The garden is in!! The jury is still out as to whether or not all the subsequent rain has been a blessing or a curse, but it's planted. We went out to my favorite vegetable (and flower for that matter) farm, Snell Family Farm. There we were able to pick out all of our favorite veggie seedlings, ready for planting.
We got a bunch of cucumbers and kale (the top 2 favorites of my girls), a few summer squash and zucchini, a pumpkin, lettuce, and celery. These are ALL items we will use regularly throughout the summer. The trick for us is to make this urban garden as efficient and cost saving as possible. We were sure to plant items we knew we'd use. We also tried to avoid items that we've planted in the past and had a hard time eating before they went bad...like the rainbow chard. I do so love it, but I'm the only one. So this year we skipped it, now I won't be forced to eat giant bowls of fresh chard by myself in a hurry to keep it from spoiling at harvest time! We also skipped hot peppers because I still have a freezer full of peppers we didn't get through last year. Efforts like this can keep from making your favorite veggies seem like a chore which is the exact opposite effect we are going for.
We even got a couple of "patio planters" of tomatoes. These babies are gorgeous and already starting to fruit. They smell amazing and fresh and green! We placed these on the elevated small pallets and put them around the side of the house. Here they will be hidden from less savory folk who would be tempted to pick up and walk away with our beautiful bounty. The larger pallets aren't as big of a concern, just due to their size.
We pulled the seedlings from the packs and laid them out generally where we wanted them to go. We paid close attention to recommended spacing guidelines. Last year our garden got a little crowded.
Once everything was where we wanted it, we dug down and planted. Last year we had quite a few problems with slugs. There are tons of "home remedies" for this problem but nothing we tried last year worked. This year I asked the experts. At the farm they recommended crushed egg shells around the garden and plants. We are in the process of giving this a "go". I'll let you know how it works, if at all.
We are going to be up to our eyeballs in veggies here, in just a few short weeks. And for a fraction of the cost that the vegetables would cost at the market or grocery store. Again, we splurged on seedlings and planters because I'm way more likely to kill the plants from seed than seedling and I want to make sure we have food this summer. All in all we spent about $100 for everything. I can't wait to start harvesting. The girls are super excited. My oldest has memory now of last year's garden and my youngest is old enough to actually understand the purpose this year. This is a true family endeavor and it's moving perfectly so far. Soon the pallets will be all but overgrown with beautiful greenery and delicious goodies. I'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress and even get some recipes flowing from this baby soon! There will be polenta lasagnas, fresh salads, pumpkin soup, tomato sauces and more. Some will be eaten immediately from the garden others may be frozen and saved for the weeks to come. Total win!
Remember this can be done anywhere! You do not need a big parcel of land (no matter how wonderful and magical that would be) in order to produce fresh, home grown veggies for you and your family. We are lucky enough to be renting a place with a small side yard. But the pallets could be placed on a roof top, deck, or patio. The pallets can even be built and filled and then stood up and learned against a fence or house wall. As long as you make sure your plants are able to take root the pallet can stand vertically and grown your veggies, no problem. Be creative, there is no wrong way to be growing your own food, just give it a try.
Enjoy the green thumbs friends, even if you're in the city!
Simple City Sam