Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget

 

squash seedling day 11 (1)

The theme  of the weekly photo challenge this week is; Smile. Growing my own food makes me smile, in many ways. Literally because I enjoy working in my garden, and internally because it makes me feel good eating organic food. My conscious also smile back to me when I try to lessen my ecological footprint, by eating a more locally produced plant based diet.

The photo above is an 11 day old Squash seedling. My daughter was smiling while planting the tiny seed 11 days ago, and she’s been smiling while watering it, and checking the growth every day since then. Today we had to replant the seedling (photo below,) into a bigger (repurposed) pot, since it outgrew its tiny seed starting cell. I saw another big smile on her face (and I’m pretty sure I smiled myself as well,) when we carefully lifted the little plant, and saw the intricate root system already developed. That’s pure magic! Don’t you think?

squash day 11 (1)

I believe that you are what you eat; mind, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food.  My ultimate dream is to have a small homestead, and be as self sufficient as possible, producing the majority of my family’s food myself. I’m slowly working my way towards that goal, by growing as much organic produce as I can every spring/summer, and by continue my learning process about how to do it (by reading, doing my own garden, and helping out at farms in my area.) I love that gardening is a lifelong learning process. 

Yesterday when my daughter and I was making lunch, she was cutting celery, and started to ask me questions about why sellers is good for us to eat. We talked about how it is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and I mentioned a study I read recently about its cancer fighting powers. I remember seeing a photo of someone (in a garden group I’m a member of,) planting celery leftovers. So we read a little more about that, and tried it. According to what we learned you can cut it straight off at the root, saving a few inches, and place it in water for a few days. You’re going to se it start growing new celery in the middle first, and a couple days later the roots are supposed to come.

celery day2 (1)

This was what it looked like this morning, already started to grow new celery in the middle. Maybe even a root under? Not sure. When it develops a root system you can plant it either in a pot, or outdoors if the temperature is right. Both my daughter and I, are very excited about this. It’s the first time we try growing celery like this. I try to expand my garden to some new varieties every year. Especially if I can find something my daughter really enjoys, it certainly makes it easier to motivate her to eat her vegetables.

I cook all the food we eat from scratch, and I use a lot of garlic in our food. You’re supposed to plant garlic in the fall, for a harvest next year. I didn’t know that you actually can plant it in the spring as well, with a slightly smaller harvest. I spent some time learning about that this morning. You can trick the garlic that it is still winter, by having the garlic in the fridge. Conveniently, I had organic garlic in my fridge. Having my soil and everything out already, after replanting some seedlings earlier, I decided to try my knew found knowledge. Nothing like learning by doing 🙂

garlic (1)

I took two garlics, that I carefully opened up, and then I choose the biggest cloves. It was suggested to plant three cloves in a small pot, carefully leaving the white skin on the cloves.

g2

Plant with the pointy side up. The soil is supposed to be loose, and moist. After planting them, water, and then sprinkle either airy soil, or shredded leaves over the garlic.

g3 (1)

I sprinkled seedling soil on top. Just a little bit. Garlic like to be moist, and have at least six hours of full sun when they are growing. I’m planning on transplanting mine outside when they get bigger. Did you know that you can eat every part of the garlic? The cloves, the skin (huge antioxidant,) the sprouts – everything. I’ve never planted garlic in the spring before, and I’m curious about what kind of impact this late planting, is going to have on the harvest.

I’ve been experimenting with organic gardening on a slim budget, for the past 5 years. I’m a homemaking, homeschooling mom, that for the most part been alone in my responsibility to raise a healthy, happy little girl. Especially during the first years my creativity was often tested to the max, when it came to providing healthy food, due to limited finances, and moving a lot. I’ve lived and I’ve learned. I’ve kept track of different methods I’ve tried, and how I adapted them to fit new places we moved to. I’ve had everything from an 80 acres ranch, to a small RV pad. I’ve tried regular gardening in fields (still organic,) raised beds, container gardening, and combinations of them. I’m planning on publishing what I’ve learned, along with photos, and Pro’s/Con’s with different methods in a book. Eating healthy organic food doesn’t have to cost a lot, and it is possible to build a productive organic garden even if you have a very small space, live in an apartment, or an RV. I’d like to share how. If you have more space, that’s wonderful, and you can grow even more, keeping your costs down when using a few tricks I’ve learned along the way. My goal is to have my book ready for publishing this fall, around harvest time. If everything goes well. It’s a fun project, that also makes me smile. I haven’t told anyone about it until today.

What makes you smile this weekend?

Love,

Ms Zen

17 thoughts on “Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget

    1. Yes, “in more control of their life” in many different ways. Funny thing is that most kids really enjoy it. I worked as a Teacher at an outdoor school in Sweden. Every spring/summer I spent a lot of time planting, and taking care of a garden with the children. They loved it! It gave me so many opportunities to talk to them individually. Subjects like health, environment, and the bigger picture, how our lifestyle have an impact on our bodies, and our beautiful planet often came up. They were 3-6 years old. Not one of them ever complained about working in the garden. They had different responsibilities, two of them were always responsible for composting, and recycling for the whole school. In that way we got material for our garden, beds etc. I basically do the same things with my daughter as i did when I was responsible for a whole class, I still love it.

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        1. I know! The young ones actually competed, and begged to be in “the garden group”, when it wasn’t their turn. I believe some kids aren’t allowed to get a little dirt on their boots. Several of them were a little skeptic in the beginning about the concept of getting dirty, touching soil with their hands etc.

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  1. I am glad you are looking at healthy eating for yourself and your daughter. It is so important in these times where “easy and fast” seem to over-ride the need for good nutrition.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Maggie. Yes, I don’t think we can live a full life, waking up full of energy, without giving our bodies that energy. Energy in-energy out. Easier said than done in some cases, with all the things we have to do in this modern world. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

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  2. So inspiring, I love this and love to garden but haven’t gardened in some years. I would buy your book once you get it written. Since you have done all the work and experiments that sounds so helpful! ❤ And your daughter is learning so much!! Awesome!

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    1. Thank you my friend. Gardening have been a passion of mine for several years, but it wasn’t until I had my daughter that I felt that I really NEEDED to use my skill. I love activities that always have room for improvement. Challenges, as long as I see the light by the end of the tunnel, is appealing to me 🙂 Have a wonderful Sunday ❤

      PS. My new round-pen is coming today 🙂

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        1. Yes, I’m super excited! I’ve been boarding Ghost at an equestrian facility for a while, since he wasn’t halter broke when I got him, I wanted to take advantage of their arenas. I’m bringing him, and Fancy home this coming week. Definitely going to have good use of a round-pen 🙂

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  3. My parents instilled a love of gardening and home grown food in me, and likewise I have done them same with my daughter. So important! I still have memories of picking and eating berries in my parent’s garden from when I was very young 😊

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    1. That is a wonderful gift from a parents! Your daughter is blessed. I have those very same memories, but with my grandma. She used to have lots of potatoes, and strawberries, along with a few other vegetables.

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