Thursday, September 17, 2009

What is it about a garden?

It is quite a privilege to be able to walk outside and gather fresh fruit and vegetables from my garden. Each week something new is available. It provides such a deep feeling of connection and thankfulness. As an organic gardener, I know exactly how my food was grown. Did you know the so-called organic fruit and vegetables in our stores may not be so? Each of the organic farms has a certification process which actually allows them to use pesticides; they only need permission of their inspector to do so. I have been able to grow spectacular fruit and vegetables without pesticides or commercial fertilizers. It just requires a few extra plants.

During the colonial times in Virginia, there were rules associated with receiving a land grant. There was a requirement to have at least a quarter acre orchard and garden. While not a big fan of government regulation, this actually makes good sense to me. But you can do it without that. If you have space, consider establishing an edible garden. Here are some great books that can get you started “The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping” by Rosalind Creasy, “The Apple Grower” by Michael Phillips, “Uncommon Fruits” by Lee Reich, and “The Berry Grower’s Companion” by Barbara Bowling. And if you are looking for inspiration, check out Wendy Johnson’s “Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate” at

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