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You Must Learn How To Garden NOW!

>21 March 2012
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As I’ve been working on getting this year’s garden going, it has weighed heavily on my heart that I emphasize to everyone the importance of learning how to garden right now.

Right now. Not next year. Now, before your lives depend on it. Because, frankly, deep down inside, I truly believe that one day our lives will depend on it.

I believe that 100%. And I’m acting on it. Maybe it won’t be in my lifetime. Maybe it’ll be in my children’s (though I doubt it’ll take that long). But this is the number one motivating force behind all that we do here.

And if you’ve been feeling like something is coming… like you need to be getting prepared for harder times… you cannot let another year go by without getting your hands dirty and beginning to learn to grow food.

Having a pack of survival seeds and a gardening “how to” book is NOT good enough.

I’m telling you right now: Gardening takes practice. I’ve been attempting to raise my own food for three years now, and every year I face new challenges and make new mistakes. If we had depended on any of our previous gardens to survive, we would have surely starved. Even this year, I can already tell that my garden won’t be near good enough.

If a food crisis were to hit in a week from now, what would you do?

Do you already have a place in your yard where you can plant things? A spot full of rich soil, turned over and ready to plant in?

Do you have containers and compost you can start seeds in?

Do you even have any seeds? Do you have enough seeds to grow enough food to feed your family for at least a few months? A year?

Do you have any gardening tools? A hoe? A rake? A hose or watering can?

Would you know how to deal with pests, fungus, or weeds?

Do you own any gardening books??

What would happen to you if all of a sudden your family depended upon whatever you could grow yourselves?

Would you know how to start seeds? How to save seeds? How to store seeds properly?

Would you know when to harvest your crops? And how to preserve them? Do you have the necessary tools to preserve your food?

These are things that you seriously need to be asking yourself. And you need to stop daydreaming about your future garden, and start making it a reality!

Start with making a list of everything your family likes to eat. Then get online, find out which varieties grow best in your area, and order seeds or plants.

Find a place in your yard that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight, break up the sod and start amending that soil. Or build raised beds. Or get a bunch of large containers to plant in. Do something!

Bulk up your personal library with books on gardening, seed saving, and preserving the harvest. I gave a few suggestions HERE a while back.

Make sure you have some basic gardening tools. I’d HIGHLY recommend Craftsman tools. They have a lifetime warranty, and Sears will replace them no questions asked (I’ve exchanged two old messed up tools for brand new ones, no problem).

Start a compost pile. It isn’t hard. Just find a corner of your yard to start throwing uncooked produce scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, leaves, weeds and anything else organic. Turn it over every now and then, and before long you’ll have some awesome planting material ready and waiting.

Start putting in perennials NOW. Berry bushes, herbs, asparagus, artichokes, rhubarb, strawberries, fruit trees… squeeze in as much as you possibly can, wherever you can. Most of these things take at least three years before a harvest, so get them established now.

I hear from so many people who tell me that they’d like to have a garden one day. Or that they feel like they need to be preparing, but aren’t sure what to do. Listen up, dear friends!

Even if it’s just one tomato plant you purchased at the garden center, you have to start somewhere, and that’s a great start. But start making serious steps toward learning a little self-sustainability. And start now. Because, I feel like we’re living on borrowed time. I don’t know how long we have, but I know we don’t have time to waste.

Don’t wait another season, another year. This is the year to get down on your knees (in more than one way!), to get dirt under your nails, sunshine in your face, and plants in the ground. This is the year to harvest your first home grown produce, and to feel the satisfaction in knowing that you can take care of yourself and your family no matter what.

Gardening is not extremely difficult. But it takes time, and it cannot all be learned in one season, or two, or three.

So, get on it people!! Spring is upon us. No more excuses.

Get out there and grow some food! Learn how to garden now!

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55 Comments »

  • John Amrhein said:

    Thanks for writing this. Sometimes I wish I had gotten more serious a couple years ago, but like you said – start by doing SOMETHING. Gardening is not hard but it takes real-life experience to learn what works and what doesn’t.

  • Wendy said:

    Awesome post!! And I completely agree!! I have tried gardening for 3 years now; and as you said….it takes LOTS of practice!! Thanks so much for sharing!! I love your blog!!

  • monique said:

    You’re right. I’m 3 years in (container gardening and I’ve moved as well), have a very shaded yard, and I’m still working on getting good yields for what I have planted. We’ve got: 4 lemon tree, 1 lime tree, 1 plum tree, a couple dozen strawberry plants, onions, garlic, mint, fennel (dead LOL), and tomatoes so far.

  • crafty_cristy said:

    This is my second year gardening. The first was a HUGE learning curve. We did not harvest much compared to what we planted. 5 tomatoes off of 27 plants. That is an example. You say that gardening is not hard, but I think that for people who have never gardened, there are challenges, and a learning curve. I have moved my garden this year, expanded it, prayed over it. And I read about 40 books about gardening from my local library.

    It looks much better. I feel that it will be better this year. But I agree. Now is the time to get your training. You wouldn’t want your learning curve to happen on a year when you depended solely on this.

    This year my goal is to harvest and to save seed. I am trying to learn how. Some plants are easy to save seed from: beans. Others require more actual interaction on my part: squash.

  • Carol J. Alexander said:

    Great words, Kendra. I get quite riled up when I read an article or hear people say how easy gardening is and when the time comes they’ll just throw a few seeds in the ground and cover them with dirt. It’s not rocket science, but if you want to feed your family, it takes know-how and hard work!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Crafty_Cristy,

    I guess I need to clarify what I mean, lol. Gardening isn’t hard, as in extremely difficult labor (it doesn’t HAVE to be, anyways)… however, there is definitely a HUGE learning curve! In that regard, it is “hard”, as in not as easy as it seems!! There is a lot to learn, but I truly believe that practically anybody can do it. :)

  • Mairi Stones said:

    Well said!!
    I couldn’t agree more and fully intend to “go for it”. I’m working on creating a forest garden as much as I can, and then perennials, fruit bushes and the like. Even here on a boat where I am for the next 4 months I am sprouting and have got a sourdough going, both requiring experience and learning as you say. Hurrah, love this blog. X

  • Theresa said:

    Great post! This will be my fifth year gardening. And it does take practice! Each year comes something new (two years ago I was pregant with my twins…let’s just say I produced more weeds than anything)! This year I am going to try companion planting. I already have several plants going inside (45 tomato and 27 pepper). It is a great feeling knowing that I started those seeds and they are growing! (I did this last year too and these produced way more tomatoes than the plants I had purchased at the store the previous years.) Looking forward to another year and hope to have a much better garden than the last two years! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • BeckyT said:

    Something to supplement your garden, or if it fails when you REALLY need food: Planned foraging. About a year ago I got this panicky feeling when reading an article about EMP attacks (weird, I know. But I learned from my panic). I thought, what if this happened RIGHT NOW, and I couldn’t get food anywhere? So I did some reading and searching, and found a few thing near me that could be consumed if I had no other food.

    1. wild onions. They were growing wild, strong and plentiful in our backyard. No time or care on our part. Just growing by themselves.

    2. Pine-needle tea. All you need are pine needles and clean water. It’s very high in Vitamins C and A.

    3. Dandelions and dandelion leaves. Excellent in salads, can make an entire salad of just dandelion leaves. The flowers make a YUMMY jelly, too.

    4. Prickly pear cactus. The spiny part of the cactus is flat like a beaver’s tail. It tastes like green beans but with the slimy texture of okra. The reddish/purplish “pear” (fruit) part tastes sweet and citrus-y. Also very high in Vitamin C.

    5. Blackberries or dew berries (they look similar). These grow on their own with very, very little cultivation. We have several vines in our backyard that grow wild and produce copious amounts of dew berries every (late) spring.

  • Pat Lentz said:

    I’ve been gardening for more than thirty years and I’m still making mistakes and learning. What I’m shooting for now is a permaculture- based yard. I’m learning about foraging, too, and advise special care with this. A little knowledge can be dangerous. For instance, I believe I read somewhere that raspberry leaves are toxic when they are wilted, but okay dried.

  • Rosalyn said:

    I’ve dabbled in vegetable gardening before but am really making a big effort this year. My dad and I built a shelf complete with grow light for starting seeds in my basement, I’m chopping down (another!) tree in my back yard to get more light to grow around our house, and I am just in the process of starting a community pantry garden on empty space in a neighbourhood park. I’m getting my family excited about it, and we will likely plant a garden at my parents’ cottage as well. I have a lot to learn, but I’m extremely excited about it! Yay for homegrown veggies. :)

  • Kristi@LetThisMindBeInYou said:

    YES YES YES! GREAT post, Kendra. You echo my sentiments perfectly. AND you are motivating me to do more than I am already doing! Thanks!

  • Lauren-Mae Cook said:

    About Craftsman tools, they are not covered if they were in a fire. I am not dissing Craftsman at all! Craftsman is good, and my husband had A LOT of their tools. I just thought that I would put it out there.

    But Harbor Freight I know will replace tools if you have a proof of purchase.

    My in-law’s barn burned down two weeks ago so I have been getting a crash course in tools and such.

    Anyway, I agree wholeheartedly with you. I have been soaking up gardening information like a sponge. I have books, tools, and seeds. This is my third year gardening, and I am learning more and more nearly every week.

    Crops like Rhubarb, asparagus, dandelions, wild garlic and wild onions are good to have as well.

  • Mandalaia said:

    I have also been reading everything I can get my hands on and spending most of my free time on youtube watching videos on gardening and survival. Unfortunately I live in an apartment right now and can’t even put potted plants outside without someone stealing them, 2 years ago I planted several tomato and pepper plants in big pots. Watered them in the evening and the next morning everything was gone, pots and all. So I am very limited to what I can grow. I do have some shop lights and could easily turn one of my bedrooms into a grow room, but it just doesn’t feel right lol. This summer I am moving, the house is very small and only on 1/10 of an acre, but it’s still enough to plant a small garden and have some chickens and rabbits. I just wish I could go now, there’s so much to do and I feel like time is running out :(

  • Lauren-Mae Cook said:

    Scratch what I said about Harbor Freight, my husband went last night and he couldn’t get his tools replaced.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Lauren-Mae,

    Aw, that stinks :( Sorry to hear the tools were a loss.

  • Lauren-Mae Cook said:

    Yeah. :(

  • Joey said:

    Love love love this post! We started gardening a several years ago and still haven’t gotten it down! It seems every year there is some sort of new challenge or set back. Gardening is definitely not something that comes natural to us and has been something we’ve had to study and work very hard at!

  • melanie keck said:

    I come from a place and a church that really has a emphasis on being prepared and being self sufficient. for over thirty years (like my whole life) they have been preaching to have not just a small supply of food and water, but a full two years worth of food storage. I had the privledge of being the provident living leader in my church while single. I learned alot from that. But now being married and having children has really changed me. I am striving to be able to take care of them. We have been on a journey ourselves the last few years to have and upkeep our food storage items. This year we are really trying to get the garden going better and raising chickens in the meantime. I love having a husband that grew up on a ranch. He has skills that are handy to have around. We love being able to teach the kids and help them to have some real life experiences. We are far from our goals, but are on our way on this wonderful journey of self sufficent living. These things are important and people are taking notice. My friend Caleb Warnock realeased his new book this fall. “The forgotten skills of self sufficiency used by the mormon pioneers” It went to the new york best sellers list in just a few weeks. Love it. We can change our world one homesteader at at time

  • Freedom Acres Farm said:

    Yes, we feel quite an urgency too… at the beginning of the post I was sure you’d read my mind! We have been gardening for 26 years and we’re STILL learning. Always something new, somewhere to expand, something to try differently to get a better yield… it’s a never ending learning process.

    Good for you for sending out this warning to help people wake up :-)

  • Abbigail said:

    I have to start from scratch here at our property and I want so bad but cant seem to get anyone to help me get the lad ready in time. We will be buying mature fruyit trees this yr though, my husbands friend is helping us he knows a lot about them and where to find and purchase good ones. I might be buying already started plants this yr. I feel overwhelmed by the info I keep learning and feel it is a huge chunk of money to start from scratch and I dont know where to begin. I have books I read stuff but I too feel its important to learn NOW! I really have appreciated your blog in showing us failures and successes. Youve been an inspiration.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Abbigail,

    It can be extremely discouraging when you don’t really have money to do the things you feel are so urgent to do. Believe me girl, I know what you mean!! It doesn’t have to be expensive though. A pack of seeds is only a dollar or so. You can start there ;) If you don’t have a piece of ground ready to plant in, find some old containers and plant in them. Keep an eye on Craigslist for free pots, plants, etc. I see them every now and then. Or old trash cans with holes in them, etc. When you are flat broke, you gotta get creative, lol! My advice would be to just start one pot at a time. You can do it!! :)

  • Mary Beth said:

    Kendra, right on – amen – yessirree!! Have been harvesting asparagus for the first time from plants planted 3 years ago, have the onions, potatoes and lettuce in and will be putting in tomatoes, peppers and herbs in today. I can’t believe how early we are planting!!! Okra and melons will be coming soon. The blueberries and raspberries are blooming, as well as the strawberries and apple trees, and the peach and nectarine trees are loaded. There is nothing like a garden/orchard!!!

  • Becky said:

    Great post. I gardened off and on (mostly off) in our previous house, but started getting serious about it when we moved. The first year we put one in here we were working on a very limited budget so I started off just forming a bed around the deck and down part of the back of the house. The next year we added two raised beds and I even grew a tomato and some cantaloupe in one of the flower beds in front of the house. We did grow enough tomatoes last year to can all of our own diced tomatoes and homemade “Rotel” for the year. I was pretty thrilled about that. This year we scored 8 new raised beds when the hardware store put their raised bed kits on sale for less than the cost of the lumber. I’m itching to get all these extra beds planted this year. We’re excited about being able to grow so much more food this year.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    That is wonderful, Becky! I hope you have a bountiful harvest :)

  • pastorchuck said:

    Great post with all thats going on we need need need to be prepared big brother is trying to stop us at every turn when is enough enough? we are on our way to being self sustained and I have been doing this for years goats chickens gardens food preservation and other stuff. you may not have as much time as you think every square foot of space can and should be used.

  • Beth K. said:

    I heartily agree! You’ve probably seen it already, but I must recommend the film Back to Eden to you. You can watch it for free online at http://backtoedenfilm.com/. Scroll down to see the video.

    Happy gardening!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    LOVE that film, Beth :)

  • Laurie B said:

    Kendra, the Lord has been giving me the EXACT same message: start self-sustainable food practices like gardening and canning, and start them NOW. Dear friends, Kendra’s message on this post is right on. Please, for the safety of your family, heed and obey now. Don’t wait till it’s too late and you’re without options….

    I’ve shared other things on my blog that have been laying heavily on my heart as well in these types of areas.

    THANK YOU, Kendra, for sharing what is laid on your heart, and God bless you!

  • des said:

    Thanks for this post. We started gardening 3 years ago and this year he built me two raised gardens. Definitely something we’re trying to expand and do more of. Looking forward to seeing more on this subject.

  • Amy @ Homestead Revival said:

    Kendra, your statement… “I feel like we’re living on borrowed time.”… I totally agree! I believe that those who are waking up and making an effort will find that their investment now will pay off big someday. I don’t know how that will look, but it could be as simple as having something to eat while others are standing in bread lines to BUY bread (not a handout).

    I’m also gardening with a couple of other thoughts in view as well… 1) permaculture; 2) sustainability ; 3) old age! Seriously, I need my garden to be mostly established so that it is easy enough to work as a senior adult! In my terrain, that means retaining walls, fences, garden boxes, permanent composting areas, etc. These things may wear out too, but hopefully I will have nice young sons-in-laws who can help replace them on occasion!! LOL!

    The point I’m trying to make is that this can’t be like Y2K where we all rushed in and did something for a short time and then ditched it when the supposed “crisis” was over (and I fell for that, too!). That should have served as a warning of how fragile our system really is! I know most readers (and yourself) see that, but if anyone is thinking that this little global economic crises and such are going to be short lived… think again!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Amen to that, Amy!! So many believers in particular seem to be feeling led of the Father to start preparing. I think there’s something to that. I think we being warned. And I know without a shadow of a doubt, all of this hard work will reap some major benefits, and maybe even save lives, whenever that time should come. I hope more people head this warning while there’s still time.

  • maria said:

    THANK YOU so much for sharing this. I live in the city, and anything rearding homesteading has been completely foreign to me growing up. In the past year however, Its been on my heart to learn and grow in the direction of sustainable living. I’ve been wanting and ‘planning’ on starting to garden the past year, so this post is EXACTLY what I needed to read and confirm what was on my heart. Thanks again kendra!

  • Rachel @ Rediscovering the Kitchen said:

    This is such a great post, and a really fascinating read including the comments. My husband and I have had many a conversation on these lines over the last few years, and have started a garden, but we have felt like the only ones even thinking about this stuff, let alone doing anything about it. It is good to know this is not true.

    So far our little garden has had some successes and failures, we had a fantastic crop of cucumbers one year, and had to share with several neighbors or they would have gone bad. Our attempt at watermelon yielded one small one, and our pumpkins failed entirely. Our rhubarb that we rescued from neglect from the previous owner is finally going strong this year, we hope to be able to harvest next year. We’re hoping that our apple trees fruit this year too!

    Definitely a learning experience.

  • christine said:

    Excellent post. Don’t you just feel like you need to run through the streets yelling this sometimes?

    There are times when I lie awake at night wondering how I can be better at spreading the importance of this message…it can feel pretty overwhelming at times, especially when I still come across people who think I’m quite odd for doing the things that I do.

    Oh well, at least we’re doing our best!

  • pastorchuck said:

    Kendra this site is such a great help to those who think they are alone trying to do somthing I live in a prepper community and it is nice to know that there are others out there doing what God tells us to in His word Kuddo’s to you and your readers my God bless you in fabulous ways keep up the good work tribulations are quickly approaching

  • Beth @ My Destiny said:

    I agree! Great post!

  • Christy said:

    For three years now I have had a feeling of “waste not want not” and pushed our backyard garden to the limit. I canned and canned and canned. Then all of a sudden my husband and I were both out of jobs and stayed out of jobs and didn’t qualify for unemployment for 6 months.(My husband finally got a job) Those canned veggies did save us, we would not have been able to eat without them. They were stashed everywhere in the house, but we didn’t go hungry.

    We are moving to the country so we can grow even more. We are getting excited. So yes, gardening and homecanning can save your life when you need it the most.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Christy,

    What a blessing you were to your family for being diligent and following that gut feeling. It would have been so much easier to choose to sit back and do nothing. Good for you for doing what it takes!

  • Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said:

    This is a GREAT post…you are speaking my mind to a tee. I have believed this for some time now. God gave me 1 Thes 4:11-12 about 5 years ago and this is exactly why. Thank you for spreading the word and encouraging others to be ready. You are right…a pack of survival seeds and how-to book won’t cut it when things fall apart.

  • Healthy Living Through Gardening: Start today! | Christian Mom Living said:

    [...] I saw Kendra’s blog at New Life on a Homestead last month on the same topic, I knew we were on the right [...]

  • Michael-T said:

    Have you ever heard of Les and Jane’s Garden Secrets. Check them out at their website. Looks like a winning way to garden!

  • Andi said:

    AMEN! Kendra,
    Haven’t been by for a while… sorry…but glad to have stopped by! Doing something is better than nothing..and I am an advocate for teaching our children to garden, it will be needed! Blessings!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Nice to hear from you again, Andi :)

  • Lisa Lynn said:

    Hi Kendra,

    As you can tell, there are many of us who have been feeling the same way!

    And as several other people have said, being an experienced gardener doesn’t mean it’s a failproof thing. I’ve been gardening since I was a toddler with my Dad, and I still learn something new every year (and I’m 46…so I know almost 46 things :)

    We live on a bit more than 1 acre and moved here 2 years ago so we could raise chickens and maybe some other small livestock. I’m still trying to get my new garden established, since it is very heavy clay. So new gardeners need to know that you may have several years of soil ammendment to get good harvests…another good reason to start now.

    For those who are lamenting the lack of fruit trees mature enough to bear fruit…plant some whenever you can afford to, or have the room for them…but in the meantime plant strawberries, raspberries, grapes, blueberries and other small fruits. They will give you great harvests in much less time than most fruit trees and usually take less care to harvest nice fruit. Most tree fruits will have pests that make it difficult to raise them organically.

    Good luck to every one just starting out. When you spend time in your garden every day and notice the interaction of insects, birds and gardener in a variety of plants…it is really a blessing to behold.

  • John Stott said:

    Hi Kendra. It is awhile since I last looked in as family has taken most of my time this last year. Illness and passings, but God has smiled as always on our small community. Life does go on.

    I have to agree with you wholeheartedly. Folk need to get into this groove yesterday. Like you and many others, I feel things are happening that will shake the foundations we live on.
    An example of what can go wrong, as you know I have been farming for many a year. We are in a drought in my part of England, have been for over a year. My seed potatoes went in, as usual at the end of March. Well, what followed was amazing, we had three months rain in three weeks. The ground was waterlogged and every tuber rotted.

    Moral of this? In growing, anything can go wrong. Now we will have enough, we will trade some meat for potatoes from a friend who is on higher ground. We will have plenty of other produce, but as folk know, taties are a staple. The loss is too late to rectify.

    I hope your family are all well, God Bless you all lass!

    John

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hello my friend! It always brings a smile to my face to hear from you, John. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.

    And I hate to hear that your crop was ruined! But a very good point you make. Even the best gardeners can’t count on an adequate harvest every year. We should be putting up as much as we can while we have it! Those years when there is a bumper crop, and more than enough of a particular crop to go around are the times when as much as possible should be canned/stored. Because next year, you might not get ANY of that crop. I think bumper crops are God’s way of giving us enough to cover the barren times.

    Blessings to you as well.

  • Ashlee said:

    I got married last month! I already live on a cattle farm in AR. I am wise beyond my 22yrs but I feel like I need to take care of myself when the world ends. I want a garden, chickens,rabbit, and a milking goat. My freezer is full of pork and beef! Its just convincing my husband on the issue!!!! the hunger games really brought around for me!

  • ramona said:

    This is my first year and I have learned that your first year you should probably buy started plants cause I killed all my seeds that I started. I got very excited that they started to sprout and I think I over watered them and that I moved them out of the seed trays too soon. Lesson learned. I also think we are living on borrowed time. Something is coming and I dont know when or how. My DH and I have begun to prepare for this “event.” We are buying a house this spring and we are getting acreage to plant on and we will be getting animals to help our self sustainability. Its a huge task and we are starting slow but steady. love your blog, I hope to learn a lot from it.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    I wish you the very best, Ramona. You are wise to be preparing now.

  • Rebecca said:

    Awesome article!!! I’m pursuing 4 season gardening instead of preserving, but there is a HUGE learning curve on everything from watering to dealing with groundhogs. We also are trying to get in a root cellar so we can increase our winter veg supply. I don’t know if there will be a true food crisis in my lifetime, but I doubt we will ever return to the time when a family’s food was less than 20% of their income.

  • Nicole said:

    I agree. I learned a little about gardening when I was little and have learned just how little I remembered. I have had the feeling that my girls needed to learn too. So when my middle daughter wanted to do veggie gardening for 4-H I was more than happy to let her. We have an extra lot with our property and I gave her about half of it for our garden. This year with no rain and water restrictions it didn’t do very well but our tomatoes just in the last week have revived from nearly dead to blooms :)
    I just wish we could keep chickens and a goat here in town. I would gladly build a little chicken coop.

  • Andrew said:

    Just one point. Don’t put egg shells in the compost unless they have been boiled first. They CAN contain salmonella, which can transfer to veggies (especially tomatoes) and most composts do not get hot enough to kill off the bacteria.

    Otherwise, thanks for the kick up the bum! We all need it from time to time.

  • Rachel said:

    Companion planting is way to go! I had better yields and no diseases last year. We grew a patch of dill last year and it was a great habitat for lots of different insects. Bees love basil, and its companion for tomatoes. We grow a small amount of buckwheat last summer and bees loved it. You can eat the leaves and they taste good. It grows in less then 8 weeks and Its good cover crop.

  • Heidi said:

    I totally agree. People ask me why I garden and now have chickens in the city. I tell them, I don’t want to be learning when our lives depend on it.

    Heidi

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