My Next Garden

Here’s a short 26 second video of the future garden site.

As you can see, it’s not an ideal location but it’ll work. For the first time I’ll be using the Food4Wealth gardening system. It was developed by Jonathon White, an ecologist, horticulturist, and self described ecological gardener. Jonathon came up with this system as a way to mimic nature when gardening. He believes (and I agree) that this method is better for the environment than traditional home gardening methods. It’s organic of course, but goes beyond that in order to produce higher yields of fruit and vegetables while actually improving the soil. He’s discovered that his method actually requires less work than the normal garden, and estimates that he spends less than eight hours per year (!) maintaining his raised beds. Imagine that! Think about what we could do to help the environment, save money on grocery bills, and feed the needy with a garden that only requires a day’s work over the course of an entire year.

I prefer raised bed gardening in general, but the Food4Wealth system takes the notion of raised beds quite a few steps higher. Over the next growing season I’ll document my results using this new method.

What to Plant?

Tomatoes, predictably. I’ve got several different varieties of heirloom tomato seeds that I’m dying to put in the ground, and I like the idea of growing heirlooms whenever possible. So many of the heirloom vegetables are too tender to withstand shipping, so the only way to experience their flavor is to grow them yourself or to know someone who has an heirloom garden of their own.

Other heirloom varietals I’ll be planting, if available, include lettuce, cucumbers, peas, beans, watermelon (have you seen the Moon and Stars melon? Beautiful!), carrots, horseradish, potatoes, chives, onions, and garlic. As much as I personally detest okra, my wife loves it, so I’ll be planting that as well.

Strawberries and blackberries will probably make an appearance, and although I’ve not really tried to grow them before, I’d like to give blueberries a shot. We’ll also designate one of the raised beds as an herb garden.

One of the things that I enjoy most about gardening is the planning stage. Pouring over seed catalogs when it’s cold outside and the world is painted in browns and gray, anticipating the first few signs of spring.

This entry was posted in Berries, food4wealth, Fruit, Gardening, Organic, Vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to My Next Garden

  1. Sustainable Eats says:

    Will you’ve peaked my curiosity. I’m always suspicious of “systems” like this that you have to pay money to learn anything about. Is this a kind of permaculture method he’s using?

    Planning is my favorite part of gardening too. And getting outside away from the computer and phone, and sometimes kids. :)

    • Will Atkinson says:

      I ultimately decided not to go with the Food4Wealth system. Although I applaud the reasoning behind the method, at the end of the day it just seemed like a messy version of square foot gardening. I like my gardens to look neat.

      • Shahbaz says:

        I love gardening with kids too. I have a 15 month old and also am from Pakistan. My nani loves gardening too as does my dadi and parents :).

        • Nan says:

          I don’t know about any plans, but I built some elevated beds by ankitg a piece of 5/8 treated plywood and building a stand for it out of 4 4 s. The stand has to be pretty stout, it will be holding a lot of weight. Build the frame first then set it on the legs, It has six legs. I have a full frame around the outside with two cross pieces evenly spaced from end to end. I cut sides and ends out of another piece of plywood 16 tall and then attached them to the floor by running a 2 2 around the edge , set back far enough so that the outside of the sides and ends are even with the edge of the floor. I ran another wall across four feet from each end and stiffened that with 2 4 s. I used screws throughout that are rated for use in treated lumber.I have three of the beds that are three years old and still going great. Don’t forget to drill holes in the floor for drainage.

    • Tamela says:

      I started out several years ago learning as I went along and now this year I have decided to have just herbs in big containers with sand and pea gravel throughout the walking area next year. The first year I dug everything really well and used lots of peat and manure and it was wonderful. But as time went by I got older and tireder of doing all that work so this year I still have the herbs, roses, raspberry bushes and just one big tomato plant and one pepper plant. It’s easier to just buy from the farmer’s market only 15 minutes from my house. The point is that I have been out there every year and it is so healthy for mind, body, and soul, that I will probably always have something in that corner. Like I heard from so many gardeners when I satrted, it can always be changed or moved if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work for you. That’s the great part, it is NOT SET IN CONCRETE. Just have fun!! Just do what you love instead of struggling to do it right. Any plant that makes you go oooooh, get it.

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