I’m quite certain growing things is simply in my blood. A desire that runs deep into my soul.
I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a love for nature and growing things. Some of my very few memories I have of my early childhood are of our family camping and heading to our backyard garden with my Dad. Once I hit my teenage years, I was digging the yard up myself and using the money I earned working at Perkins or our family’s hardware store to purchase plants. Back then, I was planting ornamental perennial plants, but once I had a home and yard of my own that quickly expanded into vegetables.
Living in an agriculturally based community, I also quickly discovered the harsh difference between growing for a profit and growing for the good of my family and the earth. I truly do believe there is a way to do both but for that to be feasible, we as individuals must do our part.
I believe that our creator designed plants for beauty and function. Have you ever walked out to the garden and just observed it? The way the cilantro grows beautifully next to my pepper plants and its blossoms attracting all kinds of beneficial insects that feed on the insects harming my peppers. We have lost much beauty in the midst of modern agriculture. There is much to be said about the natural ways in which the plants of the earth grow. Each serving a purpose, each creating moments for the eye to behold. We as home gardeners have to ability to achieve this balance.
My goal when I plant my own garden is to create a space that will provide an abundance of food for our family, but also be a place of beauty that cares for the earth and my soul.
I have nearly 20 years of experience behind me and I continue to experiment and learn new things every season. That is exactly what I would like to help you do as well. It’s not about getting it all right the first time, or even the second, but about the learning that happens along the way.
What’s my style you ask? I believe healthy gardens use many different practices such as; permaculture design, companion planting (in the loosest sense of the word), and organic market gardening. There should be places to sit and take in beauty, sandboxes for little ones (and pups) to play in, campfires and dinner tables for enjoying loved ones, and secret hideouts grown of sunflowers, beans and melons. Things grown for fun should exist. Flowers, bees and wildlife should live there, and there should always be something to pick for the dinner table. Unless, of course, you’re like me living in Minnesota. In that case, you’re grabbing your harvest from the pantry shelf or cold storage.
A garden, if designed well, can thrive in the harshest of conditions and have a balanced ecosystem allowing for very minimal maintenance. Paying close attention, you just may find that the garden provides so much more than sustenance for your body. If you allow it to, it will teach you more about life than you ever thought possible.
So, I hope you will join me here. You’ll find many things from educational and entertaining blog postings, my favorite resources for all things garden related, spring vegetable starts (if you’re local), and the ability to purchase affordable edible landscape/garden design and one on one education. Even more so I hope you find encouragement, community and joy for the journey ahead.
Leta | The Gardener