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Vegetable & Herb Gardening in Different Growing Climates

Getting to know your local growing climate is one of the first steps to growing a thriving vegetable garden. But there’s a big difference between learning about your climate and feeling limited by your climate.

Your growing climate matters. It determines what veggie varieties you’re going to grow and when you plant and harvest them.You’ve probably heard that vegetables and herbs thrive in an “ideal” temperature range of 50-85 F (10-30 C). But how many places on Earth consistently stay in that ideal range? Not many!

You don’t have to live in ideal conditions to grow lots of food all year long.

There’s no denying great growing conditions help. But once you understand the language of plants and what they want, you can grow vegetables anywhere at any time of year. You just have to get a little creative!

“There are as many creative ways to grow your own vegetables as there are places on this earth” -Stacey Murphy

In this two minute video, Stacey shows you what’s possible if you want to grow food at an unusual time of the year OR in a less than ideal growing climate.

What grows best in your climate? Share your creative gardening tips with us!

How to Plan for the Future of Food: Seeds, Soil and our Health

By now, most of us are aware that our food systems are teeming with unsustainable practices–practices that gradually diminish our ability to feed ourselves and future generations.

Are you hungry for solutions and to contribute more and more positively to sustainable food systems?

One of the best steps you can take is to grow your own food! It’s so important, we named our whole organization after it 😉

Why grow your own food? Here’s some ways to start making a difference today for generations to come:

🥕 Growing your own food improves food security! Food shortages are increasing and the cost of food is on the rise. Growing even a fraction of your own produce makes you more self-sufficient.

💰 Growing your own food saves money! You will save thousands of dollars on grocery bills annually while improving the quantity and quality of foods you eat!

🍆 Growing your own food provides better nutrition! Most produce loses at least 30% of its nutrients just 3 days after harvest. Spinach loses 75 – 100% of its vitamin C content in 7 days after being picked. When you grow your own fresh food you get 100% of the nutrients.

❤️ Growing your own food can help prevent disease! Evidence shows fruits and veggies contain compounds that can help prevent cancers, heart disease, and stroke that vitamin supplements cannot replace.

🥗 Growing your own food improves the quality of food! You can grow thousands of varieties of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and grains that you will never find in any grocery store. The variety in flavors, taste, and enjoyment of your food will skyrocket.

🧠 Growing your own food improves mental health! Prescribed medication for mental health issues has recently reached an all-time high. Gardening naturally promotes happiness. Contact with serotonin-boosting soil microbes and Vitamin D from the sun fights depression and anxiety.

🌳 Growing your own food improves the environment! Homegrown food has a zero carbon footprint. Transporting food from farms to tables contributes 19-29% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Commercial agricultural production accounts for 80-86% of total food system emissions.

Want to join us and be a part of building a resilient food system? Then this event is for you … those of us that are hungry for solutions and how we can contribute more and more positively to this system.

We’d like to invite you to the 2022 Future of Food Summit, hosted by our friends at Back to Eden.

On November 4-7, you can join over a dozen conversations from food and garden experts including New York Times best-selling authors, activists, award-winning filmmakers, doctors, market gardeners, and farmers.

At the Future of Food Summit, we will look to the future through the future of seeds, soil, food, and health.

 

The stellar lineup of speakers includes food and garden experts including New York Times best-selling authors, activists, award-winning filmmakers, doctors, market gardeners, and farmers. Through having such an array of internationally renowned voices (some with decades of experience in their field!), this event offers a uniquely thorough perspective.

The videos from this event will be available for you to stream from November 4th through the 7th for free when you register through this link. You will be emailed the details to access the event! When registering you will see two ticket options; the free pass provides access to the content during the 4-day event, PLUS there is a paid ticket that gives you the option to lifetime access to all the presentations!

>>> To learn more about the speakers, see the full speaker lineup, and register for the event click here!

We’d love to see you there!

 

This article contains an affiliate link. If you click and take action, Grow Your Own  Vegetables LLC may be compensated. We only recommend events and products that we love and that we know can be helpful to you as a gardener.

Did you attend the summit? Please come back and share your take-a-ways!

3 Keys to Successful Indoor Seed Starting

Growing your own healthy plants from seed can be tricky. Even expert growers have trouble keeping their seedlings alive and well. Luckily, three simple keys are all you need to focus on.

Discover how to start your plants off right so they thrive. Be sure to stick around to the end for a Bonus Key!

Do you have a successful seed story? Please share!

The Hidden Gems of Garden Journaling

The garden journal is one of the least used tools of gardening. Those who keep a garden journal, often do so because they simply love journaling. Those who don’t journal often find the idea daunting or a frivolous waste of time. But under the surface of this seemingly extra-curricular activity exists a giant underground cavern of insightful gems waiting to be discovered.

Like other historical records, a garden is a place where we can look back to examine the why’s of the present moment–and make better choices for the future.

Why am I having a challenge with this one area of my garden? What’s wrong with my plants? Is it the soil?

If you’re not journaling about your garden and keeping a history, your garden experience will likely be filled with moments when you can’t remember events that happened. Without that history, learning what to do and what not to do becomes more difficult and time consuming than if you had just taken a few minutes to make a few notes.

Sometimes, the insights a garden journal can bring are so profound that it changes your entire journey and launches you the equivalent distance from here to the moon.

I remember waking up one day during my second year of market gardening. I was getting success, but not quite like I wanted. And while I was feeling successful, I was getting burnt out. As the season continued, that exhaustion got worse. I had trouble reaching goals and staying on track. Then abundance season hit and with it, all the pests and disease. I woke up one morning and realized I was so exhausted that I was no longer happy. I felt like I was trying to force nature to cooperate. So I walked. I left the food in the garden and just walked away.

I didn’t return to gardening for an entire year. But when I did, I looked back and realized that so many of my days were filled with journal entries of frustration. How I felt that year was exactly what was happening: I was trying to force nature to cooperate and fit in my box.

That’s when everything changed.

I began to ask questions about how I could partner with nature so that I was letting her do as much of the work for me as possible. I realized that the language I was using for my entries was all about how ‘I was growing a garden.’ So I changed my perspective and started writing, ‘Nature is growing this garden, and the soil is growing my plants.’

And she did. Nature grew my plants. And because I wasn’t trying to grow plants, I could focus on growing the soil and being a steward of the land.

Were it not for my garden entries, I would not have had anything to reflect on to make the connection of how my approach to gardening was creating the very frustration I was working so hard to avoid. Writing down my new mindset to partner with nature and filter my garden choices through that lens helped me set goals properly.

Because of that one insight, gardening became more effortless than ever. Staying on track with my goals became so much easier. Had I not seen those entries of frustration later after I had long ago walked away from my garden, I may not have seen the pattern I was creating. When you journal, positive change is possible and can catapult your journey forward.

A garden journal isn’t just a place for you to look back and gain knowledge and wisdom. It’s a place where others can too. Whether you share lessons you’ve gained from your journaling with other growers in your community or you gift the journals to your grandchildren to pass on your garden insights, mindsets, and recipes, the record of your garden journey is absolutely priceless.

My grandmother didn’t garden, but she did make the most delicious chicken noodle soup! The are many moments in my life that I have wished for that recipe and a photo of her and I enjoying that amazing meal together. But there’s no recipe. There are no photos. And so there is a gap where her smile and her creation should be.

By keeping a journal of your garden harvests and recipes, you are recording the creation of your life. Someday they may become precious to your children and grandchildren.

When you choose to keep a garden journal, so many gems can be found that may otherwise have remained hidden and lost to time. Keeping a garden journal is a way to light your path and the path of those who will follow in our footsteps.

Crystal Meserole
GYOV Instructor and Harvest Club Support

Crystal owns and operates a one-woman wholesale commercial living microgreen operation in the mountains of western North Carolina. After working and managing local restaurants for over a decade, she saw the need for chefs to have access to more affordable, organic food for the delicious creations they craft for our communities.

Crystal hopes to stand as a clear message to anyone who thinks they can’t grow: You can. Anyone can. With the right system, mindsets, and mentor, everything becomes possible.  

If you are interested in learning more about how mindsets & journaling techniques can help you grow a thriving and enjoyable garden check out our new micro-course led by Crystal.

Garden Mindset and Journaling micro course introductory pricing

Click here for details

Do you journal about your garden? Share an insight below that you have gained through your journaling!

6 Benefits to Saving Your Own Seeds

“Don’t put that in your mouth, you don’t know where it’s been!” said every parent, ever.

Plants today are fumigated, grown in overly fertilized soils, and go through all sorts of processes we unknowingly agree to when we put that food in our mouth. 

When you save your own seed, you know exactly how that seed was grown. So there’s no mystery as to what you’re putting in your mouth. You do know where it’s been!

Seed adapts more and more to your local growing conditions through their generations. Over time, future generations of those plants will be more tolerant of your temperatures, precipitation levels, and other local conditions. If Stephen Hawking is right and “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change,” it would seem that seeds may just have a higher collective IQ than us humans. Because as they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”.

There is a direct link between the flavor of food and the nutrition it contains. Constantly consuming the same humdrum varieties of mass-produced, uniform, flavorless food can have a big impact on your long term health. Boring food may not kill you, but the absence of proper nutrition will definitely not make you stronger!

And supposedly only the strongest make it, survival of the fittest and all.

By saving seed, you are ensuring the survival of humans and tens of thousands of seed varieties. There are ‘aspects of life that are valuable to our survival and aspects that make survival valuable.’ Seed saving is both.  Big agriculture disregards variety because it doesn’t fit into a cookie cutter box of traits that make their job easier.

Seed saving gives you access to literally thousands of new food varieties, all with their own unique colors, textures, and flavors. Since you are what you eat, I have to ask: Are you eating the same cookie cutter, uniform foods over and over again? If so, it’s not a good look.  When you save your own seeds, you’re creating abundance you literally cannot buy with money.

But the abundance can buy money. Because in fact people, money actually does grow on trees… and annuals, perennial shrubs, and biennials. Ask any gardener or farmer that has ever lived. And the abundance of variety means unique offerings to share with neighbors (and market if you’re a small-scale grower).

A seed saved is potentially hundreds of thousands of seeds earned.A single amaranth seed grows into a plant that can produce up to 250,000 seeds. Now that’s what I call an investment!

While there are a ton of benefits to seed saving, it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, you save seed, and you don’t get what you expect, or none of the seed you save germinates. It happens. But you know what they say: It’s better to have seed saved and lost than to have never seed saved at all!

Crystal Meserole
GYOV Instructor and Harvest Club Support

Crystal owns and operates a one-woman wholesale commercial living microgreen operation in the mountains of western North Carolina. After working and managing local restaurants for over a decade, she saw the need for chefs to have access to more affordable, organic food for the delicious creations they craft for our communities.

Crystal hopes to stand as a clear message to anyone who thinks they can’t grow: You can. Anyone can. With the right system, mindsets, and mentor, everything becomes possible.  

Have a seed saving benefit or perspective you want to share? Post it in the comments below… bonus points if it comes along with a quote or play on words! 🙂