Easy Gardening for Simple Living

Easy gardening techniques can enrich simple living. Whether urban gardening, container gardening, or in a large organic country garden, growing our own fruits and vegetables is great in so many ways.

The rewards of successful and easy gardening can be enjoyed all year long. Eating fresh fruit from our orchard and fresh vegetables from our garden during harvest season is wonderful. Produce that is more than we can eat comfortably is frozen, pickled, or canned. What can be better than organic, wholesome food that you grew and that you can put on your table all year long?

The list of benefits from growing our own vegetables and fruit is long. These are just three big reasons why we practice easy gardening:

First, we are committed to healthy eating and to delightfully fresh, tasty food. To us this means that we know what has been put into the soil and on our plants to produce the food that we eat. We prefer to use only naturally produced fertilizer.

We prefer to use only naturally produced fertilizer. Thankfully, our neighbors have three equine manure factories – Cody, Bueno, and Bugsy – plus a coop (2 dozen chickens) of feathered contributors to the compost pile. It is amazing how much great fertilizer three horses and a small flock of chickens can produce. A serious fertilizer factory!!!

The horse manure is taken from the two year old end of the neighbors pile and dug directly into the beds. The chicken manure is way too “hot” to be used without aging. We blend it into our compost bin with our other compost contributions.

For garden pests, when the little critters show up, we use products that are as environmentally friendly as possible, such as BT or Safer, an insecticidal soap approved for organic use. For tomato hornworms, we do a daily pest patrol and pick the worms off the plants, and then we feed them to the chickens that give us eggs and fertilizer. Turnabout is fair play!

Second, we derive enormous satisfaction from growing, preserving and eating our own food. Being outdoors and tending our garden with only the sounds of birds around us makes for a pretty good day. We love the idea of having healthy bodies, a healthy budget, and a healthy planet. Watching children discover the wonder of growing plants and learning where food comes from is an endless delight.

Third, we are concerned about our planet and want to heal, not harm, the earth. We want to grow good food as naturally as possible with the smallest carbon footprint. There is no environmental damage from transportation for food grown in your back yard. For food beyond the skills and scope of your gardening, try to shop locally. Farmers Markets and CSA’s are a good source of local food.

To learn much more about the tips and techniques of easy gardening, please click on the internal links below:

Garden Preparation – How big is big enough? What about breaking ground on a new garden? Getting out the rocks?

Irrigation – Choosing the irrigation system that's right for your garden.

Fencing and Pest Control – Can I control pests without toxic chemicals? Learn tips about keeping rabbits, deer, and other critters out of the garden.

Raised Garden Beds – What are the advantages of raised beds? Learn to build a DIY raised garden bed.

Composting – Learn options for enriching your garden naturally. What is the right compost bin for you?

Building a Cold Frame – Learn how to build a cold frame for starting early-season seedlings.

Cold Frame Gardening - Cold frame gardening offers an affordable alternative to a greenhouse while offering many of the same advantages. Protect your bedding plants and keep them warm to extend your growing season.

Mini Greenhouse – Tips on a simple, multi-purpose hoop house that attaches to the timbers of your raised garden bed.

Growing Green Beans Growing green beans is one of the most productive of our garden activities. Green beans are reliably pest-free, and can be counted upon to produce a bumper crop for eating fresh or freezing.

Growing TomatoesGrowing tomatoes brings real pleasure to a vegetable gardener. This page offers tips on soil prep, starting from seeds, building cages, pruning, watering, and dealing with tomato-loving pests.

Growing Peppers Bells, poblanos, jalapenos, habaneros, we use all these peppers frequently in our kitchen. Tips on growing and pickling peppers. Essential for salsas from mild and fruity to sear-your-tastebuds hot.

Growing GarlicThis lily family flavor addition is fun and easy to grow. It will add mega-flavor and health benefits to all your savory dishes.

Growing OnionsOnions are the starting point for most main dishes in our house. Sautéed in a little olive oil or butter, onions add richness and a subtle pungency to our meals.

Our Favorite Garden resource books and magazines –

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