Monday, January 28, 2013

Raised Vegetable Beds

Raised vegetable beds are one of the best ways to garden and probably my favorite recommendation for how to start. Because of the compact space, you can concentrate your soil amendments in one place, the soil will warm up quicker in the spring, and the soil is looser, therefore, easier to grow root vegetables such as beets, turnips, radishes, and carrots.

Here are the raised beds that my husband built for me about 4 years ago. I use them predominantly for my spring, fall, and winter garden. I try to let them sit dormant over the summer.

We started by laying down newspaper, at least 10 pages thick, then a layer of mulched leaves, and a mixture of bags of compost, top soil, and peat moss from Wal-Mart. It was very inexpensive and got the job done.

Since then, we will add compost and dolomitic lime in- between plantings. Sometimes, if the bed is going to sit dormant, I will layer newspaper, leaves, lime, and compost.

Now, my husband has made a PVC frame that we cover with plastic when the temperature starts to drop and we are able to have fresh greens and root crops all winter.

Garden to Table In January

I would have never known that one could grow so much food and harvest a meal's worth of vegetables two days after an ice storm, but check out what we had for dinner last night. Carrots, radishes, lettuces, and herbs just picked and made into a delicious venison stew and a fresh garden salad. Bon Appetite!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stepping Out is Scary

So this is my passion and I have a passion to share it with others. WIll they laugh?

In honor of National Homestead month, I would like to open my 
unimpressive 1/2 acre in a subdivision for 1 -1/2 hours on Thursday 
from 1-2:30 for those who are interested in learning how to grow food 
almost year round in a small space. I am by no means an expert, but 
growing organic foods is my passion and I have had many people ask me 
about how to do it. I will be glad to share what I have learned and 
what I have done for almost 20 years. Sometimes it is beautiful, 
sometimes it is not, but it is usually functional. Now is the time to 
prepare for spring planting or why not try a fall crop? I am getting 
ready to plant my second round of fall veges and I will probably plant 
another in October. It is not hard, but takes work and "know-how" 
which has become a lost art in our fast food society. This is not a 
homeschool field trip, but an inspirational tour for novice gardeners 
or homesteaders who want to try their hand at growing or producing 
some or most of their family's food. Please make other arrangements 
for younger or uninterested children.

I am confident there are more knowledgeable and experienced 
homesteaders or gardeners out there? Anyone want to share? We can 
learn from one another and resurrect the "Victory Gardens" of the 
past. Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to rely upon 
industrialized food but could produce it ourselves or buy it locally?

Please email me at dualbabies if you would like to 

Tina Riley

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gardening in the Snow

It is fun to be able to pick a basketful of beets on a day when the high was in the mid 30's and we had a dusting of snow. I wonder how much my anniversary greenhouse will increase production?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Iron Men

Kevin and some of his buddies pose for a picture after completing their first Triathlon.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Daughter Obsessed With Greek Mythology

I just had to laugh when Colleen got into the googley eyes and tried to turn Paco into a Greek monster.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garden Transformation- Day Fifty-Four

Today was the day to work on our church's community garden. We felt like it was important to include the children in this project so that they could spend time in service to others and boy did they work today. There was an enormous amount of weeding to be done and they stepped up to the challenge.

We also got to harvest some onions, lettuce, beet greens, and basil. What a great feeling to reap the rewards of your labor. It was fun dividing it up and taking it to some of the members of our church.

The home garden is not looking as wonderful, though. Glen put up a fence for Mother's Day to keep the chickens, bunnies, and dog out, but not before they dug up my seed. So, here it is:

The corn:
The squash, beans, and cucumbers:

The tomatoes:
Pitiful, I know. However, I hopes for a brighter future. In the mean time, the spring garden is doing great. This week we had Swiss Chard, radishes, onions, and kolrhabi. I have never tasted kolrhabi before, but it was quite good. The leaves taste like a very mild kale and the bulb tastes like broccoli. Surprisingly yummy.

This week we will be eating spinach, salad, and more kolrhabi. It is so fun to pick your food from your own backyard!