I must admit, I spend most of the winter dreaming of spring.
The barrenness of the season has its own beauty.
So while I appreciate winter, my thoughts often drift towards dreams of flowers, butterflies, hummingbirds, and all the wonderful things that I desire to plant in my garden.
Do you love gardening? If you are a gardener, I hope to connect with you to share tips, ideas, and maybe trade a few heirloom seeds. If you are not yet a gardener, I hope to encourage you to take a step this winter to make a few plans for a simple garden with your children. Whether you till up a plot of ground, establish a few raised beds, or set out a few containers on a patio, I do hope you will plant something in 2013!
"If you would have a lovely garden, you should have a lovely life."
~The Gardeners Manual - 1843
I have several friends in my life that are veteran gardeners. I love to visit their homes to see the herbs, flowers, and veggies they are growing in their gardens. It is always a delight when a dear friend offers me a gift from their own garden, and when I can share from mine. However, when I consider all of my friends from various walks of life, I notice that most of them, for various reasons, are not gardeners (yet).
My dear friend Carol and I are teaming up to connect with family, friends, acquaintances, and anyone who wants to talk gardening to join a twice-monthly "Help For The Hopeful Gardener" Link-Up. We would love to have you come join us! We would like to invite you to be a part of our Feeding Families Frugally page on Facebook too. Come on over and chat about gardening with us! We would love to see your garden plans, hear of the great resources you are finding, and share gardening ideas with one another.
If you are not yet a gardener, January is a perfect month to make plans! Gardening, Botany, Nature Study are wonderful subjects for homeschooling. If you are a brand-new gardener, and need some guidance, just visit your local Extension Office in your community. You can pick up free and low-cost educational guides, meet knowledgeable staff, and find helpful workshops that can guide you in making plans for your own garden.
I am busy this month getting things ready for the spring. Here are a few of the things I am doing:
~Cleaning out the gardening shed
~Reorganizing garden supplies
~Sorting through seed packets
~Drawing up plans for raised garden beds
~Collecting recycled materials to use for gardening
~Cleaning up branches that have fallen in the winter snow
~Sowing a few seeds indoors at the end of the month
~Trying to figure out a water collection system for our rain gutters
~Checking out gardening ideas on Pinterest
~Pouring over the Baker Creek catalog to see what I may need to order
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is one of my favorite sources for open-pollinated heirloom seeds.
If you are not on the Baker Creek mailing list yet, stop everything you are doing and order yourself a free Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog! You will be glad that you did when you receive this beautiful catalog in the mail. They are at the top of the list for heirloom seed. Baker Creek only offers seed that is open-pollinated, natural, and non-GMO. I am not an affiliate of Baker Creek, but I love the company and seed they offer.
If you are not familiar with the importance of growing open-pollinated seed that is not genetically modified, please read this insightful article:
Open-Pollinated, Pure, Natural, Non-GMO
Sadly, almost all of the conventional produce at the grocery is genetically altered, grown from seed modified by genetic engineering. You can buy organic produce at a much higher cost if you can afford to do so. However, the best and most affordable way to have access to fresh natural food is to grow your own produce in your own garden.
I will share one example of why I am so passionate about gardening for frugal living. A few years ago, I took one $2.25 packet of green pepper seeds and started my own seedlings. From the batch of seedlings, we planted over 40 green pepper plants. Each plant produced a bounty of green peppers. We did not weigh the harvest, but it was a massive amount of peppers. Since my peppers were open-pollinated seed, I could save a certain amount of seeds from each pepper plant, which could eventually yield an unbelievable amount of produce. From the saved seeds, I could have enough to plant for my family for years to come, share with friends, and assist others who needed help in gardening. All of this from an initial $2.25 investment. Of course you need to factor in the time and effort of planting and maintaining the garden, but it is truly an enjoyable family activity. I compare this with making a trip to the local grocery to buy one green pepper which is nearly a dollar.
Grocery prices are on the rise in 2013 and beyond. Our family finds ourselves tightening our budget each week as the food costs soar. Gardening is an absolute necessity for us. If we do not plant, we will not eat as healthy as we could. If I want to feed my family an abundance of fresh produce that is natural and healthy, I must plan ahead and plant a garden.
So what about you, friends? Are you planting a garden in 2013?
Blessings to you and yours!