Raised Bed Organic Gardening
While the organic movement is slowly taking over, some of us are still not biting because we don't feel we can afford organic foods. Well, some of you have already caught on, but others, like me, have put off the gardening option and left that up to the farmers. We have been spending a lot of money on organic foods. I don't like it! So I am finally getting to the place where I realize that if I don't like it, I need to do something about it.
My knowledge of gardening comes from childhood: my mother grew a row of beans, decided it was too much work, and that was it. So I am scared of this new venture. All right, I am terrified. I have lots of books, the internet, lots of time (I write this in early fall) before I need to be ready, and still, I am terrified. What if something goes wrong? What if nothing grows? What if I can't keep the bugs away? My stress levels are through the roof right now, sort of negating all the health that organic food brings!
During my search for more information, I came across raised bed organic gardening, which is new to me. But all of a sudden, this feels do-able. Perhaps my visions of what gardening means- hard work, poor drainage, soil erosion, and mud puddles have been wiped away by putting the garden in a "box."
While the garden does still have to be worked, the benefits of a raised bed organic garden seem to make it more enjoyable. Raised bed gardens
- improve problems with soil
- improve production
- save time, space, and money, and
- improve your garden's appearance and accessibility.
Well, that's what the websites say, anyway, so we shall see. But are you wondering...what IS a raised bed garden?
A Raised Bed Garden
A raised bed garden is exactly what it sounds like: a garden that is raised above the normal level of ground. Raised bed gardens can be set up just about anywhere: in your yard, in your driveway, and even on your rooftop, provided that it is flat. :o) They can be used for flower gardens, trees, and vegetable gardens.
[Updated 2015] Here is what I have discovered (and have used for the past two years) Click on the picture if you'd like to know how to build this. My son and I did it in a couple of hours!
Here you can see a benefit of the Garden Rack. No rabbits allowed! Also, it is much easier on the back. I chose the Garden Rack because I have back pain that would limit my gardening.
Here are some samples from my first year of gardening. All of these were grown in the Garden Rack!
Some additional resources to learn more about raised bed organic gardening:
If you have gotten this far and are still wondering what exactly is an "organic" vegetable... an organic vegetable is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides (which are widely used in conventional farming). So if you are not purchasing or growing organic foods (the label will say it's organic), you are getting way more than you pay for. And this time, that's NOT good!
P.S. Organic fruits and veggies have a "9" at the beginning of the code on their labels.
P.S.S. In the meantime, check out http://www.foodnews.org for the safer foods when grown conventionally. You can download a printable pocket guide to help you make safer choices when you shop for produce!
Our shed is too small for our growing garden needs and it is not terribly "sound" either. It will have to be replaced soon, and with our limited budget, I'm thinking this will come in handy so we can build our own...