Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Backyard Garden

We moved into a house last May. We weren't in the house for 24 hours before Joel's Dad showed up with tools for building garden beds in our backyard. I had not unpacked a single box before we were sawing up a pile of treated wood (that was once a fence) we found on the corner in our new neighborhood. About 3 hours later, we were looking at our brand new garden beds. We were tickled that we didn't even have to pay for the wood because we found that pile of fence and Joel's dad brought the correct tools so it turned out to be a very affordable venture for us. 

What was the rush? We were at the tail-end of planting season because it was May. This means that our garden would have a late start and we needed to get our plants in the ground.

I've wanted to have a garden for years and even still, I imagined it would be a lot of hard work to build it and to maintain it. I was so wrong. It was so easy and once we got the seedlings planted, all we had to do was water them. 

All summer we had fresh vegetables and even watermelon. We could not keep up with eating all our veggies so we gave them away and processed them to freeze for winter. It was such a delightful experience that we are already making plans to branch out and have continued to expand the garden over the last few months we have lived here. Joel built an additional 3 garden beds. We have incorporated Quail and are now building a chicken coop that will fit right on top of our garden beds. We have saved money and eaten better. We were able to store a surplus of food and have enjoyed eating our fresh veggies and herbs all winter, but what I didn't expect is how good gardening makes you feel.  

It's nice to have a reason to hangout in your backyard besides mowing the grass or waiting on a chance to host a party. I love tending the plants, watering them, getting my hands dirty. It is heaven to have a guaranteed 15 minutes a day where I can stand in the quiet of the back yard and stare at the stars while I water the plants, smelling the earthy scent of tomatoes and peppers, feelings the grass under my bare-feet. It makes me feel grounded and connected to this Earth that can sometimes seem so foreign. I love that we can grow food like thousands of years of ancestors before us. It makes me feel closer to God, grateful and part of a bigger cycle of living. 

This has been such a rewarding experience, I want to share all the ways we were able to make this happen. There are a whole lot of resources out there to help you start your backyard garden and we have read a lot of them. I honestly cannot share any original ideas on this topic because humans have been gardening for most of our erect existence, but I will tell you what we have done and how well it worked in the hopes that maybe you will be inspired to enjoy the riches the backyard can offer.