Yesterday was one of those days that you can only dream about during the long, cold and snowy days of an Ohio Winter.

The Weigela bushes are in full bloom at the farm
The Weigela bushes are in full bloom at the farm

It was simply a perfect day. The sun was shining, the temperatures were in the mid-70’s – and best of all, we both worked in the garden and around the farm from sun up to sun down. It just doesn’t get any better than that – period!

I don’t think Mary nor I could ever imagine life without our garden, or our chickens and bees – or anything else that comes with our little 3 acre Old World Garden Farm.

But what makes us both even happier is that each and every day, more people from every walk of life are realizing the same thing. They want to plant their first garden, grow some of their own food, and even raise a few chickens for their own eggs.

There is something very special about becoming responsible for the food on your table. In addition to the ever-rising cost of fresh food and produce, the simple fact is that almost everything purchased in the grocery store now contains additives, preservatives  – or has been sprayed with who knows what. Add in the extreme drought that is now hitting in parts of California – and it may harder than ever in the coming months to find the fresh vegetables and fruits we all need.

A single days harvest from the 2012 garden
A single days harvest from the garden last summer

That is why growing and preserving and preparing more of our own food is the key – now and in the future.

Our garden’s raised rows now account for the majority of our staple food the year round – and our grape vines, fruit trees, strawberry patch and blueberry bushes provide tons of fruit as well. The best part of it all – the planting and harvesting are great exercise as well!

I can honestly say we both really prefer growing, cooking and eating our own food over anything else. It’s a simple approach that is healthy and enjoyable at the same time – and you can never ask for more than that!

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Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary!

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26 thoughts on “Gardening, Fresh Food And A Simple Approach To Life – It Works!

  • June 3, 2015 at 11:06 am
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    There is something very satisfying about looking at the dinner table filled with food you raised, caught, grew, or rendered yourself. Nothing tastes as good as that!

  • May 30, 2015 at 9:51 pm
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    Redd – thank you for your response and advice. I do have some perennial flower beds bordering my backyard. . . but I could probably plant more. However, we need to remember that the chemical sprays are not good for the birds and the bees either.
    Jim and Mary – Thanks for the words of encouragement. I do enjoy gardening. I can’t imagine not doing it – I just wish more people were aware of the harm they cause by using chemicals and how it affects everyone and living creatures and the soil and the air and the water.

  • May 27, 2015 at 9:49 am
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    We have tried Amish paste, oxheart, and Roma. We get a few but not the quantity we want. My other tomatoes such as Cherokee Purple, Rutgers, Mortgage Lifter, produce very well. I will keep trying but our local farmers market is hard to beat. The market restricts the vendors to locally grown produce and the prices are great.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:47 pm
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    Mary Ann – Consider growing a ‘boundary flower garden’ around the perimeter of your yard. Put in flowers and plants that you might not eat, but the birds and bees would. This would give you a buffer between your veggie garden and the ‘outside’ world.

    I have an ‘alleged’ flower garden along my fence line that has a climbing rose, wild raspberry I found in other parts of my yard (they don’t produce enough for me, but the birds are happy), sunflowers, 1/2 a package of wild flower seed (from my mother), day lilies from the neighbors, 70% off plants from the nursery, etc. This is a 2.5 foot wide (from the fence into the yard) by fence line long bed I ‘built’ using dunnage – discarded lumber used to keep spools of wire on 18 wheel-flat bed trucks. I used this mostly to keep the compost in place (and keep me from having
    to dig – raised beds are the only way to grow!). I just laid out a line of 8x4x4 dunnage boards and shoveled compost in. This keeps the over spray out of my veggies.

    Maybe this will help you.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm
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    Agree wholeheartedly. I love feeding my family – from seed to table. 🙂 Mel at catesgarden

  • May 24, 2015 at 5:06 pm
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    I would feel better about growing my own food in my backyard if the people in my neighborhood did not put chemical sprays on their lawns. I love gardening – but all of those chemicals that people use take some of the joy and satisfaction out of it.

    • May 24, 2015 at 6:02 pm
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      Do you sell seeds? Your article on the “8 plants to grow” I would like to plant but can’t seem to find where I can purchase seeds from. appreciate any help you can give me.  Cris

      • May 25, 2015 at 6:19 am
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        Hi Cris – we do not sell any of our seeds – we mainly grow and save what we need. But Baker Creek Seed Co. and Johnnies Seed Company are two that we really love. Hope that helps! Jim and Mary

    • May 25, 2015 at 6:22 am
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      Mary Ann – it can be disheartening for sure to see so many chemicals used – but you are doing the best thing you can by growing organically – and much better to not use them:) Keep on gardening! 🙂

  • May 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm
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    Our total parcel of land here in Downtown Columbus, Ohio is not quite .2 of an acre! The footprint of our huge old Victorian house takes up about 40% of that .2 acre! But we’ve learned to make our remaining space work for us! We have a raised bed veggie garden that has almost 500 square feet (we square foot garden a lot)!

    We have espalliered apple trees along about 40 foot of our fence, a 4- variety cherry tree, a red currant bush as well as raspberry and blueberry bushes!

    Yesterday we cleared out a 30 area against our side fencing to build a 2 foot wide by 24 foot raised bed that is a foot deep! We will plant additional blueberries and raspberries there! We spent all day and into the evening building, shoveling compost, dirt and mulch and in the morning will do the planting! In the meantime, today is our Sabbath day of rest and our aching muscles will appreciate the short respite! Money saving + freshness + food security just can’t be beat, no matter where you live or how much space you have to grow!!!

    • May 25, 2015 at 6:23 am
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      Pat – I absolutely love your story and what you are accomplishing!!! It goes to show you can garden anywhere on any amount of land and grow your own food! Love it!

  • May 24, 2015 at 10:48 am
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    Middle TN here. After struggling with the clay and rocks, we went your route and built raised beds. 40 ten foot beds keep us busy and grow most of our spring and summer veggies for eating and preserving. We’ve not much luck in growing paste masters, so we buy a bushel from our local farmers for canning sauce. I don’t know why we have such bad luck with paste tomatoes. All others grow just great. Any ideas?
    This fall, we’re growing collards, turnips, etc. Thanks so much for your great web site

    • May 25, 2015 at 6:25 am
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      Good morning Sherry – Love your raised beds to combat the clay and rocks. I am wondering what varieties you have tried for paste? It may be as simple as finding the right variety that will work in your area. We have a lot of luck with Amish Paste and Roma varieties.

  • May 24, 2015 at 9:52 am
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    I feel exactly the same way. I love being in my garden and growing alot of our own food. Thanks for sharing. I love to watch your farm grow.

    Jennifer

    • May 25, 2015 at 6:26 am
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      Thanks so Much Jennifer for the comments. It is such a great feeling to be int he dirt and working isn’t it?!

  • May 24, 2015 at 8:12 am
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    Here in west Tennessee if we don’t have it in the ground by now we might not have it. We are being flooded by rain, we are lucky if the ground gets dry enough between showers to till. I will try to finish tilling our front yard today to plant melons, and a few more tomatoes. I hope to get our okra planted but it doesn’t look like I will this year. I am having surgery on my shoulder in 4 days and my dear wife will be busy trying to finish planting and taking care of me,;)

    • May 25, 2015 at 6:29 am
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      Robin – It sounds like you have a lot to deal with the rain and the upcoming surgery! I hope your weather breaks a little and good luck with your surgery! Jim and Mary

  • May 24, 2015 at 8:10 am
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    Jim,
    I could not agree more! Well stated, Joe and I did the same thing as you and Mary on our new homestead we named The Ponds..I will send you a picture..like you and Mary we harvest and grow much of our food, so now that we have purchased 7.5 rolling acres with 2 ponds that are spectacular, we are also catching and eating our own fish! We will be needing another of your spectacular pergolas one of these days soon…we soooo Love our first one you made for us…but when we decide to build our new home at The Ponds we wont be able to take it with us unfortunately…by the wayndomyou have any good ideas for getting rid of carpenter bees? They seem to love our pergola wood!

    • May 25, 2015 at 6:34 am
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      LOVED the picture!!! so beautiful and what a property! I am so glad you love your pergola – we use that picture so much and get so many comments on your curtains and the way you decorated it. How cool that you can even fish and eat from your property!

      We will be more than happy to make you one someday when you are ready – and for the carpenter bees – they are really getting bad here too. I will look in to what I cant find out about how to control them. Always love hearing from you two – love what you do! Jim and Mary

  • May 24, 2015 at 7:59 am
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    Ah yes! We had the same kind of day yesterday, in northeast Wisconsin, working on pur 1.7 acres. We are just planting now due to frost this past week.

    • May 24, 2015 at 10:24 am
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      you can google carpenter bees, but WD40 is the answer

    • May 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm
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      Make carpenter bee houses and put them up near your pergola. They are excellent pollinators and actually do more pollinating than a honey bee. Getting rid of them is not a sustainable answer.

    • May 25, 2015 at 6:36 am
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      Beautiful days make it all worth it! Good luck in your planting!

  • May 24, 2015 at 7:59 am
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    Do you sell seeds of the “8 plants to grow” this spring?

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