Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Four families, one garden, a huge difference

So, in a post a while back, I mentioned our small group community garden. Well, we're on our way in the planning stages and truly looking forward to the journey together. We've decided to create an organic veggie garden in our side yard (which has no grass, so we won't be tearing up any pre-existing landscaping) that will hopefully produce enough to feed our families, and any bonus will go to local food pantries. We're hoping that this move will not only provide us with super fresh veggies, but will also cut our produce budgets dramatically. In the spirit of the local food movement, all things green, and Earth Day (April 22), we'll create the yummiest veggie garden this side of the High Country. Here's the plan:

Each family will help in the preparation, planting, and maintenance of the garden throughout the growing season. With all the tools that each family has, we shouldn't need to purchase any tools. One family has a truck, so Ben will likely be the one hauling any compost (available from the Watauga County Waste Management folks for free) or amendments that we need to bring in to nurture our garden. Since we have lots of critters around, we'll plant marigolds and lavender amongst the veggies to keep them out and keep the bees and butterflies pollinating things as they grow. We'll also repurpose some wire mesh we have in our basement as fencing around the garden, if we see the need for that, by adding some metal fence stakes.

Benny and I ordered some hazelnut trees from the Arbor Day Foundation and some blueberry bushes (multiple varieties for maximum cross pollination) from the 4-H club to plant along the hill in front of our house. Since these are perennial growers and will take a little while to get established and bear fruit, we will care for these ourselves, but will gladly share the bounty with our small group once they start producing.

After taking a look at the online survey I put together, the results are in and we'll be planting the following things in our garden and hoping they will all be successful: cherry tomatoes, green and jalapeno peppers, lettuce, cabbage, beans, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, basil, and parsley. I might even plant some zinnia seeds just to have some color around the veggies and give people some cheery flowers to decorate their homes with for the summer.

In my online research for gardening resources and supplies, I ran across at Thanks for Today where they're offering several gardening tools to be given away to random blog postings linked up to their site. So, thanks to Thanks for Today and their generosity, we might be acquiring a new rain barrel or other cool gardening tools.

So, what do you think? Are we on the road to more sustainable and community living with our small group garden? Do you have any tips to share? I'd love to hear from you!

Sharin' the green love and savings!


  1. You are definitely 'on the road' to more sustainable living! Sounds very exciting! Here's wishing you lots of good gardening weather! Thanks for your participation.

  2. I LOOOOOVE IT! I can't wait to see it grow and prosper. My favorite thing is that not only are you helping the earth, you're helping each other and creating a community involvement. I am so proud of you and Benny! :)

  3. Congratulations,'re a winner!

  4. Allyson, please send me your address so I can send you your prize from the Earth Day project. You've won the tote bag. Thanks. my email address is:
    starlight1957 AT gmail DOT com