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First Planting May15th 2011-12

Spring planting smiles and dirty faces

We are Ben and Rachel. We love to grow and eat fresh organic vegetables. We love spending time outdoors. We like coming up with new ways to minimize our household waste. We love sharing creative projects with friends…

Through this blog we aim to share some of our backyard and household adventures with you! We hope you will find something in here that is useful or inspiring for your own projects.

We still have a lot to learn ourselves about organic growing, and it is a constant process of trial and error, experimentation and creativity. If you are new to gardening, the most important piece of advice we can offer is to just give it a whirl! Throw some seeds in some dirt and see what happens… you will be amazed at the elation you can get from seeing a tiny purple beet sprout emerging from the soil! And when you bite into a delicious crunchy carrot that you dug up out of your backyard, you will definitely say to yourself: “Wow. This is way better than the supermarket! Maybe I should see if I can grow a few more things that I love to eat!”… and so on. That is more or less how we both became hooked on the notion of growing our own food.

We bought a small house together in late 2011. The backyard was a total disaster – a neglected and sorry place with a huge dog-run, patchy lawn and no cultivated vegetation of any kind. 2012 involved a huge amount of grunt work – tearing down the dog-run, turning over sod and constructing raised wooden- and rock-framed garden plots using found/salvaged materials. We put in three rain barrels for irrigation. We planted an apple tree and a wide variety of vegetables. We battled insects and squirrels. We had great success with some crops and no success with others. We ate fabulous fresh goodies and tried out all sorts of fun recipes. We loved (almost) every minute of it!

We have not been alone in our vegetable garden ventures. One of the best parts of our garden project is that it has been a shared effort with several friends. Like you, we have many friends who do not live in a space which is conducive to growing vegetables but who love to eat fresh and organic and enjoy rolling up their sleeves and getting a little dirty. These friends helped out throughout the season, also reaping the rewards of their hard work. Our vegetable garden has become more than a place of food production – it is the social epicentre of our house in the warm months!

We hope you will follow us throughout the 2013 growing season and beyond. Check out our regular written and video blog posts. See what we’re planting and harvesting throughout the season on our Garden Calendar. Get some fresh-picked cooking ideas on the In Season Recipes section.

If you have any questions, suggestions or need advice about getting your grow-on, drop us a line at:  sprouted.me@gmail.com.

One love,
Rach & Ben