Rest In Gratitude

A lot happens over the course of single season during the life of a garden. By November, the plants that produced all sorts of good things during the summer have become compost, the fields have been tilled under to mark the close of the growing season, and the leaves on the aspen trees have turned from green to gold. Enough food was grown to eat, to preserve and to sell. Abundance sprang from the soil and found its way out into the world. Pounds of produce were harvested and enjoyed.

There were some things that didn’t work, as there always are in farming and gardening.  Maybe there wasn’t enough mulch in some places, and the rows ended up being waist high grass by September. Perhaps the raspberries wanted more water than they got, or the cucumber beetles decided to feast on the melons. It’s likely that uses for cucumbers and zucchini ran out and some giants got left in the field. But the farm was alive with growth, and it lived for another season, despite challenges-or perhaps it lives on year after year because of them and the contrast they provide. Continue reading

How To Start Growing Healthy, Sustainable Food In Your Garden

This is a guest post, contributed by Tim Sparke.

When it comes to eating healthily, vegetables are vital. With the right variety, they can provide you with nutrients, potassium and other vital supplements the body needs. Of course, they’re at the very best, as well as being at their most delicious, when they’re fresh.  And what’s more fresh than from your own garden?

Growing your own vegetables is relatively easy with a little know-how. Not only will this provide you with the freshest natural ingredients possible, you will also save money by relying on the supermarket less. Furthermore, this is a very green and sustainable method of providing your own food, while enjoying a family activity that promotes bonding.

These quick tips offer some information to help you get started! Continue reading

Farm Memories

When I was writing Prairie Grown, I asked Melissa and Hanna,  my brothers’ girlfriends [at the time — Hanna is now my sister- in- law, and Melissa will be as of September!), about some of their favorite memories from spending time at Hillside Prairie Gardens.  We weren’t able to include their stories in the book, but they had some beautiful things to say that are worthy of sharing here, and reading again and again. Continue reading

Spring Has Sprung!

It’s starting to truly feel like spring in Minnesota, where I live.  And spring in mid-west America means that farmer’s markets, CSAs, roadside stands, u-pick berry farms, and community gardens are not so far away.  We tend to celebrate the re-engagement with fresh foods around here because in this part of the world, winter is long and the growing season is short.  Some of us have greenhouses and high tunnels and grow lights to extend the season, but the days when tomatoes and peppers and lettuce thrive outside with only the sun above and the soil below are days to anticipate and look forward to with joyful expectation. Continue reading