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Why did you start gardening?

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Why did you start gardening?

Post  boffer on 3/24/2010, 11:24 am

Tim, posted this thread, that got me curious.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/general-sfg-talk-f5/7-million-new-gardeners-t697.htm#4453






(Anybody who says they started sfg'ing for the exercise, is doing something wrong!)

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  lisaphoto on 3/24/2010, 11:36 am

I had a very very small garden last year in a space at the edge of my deck that just happened to be cleared and I just planted a few starter plants into the existing soil. I actually had a pretty good crop. About a month ago, a friend posted something on Facebook about Square Foot Gardening. I checked it out, and have been studying about it ever since. I love the taste of homegrown veggies, and I love to use fresh ingredients for cooking whenever I can. Also, I recently had a miscarriage, and being a stay at home mom, I felt I needed to do something to keep my mind off of things.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  jjphoto on 3/24/2010, 11:48 am

I started years ago just because we like the taste of homegrown vegetables. However, the more I do it the more I get interested in self sufficiency, homesteading, etc. It's a pipe dream because we live in the city limits, but still interesting nonetheless.

Our backyard is ginormous so really thinking about adding more sfg beds next year and growing a lot more crops that can be harvested and stored. Also plan on researching the 4 season harvest possibilities this year.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  kimbies on 3/24/2010, 11:51 am

Lisa,
God bless you.

Gardening for me is an act of faith, a way to stay connected to the cycles of the earth, a way to save money (who am I fooling?!?) and eat more healthfully.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  nancy on 3/24/2010, 11:51 am

In part because we need to eat better and I'm hoping that growing it ourselves will get the 6-year-old to try different veggies. And in part because I get absolutely giddy watching / helping things grow. I have begun the daily "garden tour" checking to see how the backyard is doing - so very exciting!

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  pattipan on 3/24/2010, 12:05 pm

I grew up with garden produce -- never had store bought tomatoes until I was married...after eating home grown canned tomatoes all my life I was not impressed. I've had a garden of sorts as long as I can remember. I started SFG'ing because of space. My hubby is a pastor and we never know how large our parsonage yard is going to be. Now I can adjust my garden to the space I have available. If we should move, I can easily dissemble and take my boxes with me...or leave them behind if the current pastor wants it.

We have a large yard now, but I would never go back to a traditional gardening. Who wants to plow and weed once they're used to SFG?? We're right downtown (albeit a one-stoplight town) between a church and the bank drive-thru. Last summer I had complete strangers stop by and ask me what the secret was to my wall of tomatoes!

Patti

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  titans01 on 3/24/2010, 12:15 pm

For me it started for health reasons. Last August I switched to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle in the hopes of getting my choleterol and weight under control. Over the last 7 or 8 months I go through weeks and sometimes months where I eat nothing but raw fruits and vegetables. It gets expensive to eat this way and it's frustrating with the quality of the food you buy in stores. Most of it is underripe or full of pesticides and who knows what else. So I decided to try and grow my own. That way I'm assured of high quality organic food.

In the process of learning about this I've also learned more about peak oil and substainable living so that kind of appeals to me as well although that is a long ways down the road for me at this point.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  timwardell on 3/24/2010, 12:26 pm

Why do I garden?
1) I love the taste of fresh vegetables
2) I really enjoy growing things, nature, and the company of plants
3) It is an experience that I can share with my kids
4) It's an act of revolution - an assertion of independence. We do not have control over far too much of the food that is grown & produced in this country. If you haven't seen it yet, you should watch the movie Food Inc. Giant corporations are making decisions that affect our environment, our health, our health care, and our economy, and they are doing so without considering the larger picture, without considering anything but profit - profit at our expense. We can vote with our wallets - by deciding what we buy and where - but we can't really speak out thanks to food libels laws. An entire industry as made it incredibly difficult for us to exercise our right to free speech. ... I garden to maintain some sense of independence and say "SCREW YOU" to the giant agribuisness corporations.

food libel laws - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_libel_laws
Food Inc. - http://www.foodincmovie.com/
a overview of both - http://www.ecofactory.com/news/how-veggie-laws-limit-your-right-talk-freely-about-food

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  Wyldflower on 3/24/2010, 12:57 pm

Partly for nostalgia - remembering the humongous garden my grandpa had - and the wonderful food my grandma prepared from it. I'd like to replicate a bit of that for my grandkids.

Partly for health - If I eat more veggies, I'll eat less 'bad stuff' (At least I hope it works that way)

Partly for taste - Fresh home grown tomatoes are the BEST (I do love tomatoes!)

Partly for frugality. It'll be an investment this year in building boxes and making up my Mel's Mix - but over the years, it'll save a LOT (again, at least that's my hope)

And finally, partly for the fact that I CAN now... bought my first house last year, and never had a place to do any gardening before this.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  bpbdrummer on 3/24/2010, 1:16 pm

1. I grew up eating homegrown foods from vegetables to pork, beef and chicken.
there is no comparison to the stuff you get in the grocery store..they call those tomatoes - picked green and gassed with ethylene to make em turn red.

2. self sufficiency, nowadays very few people would be able to survive on their own, if for some reason the food supply was cut off they wouldnt have the first clue as to how to help themselves, that goes for not only food but just survival in general, people put too much faith and reliance on the government to save them.

3. teach my daughter exactly where her food comes from, how to read the weather patterns, the circle of life (plant the seeds, grow the veggies, eat the foods, put the waste into the compost pile, use the compost to grow more plants). most kids think their food comes wrapped in plastic and you pop it in the microwave.

the other day when her mom came to pick her up she explained exactly how an aquaponic system works and how the fish waste is utilized by the plants and then returns to the system as clean water for the fish.

4. I know exactly what is going on my food, no chemicals, no fertilizers, just 100% natural. We get more than enough steroids and hormones in the chicken and beef that we eat. Dont believe it? check out teenagers these days, something in the food is causing them to develop very early on.

I'm sure I have other reasons, plus it's just fun to watch your plants start from seed and grow into plants for you to enjoy. it really is like watchin your kids grow.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  timwardell on 3/24/2010, 2:07 pm

@pattipan wrote:
We have a large yard now, but I would never go back to a traditional gardening. Who wants to plow and weed once they're used to SFG?? We're right downtown (albeit a one-stoplight town) between a church and the bank drive-thru. Last summer I had complete strangers stop by and ask me what the secret was to my wall of tomatoes!
Patti
Any pictures of that wall of tomatoes? If so, please share. Wink

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  ayanefan on 3/24/2010, 2:44 pm

I just needed something to do to justify my yard.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  swripley on 3/24/2010, 4:55 pm



I grew up in a gardening family but the experience while educational often lacked anything resembling joy. But the seed was planted. I started my flower gardens 15 years ago because it was cheaper than therapy (nothing relieves stress better than digging in the dirt) and because they are beautiful. I am starting my SFG project because I cook and entertain a lot. Feeding my family and friends feeds my soul. I think growing my own veggies would make it even better.

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Why I started gardening

Post  seb on 3/24/2010, 11:24 pm

I started gardening is because of my love for BLTs. No, really! I got tired of hunting around produce stands and farmers markets in the summer trying to find good tomatoes, so I figured I'd start growing my own last year. Now I'm hooked on BLTs and gardening!

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Magic carrots

Post  Lis L on 3/25/2010, 12:40 am

I began growing veggies becuase I teach kindergarten and year after year I take my students to the Pumpkin Farm and they are amazed when the farmer pulls a carrot out of the ground, many of them think it is magic. I vowed not to have one of those kids! So once I had kids I had to figure out how to grow veggies in the the very limited space we have, fortunatly I came across SFG! The radishes, arrugala, and beets have just begun to sprout and I'm not sure who is more excited my son or myself.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  lakemom on 3/25/2010, 8:19 am

I grew up in a family that grew most of our own veggies and really missed the taste of a fresh picked veggie. I started with the "old" SFG book at my previous home and loved the tiny amount of work for the huge amount of return. I finally have enough time to get started at this house and the kids are old enough to stay out of the beds so I picked up the new book and found the website and am looking forward to heading into the garden each afternoon and gathering up what I need for dinner. I've also recently started canning and freezing so have planned big enough beds to have a harvest for storing.

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My mama

Post  chocolatepop on 3/25/2010, 9:00 am

I grew up in the city, I mean CITY, as in crackheads, drug deals, and gangs. And, in the middle of this, our small neighorhood managed to survive. almost ever one had a garden, and those that didn't we shared our "wealth".

I remember going into the back yard as a tot and throwing banana peels in the compost, picking beans off the fence, watching hummingbirds in my neighbor (and second grandparents) flowers, being scared of snap dragons because my brother said they would eat me if I touched them, climbing the apply tree, etc, etc. I spent more time in the different gardens over getting in trouble.

So it was inevitable that when I could, I would garden.


The other part is so I can prove to my mother in law that I can garden too She is a farmers daughter and does a huge traditional row garden and was/is convinced that SFG won't work. She was incredibly impressed last year, this year I'm going to blow her away.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  tash on 3/25/2010, 9:57 am

well I am still working on starting I think. I tried last year but it didn't work out so well. But I want to garden because I like seeing things grow. Actually I have flowers that are doing quite well. And houseplants that are taking over (giving some away this weekend so I can find my counter again). But I want something to eat too. I also want to cut food costs since somethings are so expensive, like strawberries, and fresh herbs. I also think it would be neat to grow things that I can't find at the store, like different varieties of pepper.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  martha on 3/26/2010, 11:43 am

Tim, I like your style! And I, too, want to see the wall'o'tomatoes!

I mentioned in another thread, I used to have horses. They got old and did what old horses do. By that point, being willing to be so broke and so tired was only worth it for those horses - they were not going to be replaced. I was PANICKING because I didn't know what to do - the horses had taken all of my time, energy and money.

Co-incidentally, (or not - see the part about being broke ) my now husband and I bought our house not long after. Our house has lots of room for gardening. I started flower gardening and fell in love.

When we bought the restaurant, I started growing a few tomatoes and some herbs. Last year I quite by accident came across Mel's book, and immediately I knew I was home!

(The "finding by accident" was because at my favorite Barnes and Noble, the big cushy chairs are located right by the gardening section. And there, staring out at me right at eye level, was Mel's smiling face - 'twas a beautiful day!)

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  timwardell on 3/26/2010, 1:15 pm

@martha wrote:
When we bought the restaurant, I started growing a few tomatoes and some herbs. Last year I quite by accident came across Mel's book, and immediately I knew I was home!
Do any of your home grown veggies make to the restaurant? What kind of food does it serve?

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  martha on 3/26/2010, 1:24 pm

last year, some veggies did make it to the restaurant - red scallions, herbs, tomatoes and lettuce. I spent the winter working on figuring out how much to plant for more useable harvests. Unlike most folks, if I don't plant enough, we can't use it.

The down part is, my husband and I, who get along ridiculously well, argue about the bounty all the time! "Don't eat that - we need to serve it!" "But I grew it, don't I get to eat a little?" "Define 'a little'!"

As far as what type of food, you can check out http://sprigsrestaurant.com. It's hard to describe our food, except to say "Yummy1" (no brag, just fact )

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  titans01 on 3/26/2010, 4:32 pm

Nice looking place Martha. My biggest concern would be how hard it would be running a restaurant and trying to grow food for it too but on the plus side the food would be just that much better.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  boffer on 3/26/2010, 4:45 pm

@martha wrote: "Yummy1" (no brag, just fact )

As I recall, Martha has a couple 'Best of' awards to back her up

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  Miss Mousie on 3/26/2010, 11:56 pm

The reason that I'm starting my first garden this year are similar to Tim Wardell's above. Last year I had my eyes opened when I read Seeds of Deception by Jeffery Smith. I started eating organic food whenever possible and even though more expensive, I feel I'm voting with my food dollar. It's tough though because old habits are hard to break and I do enjoy junk food, fast food and the like. But I'm cooking more at home and therefore using more fresh ingredients. It just seems that growing my own food is the next logical step. Recently I too saw Food, Inc. and it made me see that even though I knew where my food came from, I had turned a blind eye to the Agriculture, feed lot, dairy, poultry industry. We've gotten so far away from producing food the old fashioned way, that the large industrial farms are creating food that is not only non-nutritious but down right dangerous. They are encroaching on the lives of traditional farmers and making it unlawful for us to know what is in the food we eat.

After watching Food, Inc. I immediately (the next day) started trying to find a local source for grass-fed beef and low and behold I found someone in my same county who is growing 100% grass-fed beef using no hormones and no antibiotics. I bought a 1/4 steer which will be ready in May.

Those of you who grew up with parents and grandparents who gardened and had fresh veggies every season and foods that were home canned were so lucky. In this countries efforts to create the ultimate convenience food we have swapped nutrition for convenience.

So to recap, I'm trying to eat healthier and save a little money.

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Re: Why did you start gardening?

Post  martha on 3/27/2010, 2:44 pm

I am not trying to be the sole supplier for our restaurant, so whatever success I have in the garden is good. Getting outside - good. Harvesting - good. Eating a little on the way inside with the harvest - really, really good!

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