full of sod and it was alive with worms, as was the next and next “fantastic”.
    My seven year old son joins me in the garden sometimes and is keen to help, and as with all seven years old he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge, the questions never stop.
    The combined joys of fatherhood and gardening what could be better.

    Hoping you all have a productive season ahead.
    Best wishes
    Steve
    Lubersac
    France

  • Theresa

    Wonderful post Steve! Thanks for sharing the joy. It was great hearing from you and knowing you are reading!
    Theresa

  • sheila

    Hi Theresa! How glorious that the Spring blooms have lingered because of the cooler weather. I have been rejoicing in the visible improvement in my garden soil. With the mulching layer per your recommendations,(from your blog and book), when I dug the little holes to set out my tomatoes and pepper plants, I found the ground teeming with worms. I had worried that my chickens may have cleaned them out since I had let them scratch in there all winter, but the compost did its magic and they have multiplied. I will never go back to tilling and laying fabric in the paths – this works better and is less labor intensive. The improvements are visible in just a year, but after 2 years, it is remarkable. Happy gardening!

  • Theresa

    I’m delighted with your success Sheila. And yes, this way is definitely less labor intensive!
    If I had to garden as most folks do, it would never get done!
    Good hearing from you and happy gardening to you too.
    Theresa

  • Sandra

    Echoing everyone else, and I can especially relate to Kate’s comments. I used to be a marathoner in the garden every weekend, and now I’m learning to make a list and plan a few minutes a day. Much better.
    That’s thanks to Theresa’s encouragement. Also, she recommends planting by the moon’s phases. It’s helped me to pace myself with planting and maintenance – letting neither one dominate to the exclusion of the other. It’s also been a great way for me to finally plan my to do lists. I’m so grateful that she shared that. Finally, Theresa has taught me to do a whole property sweep daily. Apart from just getting out for a few minutes a day, no excuses – this has been the next best tip for managing things. No surprises because I see everything everyday and can plan accordingly.

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