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Sustainable Gardening: Growing Food At Home

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With excessive hours of staying at home, we start to pick up the activities we plan to do or been idle for a while. I’m sure at this time around, growing green is becoming the main theme; here is to the birth of gardening enthusiasts aiming towards sustainable gardening, growing food at home!

Why Gardening?

My aim in this article is to inspire you to start working on your backyards or whenever you have a space inside to grow plants and learn about sustainability. Certainly no excuses!

Cheryl a friend of mine is guest-posting. She shared her thoughts on the impact of the pandemic on her family life from my previous article; New Normal that correlates with this topic.

Cheryl’s Garden

Cheryl’s Garden

Backyard Gardening Sustainability and Beyond

Today’s new normal gardening is the new trend. With the unlimited time at home, many families turn vacant spaces into a garden. You might be in the city or in the countryside you will never go wrong with it.

In our case, we start our garden just in time of the pandemic, the first few days after lockdown. We start planting a few veggies like eggplant, bitter gourd, tomatoes, cucumber, and more. Since we lived in the countryside the access to organic fertilizer is easier. After over a month we started consuming our harvest.

Thankfully with our products, we are able to save a few bucks in our vegetable and spices allocation. In fact, those vegetables that in excess of our daily consumption we barter it with meat and seafood in our local community. Sounds like the olden times with the barter trade! Our vegetable garden sustains us while our ornamental/flower garden gives beauty in our surroundings.

Hence by gardening, we learned to be sustainable and start growing food at home.

Moreover, we now practice waste recycling. Instead of throwing the eggshells, vegetable peelings, and some papers, I toss them in my compost pit, and use them as organic fertilizer. We also recycle some plastics and cans as plant containers.

I personally benefitted from gardening to ease the anxiety because it keeps me busy every day. It also gives me a sense of fulfillment knowing that I accomplish something worthwhile while staying at home.

Vinn’s Garden

Tomato, Zucchini and Watermelon Plots

For this year, we work more on our backyard garden since the lockdown last March. In the beginning, we plant different seeds of cucumber, squash, tomato, pepper, watermelon, and zucchini.

By the time we are ready to transfer them to our plots, the color markings are gone due to the rain. So, our garden is a little bit disorganized and a kind of guessing game which plant it is, till it bears fruits. Don’t worry, we will do it better next year!

What I am proud of is that by June, we start to reap zucchinis, about four dozens of harvest and still more to come! We no longer buy zucchinis from the market and our home cook meal, louvi (beans and zucchini, Cypriot Cuisine) comes from our backyard. Also, the best part is we are able to share our products with our friends!

In about two months of gardening, we start growing food at home and achieve a sense of sustainability.

We have a lot of tomatoes growing, just waiting for them to be ready and that will be another item off from our grocery list. So far, only one cucumber produced and we are hoping to have some watermelons too. About the pepper and squash, we really don’t know what happen, probably next season!

Aside from the vegetables, I also have rose flower bed; red, yellow, white roses, and the fourth one, we don’t know yet the color. Crossing my fingers that it’s going to a pink rose! They are blossoming generously that I almost ran out of vases. Dried rose petals, I use them to make potpourri using rose oil. Can you smell the fragrance?

Handmade Gardening Tools and Décor

Gardening is a newfound hobby and I find myself enjoying it at the start of the day. The scent of the soil is therapeutic similar to the scent of the pages of the books.

Sustainable Gardening

Sustainable Gardening means gardening in a smart and eco-friendly way. It’s all about giving back to mother nature by using organic growing methods so you use less chemicals and adopt more greener alternatives when you’re gardening. Food produced in a sustainable garden is rich in terms of both nutrients and taste!

MEMUNA UMBER FROM YARDYUM

Benefits of Gardening

  • Saving Mother Earth. Reduce. Reuse and Recycle.
  • Self-sustaining from the harvests. How much will you save when you no longer buy tomatoes in the market?
  • Encourages body work out. Even with small plots, there is some bending moves and the walking route in watering the plants.
  • Gardening can be therapeutic, and beats anxiety or stress!
  • A prospect to engage with like-minded people to exchange knowledge and create goals for the community.
  • With schools interrupted, get kids to involve at an early age that shall foster a sense of responsibility and other skills.

Overcoming Roadblocks

These are the usual reasons why gardening is not on the hobby list.

  1. I don’t have a green thumb. Gardening is not my main interest before and so I believe only a few people can succeed. But here I am now. I wouldn’t even think I have a zucchini, tomatoes, and rose garden in two month’s time. Yes, you can. Study and remember the basics in gardening which is to know how to care for your plant.
  2. I am a constant epic fail. Oh well back to point number 1. Probably because you didn’t do correctly on your first tries; planting off-season; overwatering; not watering, or absence of sun exposure. Can you please give it a go this time and try your best to do it right? Perhaps….
  3. I don’t have a backyard. Another popular reason. Well, you can use pots or plastic containers. A little research will guide you that you can grow plants indoors.
  4. What should I plant? Here is a list of easy plants to grow for beginners. Please note that the type of plants depends on your location. Pop that question in google plus your location and voila!
  5. Don’t procrastinate. I have given you the most valuable reasons to start gardening. In the end, this will have a magnitude impact in our society as more people start gardening and find ways to grow food at home. So, let’s start it now!
Water Spinach in Cheryl’s Garden

Final Thoughts

Cheryl and I are beginners in gardening, yes amateurs. Through our constant communication, we shared our failures, and sometimes our body aches. Lol. Gardening means commitment. They say you become responsible in life when you learn to take care of a plant and a pet. (I’m pretty sure this is from a movie, please help me remember!)

Above all, we have to give back to Mother Nature. She is in total depletion and we are experiencing nature’s backlash over the years.

Summer Gardening

Consequently, we challenge all of you, to grow just one plant in your space, the more the better. Be committed and learn to be in love with gardening. Just imagine when each one starts gardening to grow food at home. Multiply that with the world’s population….

Let’s create a sustainable gardening and start growing food at home!

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

Vincent Van Gogh

Share your gardening pursuits and hit the comment below!

P.S. Drop by to Cheryl’s Garden page, and feel free to share your garden photos, leave some tips and your stories too! Thank you!

59 Comments

Add Yours →

I don’t have a green thumb but I keep trying and love doing it. Hopefully I will be more successful with plants and gardening in the future!

Love to hear your commitment on this! I never consider myself as having a green thumb. I tried and here I am now. I wish you have a beautiful and fruitful garden.

Hello Ed thanks for dropping by. Hope you can be home soon to set up your garden. In the meantime is it possible for you to grow something within your space?

Wow those homegrown vegetables look incredible! We have a pretty lovely flower garden but haven’t really looked into growing vegetables. I did try once (spent a summer on a gardening day course) and it was nothing short of a disaster.

– Laura || https://afinnontheloose.com

Fresh vegetables are rich in colors and more tasty! That’s great you had a gardening course. What did you try to grow before? I hope you can give it a try again and enjoy the fruits of your labor. In the meantime enrich your flower garden.

Yes you’re right baby steps! It’s better to start small and something that is manageable. Balcony is a good location for growing plants and some use their walls too. Just be creative. Be inspired! 💕

I love gardening and am pretty proud of the garden we put together this year! We are always trying new things and composting on the beds with used chicken bedding come fall, but this fall we want to try a new method where you bury logs under the beds to retain moisture. We live in a hot climate so the extra water would be welcome!

Wow! I can imagine that you have a beautiful garden space. Thanks for sharing your tips. We keep on learning and finding way to improve our plantation. Cheers!

I understand that some homes don’t have open spaces but maybe in the future you can think of having a potted plant inside. Aside from our garden I also have several plants inside. Thanks for the read! 😉

WOW this is incredible! I live in London in a flat without a garden or outside space, but I’m hoping to move somewhere at the end of the year I can have a few plant pots… and I really want to grow a few little veg plants (like tomato plants or something)!

Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

Hi Katie! Tomatoes are easy to grow, you can even grow them in pots! I’m excited on your moving and it will be fun setting up your garden! 😉

LOVE this post! I enjoyed reading about both of your gardening experiences. My family and I have a sustainable garden as well. We reuse plastic containers and other gardening materials such as scrap metals to create fences and poles for the vines to grow on. I enjoy that you are able to barter excess vegetables and herbs. It is just like the olden days! We unfortunately don’t have a system, at least where I’m located, to barter so we give our excess to friends and family. Gardening is all a constant learning experience. Learn from failures and mistakes to improve next time!

High five! The barter trade started during the lockdown due to the continuous need for supplies. It’s really a great way in helping the community. As some people have excess while others don’t have. Gardening is a learning journey and also fosters creativity and ingenuity in finding solutions to different obstacles. Let’s go green and grow food! 😉

High five! Bartering is a fantastic system. Helps the community and helps reduce waste like you said. Love that you enjoy gardening too! Go green 🙂

Those fruit and veg look amazing! I don’t have a garden right now, but I used to love growing food when I was a child.

Hi thanks for dropping by! Hope you can set up your garden soon. Growing food is exciting to look forward every day.

Wow foraging is pretty interesting. I have to look it up, what is this all about! So many people turn to gardening these days with the idea of spending idle time. Then realizing this gives a lot of benefits.

By foraging, I mean finding the wild berries and fruits, fiddle heads, coniferous needles. I want to take a course on mushrooms before I forage those – I know a little, enough to know that I don’t know enough!
There are so many “weeds” that one can gather as salad greens.
I’m luckily from a rural area so foraging here is relatively easy, not so much for someone in a more urban setting.

I would love to practice gardening, it something I loved growing up. I always look for small open space to plant but at the moment, we don’t have an open space. When I do, I will plant something. Your plants look amazing. Well done

Hello! It’s cool you get to enjoy gardening when you were growing up! It’s nice to have an open space but there is an option to set up indoors with easy to care plants. Thanks a lot!

Love this! Everyone should have at least a little bit of gardening knowledge! Becoming self sustaining is a new journey for my family and while we have gardened in the past I was never really very serious about it! Looking forward to really giving it a try on our new homestead!

Omgosh. I love this post! A friend of mine had a successful battle with cancer a few years ago. What turned his life around was his diet, gardening, clean eating Etc. They (his wife and he) loved gardening so much that they included it in there school for young children, the lily pad. You’re so right!, gardening is not just good for you but it’s a wonderful activity that brings people together 👍

Such a moving story! It’s so inspiring that they find joy in gardening and get the kids involved. Giving back to the society with a sense of fulfillment. God bless their hearts 💕 thank you for sharing their story. 🤗

Wow! Those gardens looked great.
We also started gardening and growing right as lockdown started. We live in the desert so a lot of it was trial and error.
I want to start from the seed, but a lot of what we have that’s still alive is because we were able to buy the plant from the store.
It’s been a lot of fun learning though and I’m really excited to have found gardening.

This is awesome! What did you grow in the desert? Do you have a group that you can connect in your community about gardening. It’s good to reach out and learn. Yes, indeed it is fun! Kudos!

Vinn, these look amazing! I am not good at gardening but I want to be good at it, because I love plants and nature and I like to be surrounded by it. I am so inspired by this post, you have done such an amazing job <3

That is so awesome to hear! Let this post be an inspiration. 💕 I am not good in gardening but I made it happen and it’s a journey to keep on learning.

You’re welcome! With a small garden you can still do a lot of things. You can work it out with your creativity and care. 💕

I love this! The fact that you can be self-sufficient to some extent is absolutely brilliant. Well done you 🙂 Back home my mum is growing potatoes and some herbs and I’ve also tried to keep some basilika and oregano alive on my windowsill, but to no avail. I travel a lot and I’ve got no spare keys to give to someone who could come and look after my plants. But hopefully one day I will be able to have even a small garden of some sort.

Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

Hello! thanks for checking it out. I understand its hard to keep up growing plants when you are away. Most herbs grow at a cooler place with just enough sunlight. Hope you find the time to try again. 😉

My husband and I have been talking about starting a vegetable garden since we bought our house last. We are slowly building up our potted plant collection, but your post in inspiring me to expand more!

Your garden looks amazing! Are those mangoes too? That’s my favorite tropical fruit! I stay in an apartment with partial sunlight and it’s not conducive for growing flowers or crops that require loads of direct sun. I wish I had a small plot or a window sill with direct sunlight to plant some hydrangeas though. Thanks for sharing!

Hello Ming! The mangoes are coming from my friend’s garden, Cheryl. She has an amazing garden and owe to that that she has a lot of space. Yes, these mangoes are yummy. if you can check it out from the web or Pinterest, there are some homey plants, that don’t require sunlight at all, or cactus perhaps!

Yes, that’s what I see frequently from my friends. Definitely a new hobby these days. Hope to see your lovely garden soon.

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