A Nudge of Encouragement

August 26th

pumpkins and squash

It’s really Finny’s fault I started gardening. She’s always showing what she’s growing, cooking and eating and my goodness — it is incredible. I thought I could do the same, nevermind she lives in the Bay area and I’m in the desert. Thankfully, after several years of poorly researched attempts, this is getting easier.  And it seems I’m not alone.

Squash blossoms

According to my latest copy of Real Simple:

19% more Americans are growing their own fruits, veggies and herbs in 2009

54% of households grow their own food to save money on groceries

$70 spent on planting a food garden can yield $530 worth of produce per season

Before -- the dreaded rocky plot

Before -- ROCKS

There is a rectangular plot of land between my home and my neighbor’s. When we moved in, it was grassy, with a gorgeous tree in the center. Unexpectedly, the lawn crew decided to cut down the tree and place rock over the grass. My neighbor John and I discussed the state of this nonsense earlier this week and decided a winter garden would certainly make more sense. (Don’t tell our HOA.) I put a plea out for bricks yesterday on Facebook and within three hours had a trunk full, thanks to a sweet couple from church.

After -- lined with brick

After -- dirt and fewer rocks

Several hours, and countless shovels of gravel removal later, I have a $6 garden plot — spent on compost and manure. Granted, there is nothing yet planted, but the list is long for winter vegetables. This is a great planting calendar, if you are living in the desert and interested in doing something similar.

Happy pumpkin plot

I think using the earth we have at hand to grow good food makes more sense now than ever. Plus, gardening falls in line with all my other newly acquired domestic skills. If I can do it, so can a trained monkey. Now, what to plant?


Posted in
Domestic Art, Earth Mama, Goals, Happy Hippie
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16 Responses

  1. I need to pay a visit to see your new garden spot! So awesome. Bub and I are so excited to have our own garden someday. I can’t have own at my place now unfortunately–issues.

  2. Looking good. Those pumpkins sure will be fun.

    I think you should go for some Arugula, Cilantro, and some Carrots, purple ones.

  3. Laura Taylor-Taft August 26, 2009

    Let me know if you ever want compost! We do it to reduce waste but only use it twice a year on the lawn.

  4. Juliann August 26, 2009

    I can’t wait to see what you grow in your new plot! You inspire me to work harder to keep my basil alive (the heat is doing its best to kill it off). I must say, I like that you now have your neighbor involved in the disregard of ridiculous HOA rules.

  5. I am impressed that you can get anything to grow in the heat you have! Way to go! I really hope that the lawn crew doesn’t come by and ruin your hard work though. Good luck with the new garden plot.

  6. Hooray for your glorious garden! I guess I should see about procuring a trained monkey, seeing as how my gardening attempts, well, they wouldn’t feed us. The herbs were good while they lasted this year, though (two whole months, which was a record!).

  7. You grow girl! I’m sure your garden will be fabulous, no matter what you plant.


  9. Awww. Look at your little garden grow! I just took mine down. We got good corn out of it, but then so did a racoon. And I managed to get two good pumpkins…and loads of squash. You’re encouraging me to do an even bigger garden next year!

  10. It reminds me of the Victory gardens during the world war, not that I was alive then but I’ve always been fascinated by the industriousness of gardeners everywhere creating something out of almost nothing and have enjoyed reading about those gardens over time. Thanks so much for sharing the planting calendar for our area as my good-intentions gardening efforts this year came to naught. Your plot looks simply scrumptious.

  11. Good to have a neighbour who feels just the same as you! Can’t wait to se the project develops.

  12. Wonderful Kelli….I’m going to start mine next year. Please pass your green thumb onto me. Have a great day!


  13. Kelli please plan a trip out to San Fran and teach me how to garden! I am dying to garden but this AZ girl does not have a clue where to start! I need a tutorial, step-by-step guide, something!

  14. That is one happy pumpkin patch – nice job, woman!