Monday, April 11, 2011

I Salute the Gardeners of America

This is an exciting time of year for gardeners.  The transition from store bought tomatoes with average or below average flavor, fresh radishes, crisp greens with no pesticides, aromatic spices, home grown goodness, yum!
It was surprising to learn 42 million households in America have some sort of garden.
There has been a garden in my life for as long as I can remember.  Mom is a gardener,  we had gardens in every state we lived in when I was a kid, Grandpa always had an amazing garden at his home in New Jersey, over the years I have had large gardens, raised bed gardens, and just pots of veggies on a patio, or spices on a window sill as my living space would allow.
Here in Florida the seasons are a bit backward.  Our vegetable season is pretty much over in April as it is too hot and wet here for most vegetables during the summer.  While the gardeners to our north are getting ready to start their season here are some of the reasons we love to garden.
Benefits of gardening:
1.       The exercise helps you burn 250 calories each hour
2.       Working in the sun boosts your mood
3.       Gardening  “has been shown to help prevent dementia in seniors”
4.       Facilitates relaxation and stress reduction called horticultural therapy
5.       Builds bones and joint flexibility
6.       Gives a wonderful sense of accomplishment
7.       Including others in our gardening strengthens our sense of family and community
8.        Improves the quality of sleep
9.       Improves strength and endurance
10.     Eating home grown foods are more nutritious
My garden gloves and hat are off to everyone selecting and germinating seeds, setting up cold frames, and spreading cow manure.  I wish I was there to help you plant.

Director of Member Services and Smiles
OurHealth Co-op, Inc


  1. I just started mine this past weekend. Used a type of container gardening which makes it very easy and is environmentally friendly. Check out the Grow Box gardening method from Suzanne at Funky Chicken Farms here right here in Melbourne, FL. Here's the link with more information:

    Happy Gardening!!

  2. I just had the most delightful conversation with Bert from Midvale Utah. We were discussing the merits of early vegetable, especially tomato, planting.

    Bert uses water walls, he said he can get his tomatoes started several weeks before the end of the late season frost yielding him vegetables before his neighbors, as a gardener bragging rights are coveted.

    Having never seen these cultivating marvels he told me about them.
    1. Place the empty water wall around a 5 gallon bucket for support
    2. Fill the baffles with water from a hose with a power tip or you will think it is too much trouble.
    3. When the baffles are full place them in your garden, where you are going to plant, a few days before planting the vegetables, solar power will warm the water and heat the ground too.

    This head start method will offer tomatoes ready to pick the first of June. I think that is a real bonus!

    Bert was going to plant grape tomatoes today, he told me the neighborhood kids love them and come to visit, eat tomatoes and talk, he really liked that part.

    The water walls Bert has been using are now 4 years old and he believes they have several more years of use, sounds like a nice investment to me.

    Hoping your thumb is green.