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Grow your own Organic Vegetables

Updated on June 13, 2017

How we started our organic vegetable garden

About 6 years ago my husband and I started growing our own organic food when we bought a new house. The previous owner was an 81 year old gentleman who had a fantastic vegetable garden on the slope at the back of the house. We needed a bigger garage so the vegetable garden was destroyed by laying drainage pipes and the whole sloped section was just one big mud hole. As we don't have as much time as the retired gentleman, but loved the idea of growing our own organic food so we decided to make a raised bed vegetable garden.

Our vegetable garden has produced way more than we could ever imagine! We learned so much not only about growing our own vegetables but also about organic vegetable gardening, permaculture, eating and preparing healthy quality food, preserving, keeping chickens and much more.

Growing our own food became a lifestyle and proofed to be an interesting and rewarding hobby. I would like to share some of what we learned and who knows, maybe your will discover you have a green thumb too!

All images are from my own from my garden unless stated otherwise.

Bugs and Insects

There are more beneficial insects in your garden than bad ones. When you spray chemicals you kill not only the bad insects, but also the good ones and creating an imbalance! The long term solution is to practice companion planting and attract more beneficial insects to your garden.

Marigolds
Marigolds

Why you should grow your own organic food?

Time vs Benefits

We all have the same problem. There is just not enough time in a day to do everything that needs doing and still have a moment for yourself. Buying your food worked perfectly well until now so why would you want to change that to do something that will create even more work?

Yes, I can just hear your say that as a few years ago that was exactly how I thought. At the time, I thought growing your own food is just for people who are fanatic about their health and the environment. Little did I know how much I was missing out on! Below are some of the benefits you will experience when you and your family start growing your own organic food.

  • Most of the produce in the supermarkets are grown for a long shelf life. Unfortunately taste was sacrificed to achieve this longer shelf life.
  • With recent food scares, even in dog food from China, it is a good idea to know just where your food is coming from.
  • Growing your own food will decrease your carbon footprint. You cannot get more local than your own backyard.
  • Your own grown fruit and vegetables will not only be tastier than the ones from the supermarket but it will be as fresh as you want it to be.
  • There is some debate around whether or not organic grown food is more nutritious than conventional food. I believe that if you grow food in nutrient rich soil it will most definitely result in more nutritious produce.
  • You have a choice of a greater variety of products to grow. There are hundreds of different varieties which are not viable to a commercial grower but can provide your taste buds with pleasant new experiences.
  • In the long run it is cheaper to grow your own food and you will almost always have extra to sell, preserve or give away.
  • When you grow your own organic food you can avoid eating chemical residues left from sprays of fertilizers and insecticides on commercially grown food.

If you feel the reasons above is not enough to get you out in the garden then how about this: Growing your own food is an excellent opportunity to spend time with your children. Teach them where food comes from and an appreciation for quality food. It is good exercise (no more paying for the gym), improves your balance and relieves stress.

Change the Way You Look at Dirt!

I saw this movie recently when Transition Towns arranged a screening in our town’s cinema. To be honest, I did not expect much from a movie with dirt as a topic but I was pleasantly surprised. Dirt was not only humorous at some places but it was very informative, interesting, and entertaining and kept my attention right to the end.

Dirt! The Movie
Dirt! The Movie

The movie deals with the relationship between humans and the soil. Divided in three parts it looks at the structure of the soil, show the effects of human mismanagement of soil and look at ways we can improve the soil by using different soil management techniques.

I would say this movie is a must see for everybody. We can only make intelligent decisions about our planets future if we know how what we currently do effect the environment we life in. This is an inspiring movie. It changed the way I look at dirt, made me think and moved me to action.

 

Have you seen Dirt! The Movie ?

Chemical Residues on our Food

How do you feel about consuming chemical residues from inceticedes and herbicides with the food we eat?

See results

Organic vegetables in abundance - What to do with surplus fruit and vegetables

Once you start growing your own organic fruit and vegetables you will most probably soon be in a situation where you have produced more fresh produce than what you and your family can eat. Here are a few ideas of what you can do with the surplus.

  • Dry surplus fruit and herbs in a food dehydrator.
  • Make delicious preserves.
  • Make your own jam.
  • Sell the surplus at your garden gate.
  • Have a stall at the farmers market.
  • Share with the neighbours.
  • Exchange your surplus produce with local growers in you area for some of their products.
  • Donate to a foodbank.
  • Donate to a resthome
  • Some can be used as seeds for next season

PLANNING

is the secret to a productive vegetable garden

Collecting Rainwater

Jobs for a rainy day - Dedicated to my grandmother who is 99 this year

This morning we woke up to the sound of rain on the roof. It is a welcome sound as the bush is very dry and risk of bush fires high, but it also means that we won't be spending much time outside today.

I always think of my grandmother when it is raining. She lived with us when we were children. We lived in a region where there were usually water restrictions in place for most of the summer months. We did not have a big water tank to catch rainwater but my grandmother always had buckets and containers under all the downpipes around the house to catch and save as much of "God's water" as she could. I remember her doing this well into her eighties. So my fist job for you, if it is raining and you do not have a rainwater tank, is to put containers under the downpipes and catch as much rainwater as you can. If you are lucky enough to live in region with enough water, use the rainwater to water your potted plants!

Here are more things a gardener can do on a rainy day.

  • Check your to-do list, if you have one, and see which of your jobs can be done on a rainy day. If you do not have a to-do for your garden jobs, start one.
  • Check your garden tools. If any of the tools needs cleaning, sharpening or fixing today would be a good time to do it. Service the lawnmower.
  • Check your seed collection. Prepare seed trays and sow ones that can be sown. If you do not have your own seeds, it may be a good time to do some research on seed saving for next season. Saving seeds and growing food from your own seeds can save you a lot of money.
  • Find a new recipe for a preserve, jam or dish to make from produce that may soon be ready for picking.
  • Make a givebasket with some of your garden produce, home made jams or preserves and visit an elderly person, somebody who lives alone or who are sick to brighten their day.
  • Have you noticed any pests or insects in the vegetable garden or fruit trees? If so, do you know how to treat the problem? If not, do research on how to solve the problem. Look at recipes for home made organic sprays and companion planting.
  • Tidy up the garden shed.
  • Ok, so you have done all of the above and it is still raining. Make a cup of tea or coffee, put your feet up and enjoy the rain!

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums
Nasturtiums

Organoponico - Organic gardens - The Cuban Way

About 90 % of Havanas food is grown in Organoponico (Organic Urban Garden)

Do you like growing your own vegetables? How do you feel about the chemical residues in our food? Do you have any tips for new gardeners? How do your fit growing your own vegetables into an already busy day? Have this lense inspire you to start growing your own vegetables?

What are your thoughts on growing organic vegetables? - Thank you for visiting!

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    • profile image

      CatJGB 4 years ago

      We grow some of our own and I do try to not buy any foodstuffs from China at all. Or the U.S. for that matter. We're doing it on 1/8th of the traditional Kiwi/Aussie block, so we're working in a rather small space.

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 4 years ago

      Very informative. I can't wait to read more about organic vegetables. I will be back to see what else you have to say.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      absolutely love your website..great info. Ive been growing and making money(a good amount of it)for several people every year in my humble little square foot gardens. Ive found that there are folks more than willing to pay top dollar for top quality organic produce and veggies. I run my SFG's like a very small CSA-I only have 5 customers and use 150 square feet to do it in. They pay me $125 each for 6 weeks and I deliver it to a common location. Then I do it again for another middle 6 weeks, and then again for the last 6 weeks. It takes some planning but I've figured it out. The bad part is that I kind of feel more like a farmer, which I'm not. Anyway, I enjoy you site there. Thanks. My website is: www.thewealthyearth.com if you want to take a peek.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      My husband and I have an organic farm where we follow the principles of permaculture. It's definitely a lifestyle choice, and it changes your ideas about everything. There are days that are challenging, but it's such a blessing to be able to raise our son this way eating nourishing, organic food.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. I have always grown my own organic vegetables, living in the country.

      But sometime I need to use some chemicals like when white butterfly caterpillars are eating more cabbage than me. Thanks for sharing.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

      It sounds like a lot of work, but well worth it. I have grown veggies before, but our yard now has lots of shade - so not worth the effort.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 5 years ago

      What a great guide! I look forward to expanding my growing opportunities in the future.

    • Leilani-m profile image

      Leilani-m 5 years ago

      Love the lens! IMy family is growing vegetables for personal use for generations and I joined the team 2 years ago :) I'm always lookning for resources that will help me fight the pests in natural way. I have a 3yo kid and I would like that he eats food that is free of pesticides and other chemical as much as possible

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Now that I am living off the grid I hope to grow more of my own food. I am very much into permaculture and organic gardening. Thanks for sharing your experience. I enjoy connecting with others who have similar dreams and a similar lifestyle.

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      Excellent piece. Has everything one needs to get started. I'm bookmarking this for future reference.

    • stuhaynes lm profile image

      stuhaynes lm 5 years ago

      Love your lens! We live on a boat, but our 'home' mooring has space for us to grow some of our own food, so we started this year. Funnily enough we end up giving much of it away, because there is a limit to the number of tomatoes etc that 2 people can eat! Smashing lens, well done!

    • profile image

      momsfunny 5 years ago

      Love organic foods! your lens has given me so much information that i will be able to implement in my own garden.

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I love growing organic vegetables. I want to expand my garden next year and will use this lens as a guide. Thanks for doing it! I added it to my lens, More About Me: Important Goals today. (One of my goals is to make my garden better.)

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 6 years ago

      Great information on organic vegetable gardening. I love growing organic fruits/vegetables and my family loves to eat them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What excellent information you share, I can't believe we are still allowing our food supplies to be poisoned with insecticides and killing off our garden friends to get rid of pests.

    • whoisbid lm profile image

      whoisbid lm 6 years ago

      These days many of us have no idea what companies are putting in food

    • profile image

      ajsanders100 6 years ago

      Awesome site, I liked everything about it! I wll be back!

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      We try growing our vegetables (and fruit trees) using organic methods but have had huge insect issues each year. We're still trying.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I enjoy growing my own organic vegetables, too. I only have a small raised bed, but it is amazing how much food can be grown in such a small space. Great tips and a lovely lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      davidkiser 6 years ago

      Great Lens packed with valuable contentKeep up the? Great works. check out my Lens and leave a comment.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      An excellent guide to growing organic veg -- thanks Salome!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 7 years ago from Croatia

      This lens entered Fresh Squid Contest for April 2010: http://www.squidoo.com/freshsquidcontest

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Eeeek. I just came back to your page and saw that even though I had intended to give you a 5* rating, some how squidoo only registered that I had given you a 1 star rating. I promptly changed it to 5*. Sorry about that.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 7 years ago

      Thanks for mentioning my small vegetable gardening lens. I wish my raised bed looked as good as yours. I also wish I had as much sun exposure as you have! Will lensroll you to that article of mine!

    • sciencefictionn profile image

      sciencefictionn 7 years ago

      Very complete lens, full of pictures and information. 5 stars.

    • profile image

      Mart903 7 years ago

      Very nice and healthy lens. Congratulations! 5 stars

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 7 years ago

      What a wonderful lens - and remarkable that it is your first. You really should make more as you have a talent for it.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Excellent lens! I'll lensroll it to mine on farmers market ideas. I miss the days of growing most of our own food. It was work, yes, but very satisfying and fun.

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 7 years ago

      An excellent first lens. I will be back often for more tips. Welcome to Squidoo!

    • profile image

      JMcG62377 7 years ago

      Your lens is awesome, very informational, well put together, colorful! 5 stars for you!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Your garden is SPECTACULAR! I love all those raised beds.

    • profile image

      LilyWriter 7 years ago

      wow, very informative!

    • profile image

      jakealoo 7 years ago

      Very Nice Lens! This is really a solid lens for your first, I look forward to seeing some more quality work from you. I put together a lens a while back about the benefits of organic eating and I am also an organic food enthusiast. Great Job!