Hearing or reading about the successes and experiences of others as they’ve faced various problems can give us renewed zeal and enthusiasm to better face our own challenges and difficulties.
When I hear that I’ve helped others reach higher, accomplish more, find a better way, and/or be encouraged in general — it inspires me as well.
A Reader in Utah
One such reader is Julie who lives in the desert climate of Utah in zone 6 and has a 160 sq. ft space for gardening where she grows her favorite veggies. Others she gets from an organic U-pick farm nearby.
In April of 2014 Julie found a link to TMG white visiting Diane’s Seeds (http://www.dianeseeds.com/). She wrote to me later and said the information she found that night was so interesting that she finally had to make herself stop reading so she could get some sleep.
Julie is one of those who was eager to put this new found information to use. (Statistics show that the vast majority of folks read information that would/will help them and then do nothing to put it into action.)
Big learns and an aha moment
By late summer, Julie had learned a great deal from TMG. She considered “mulching the soil” and “winter sown” among her big learns. But her biggest aha moment was learning that you can grow (make) soil instead of buying it. Towards that end she was already planning what to plant for fall in order to have “better soil through a cover crop“.
Also planned was to “layer used straw, grass clippings and leaves on some beds to try to get some compost-in-process going in beds that I might not use for a while.”
Working with Health Issues
Like many of us, Julie works within the framework of various health issues. In September she wrote:
“My mother-in-law asked me what I wanted for my upcoming birthday, and I have asked for your book. I’ll be 46, and that is a milestone for me because it marks 30 years that I have been living with Multiple Sclerosis.
I empathize with your health issues and felt for you when I read your post about falling in the garden. This was important for me to read, and your thoughts of a little at a time really meant a lot personally. When it’s over 75 degrees I have difficulty moving at all and generally have to stay inside.
I get so frustrated when evening comes and I go outside and see all the weeds and work to be done. So your principles of good soil preparation and mulch will allow me to NOT be outside during the summer months and stop obsessing about the garden.
I love being able to eat what I grow and know that my food hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals. I truly believe that processed foods and chemicals are degrading our health as a country.”
The Attitude of “I can” Rather Than “I can’t”
You’ll notice that Julie’s next email shows her attitude is to “look for reasons this will work” rather than use the situation to say “I can’t do that because —” as some might do.
After receiving her book and reading the first 60 pages she wrote again. (I’ve emphasized in bold the part of her email I was referring to in the above paragraph.):
“I’ll never be able to dig two feet as our house in Utah sits on the old bed of Lake Bonneville (now known as the Great Salt Lake). Our soil is clay and rocky. You can get the small rocks but there are large boulders everywhere under the surface.
But observation shows lots of trees find ways to grow roots around boulders and so I’m sure if I could loosen some and pile lots of organic materials over the years the earthworms will loosen deeper for me.
The next few days are still in the late 80’s, but after that I’ll be out there. It’s perfect timing since I should be through your book and much “smarter” about organic gardening!
Looking forward to preparing beds for a better harvest next year!”
You Never Know Until You Actually TRY
October 13, 2014 I received this great update from Julie:
“Theresa, I’m so excited–I’ve double-dug 24 sq. ft. of my vegetable garden to 24 inches. These were beds where I’ve had my sq. ft. gardens and the earthworms really loosened the subsoil for me. I’m lucky that I didn’t run into any rocks larger than I could get out. — As the leaves fall this Fall I will mow them (well, my husband will) and will layer on top.
Finished your book and am rereading to see what I missed the first time around. It is such a good book, and so very inspiring!”
Spring Update on Julie’s Double Dug Bed
May 28, 2015 Julie emailed the following update:
“Thought you’d like to see results from my first double-dug bed. The top pic is of my peas in the double-dug, and the second is of another area where I didn’t! I’m so glad I trusted your advice and went through the effort to double-dig, amend and cover! It’s very motivating to do more as I can.”
Our attitude and what we focus on will determine what we can be, do, and accomplish much more than our circumstances.
Thank you Julie, and all of you out there who are accomplishing great things in spite of less than desirable circumstances. You encourage us all!
At Last You Can Order – (Organic Gardening – Cutting Through the Hype to the 3 Keys to Successful Gardening)
Your Focus Will Determine Your Outcome and Lifestyle
Never Underestimate the Power of a Little
A Principle for Insurmountable Tasks
Decide What you Want and Do It
And to Think — They Said it Couldn’t be Done!
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One thing gardening your way teaches, is to never give up and Julie was already that far. Keep going Julie
Julie’s story IS very inspiring! I’ve been using the advice from your book for 2 or 3 years now.
In my garden, I’ve been using the non-growing season to expand the rows of well-prepared and covered raised beds and to experiment with cover crops or hardy greens that can be harvested in winter. Each year is a little better than the last!
Very inspirational. And the difference in double dug bed was dramatic. Thank you. I love the pictures.
Just wonderful, well done Julie!
Theresa, I LOVE that you took the trouble to lead us through this progression over time – with Julie’s progress and determination documented. Not that we need proof of the results your method brings. If we are already using your method, we all have similar stories to tell, BUT it makes such a great story to see her journey over time. I sure hope Julie keeps you updated and we get to see more as you both are able. Thank you.
Way to go, Julie!
I sure appreciate your comments. And I think Julie will as well.
She just emailed me with another update which I thoroughly enjoyed and thought you would too.
Wow, a lot of work went into your post! It’s kind of weird to read about yourself–I do like reading about my progression into a good organic garden!
I’m going to be moving the vegetable garden over the next few years because my current one is planted among my fruit trees. When we planted the trees 8-9 years ago they were small and I wasn’t thinking much about vegetable gardening. Happily now I have big fruit trees, but they are starting to block the veggies.
The spot I’m looking at gets great sun and is about 20X40 ft. It has tons of baby scrub oaks that my hubby mows down. I’ll be reading your posts about starting from scratch and also re-reading your book. Some of my current beds will be great for cool-season veggies in Spring & Fall.
Now I know it can be done a little at a time!