Last year my husband and I worked hard at creating raised garden beds for our backyard. We had an unleveled area that was overgrown with weeds and an old tree trunk and I simply felt that the space could have a bigger purpose. So, we got to work. I weeded and leveled the area. My husband and I worked to build the wooden beds and fill it with soil and then I proceeded to lay pavers down to make a graduated path and sitting area. We still have a few finishing touches to add, but we have taken advantage of the completed beds for two seasons already.
I typically begin with seed, but this fall has been a bit busy and I was eager to get to gardening again, so I decided this January to simply purchase starter plants at our local nursery. We tried to fill our beds and pots with winter vegetables and herbs we knew we would use, so we found ourselves with kale, broccoli, sweet peppers, jalapeno pepper, cabbage, collard greens, lettuce, oregano, cilantro, basil, parsley, thyme, and lavender.
It felt so good to get my hands back in the soil and to have greens back in my bed. It will be several more weeks before we reap the benefits, but it feels so nice to go out everyday to nurture the plants and witness the growth. Gardening offers so many wonderful benefits including relaxation, physical exercise, decreased stress levels, and of course the benefits of nutrition once we eat our harvested food.
We’ve also made sure that our children play a big role in the garden as well, so they feel invested in the food they grow. We have found the children are more likely to try the herbs and vegetables if they feel connected to it. Tending to our garden has turned into a family affair and we wouldn’t have it any other way.