Good Morning, Team!
It’s another Wednesday – 3 weeks left in your competition. Will there be a shake-up in the rankings? Let me know how it all goes!
Today we have the second in our series of guest posts from Bonnie. Today’s topic, by special request of me, is on Square Foot Gardening. This is a fun and nutritious way to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for the entire growing season in very little space. One of my conversations recently broached the topic of expense while eating whole foods. The comment basically went as follows, “It’s so expensive!” Well, here is one way to keep your costs down and as the Walker’s would tell you – any leftover from the harvest can be canned or fermented and used throughout the winter. A recent post at Marks Daily Apple approached this subject and there were many comments on the subject. In my own opinion, some weeks I spend more, some weeks I spend less – overall I don’t have to spend money on doctor visits, medications, or other health related items – which saves me money that I can spend on higher quality foods as well as CrossFit membership, massage, and chiropractic care. Here’s one of my favorite shirts:
Workout of the Day:
Warm-up – 2 rounds of 15 – Push-ups, Jumping Jacks, Shoulder Mobility, Sit-ups, Squats, Walking Lunge, Samson Stretch
Work-out – Run 600 meters (or 3 minutes) then do: 2 minutes of Squats, 2 minutes of Push-ups, 2 Minutes of Sit-ups. 3 rounds for reps – rest exactly 30 seconds between rounds – no rest between exercises.
For those of you who are wondering – yes, you can eat the fruit cups provided by the company today! They are approximately 2.75 blocks of carbohydrate. Be sure to calculate that into your daily Zone total. (You can figure this out on your own by knowing that 1 block of protein is 7 grams, 1 block of carbs is 9 grams, and 1 block of fats is 1.5 grams.)
This is a short one for me today – cue Bonnie!
“They claim red meat is bad for you. But I never saw a sick-looking tiger.” – Chi Chi Rodriguez
Lovely Day, Fellow Followers:
Hopefully Miss Mother Nature holds some of this rain for the rest of spring after we plant our gardens! Yesterday I wrote all about container gardening for those who want to start small, have space restrictions, and/or enjoy the ease of container gardening. Another great option for those with a bit more space is growing in a raised bed. You can build the frame anywhere in your yard and fill it with premium garden soil, a major benefit if your soil is less that desirable. It also cuts down on weeds and disease and is easier to tend and harvest from.
The main plan we will follow comes from Square Foot Gardening, a technique promoted by Mel Bartholomew who is an engineer by trade and gardener by passion. There are 10 basics to this technique:
1. Layout- Arrange garden in squares instead of rows
2. Boxes- Build a raised bed filled with a soil mix rather than plant directly into ground
3. Aisles- Space raised beds about 3' apart to create walking aisles, making all sides of the box accessible
4. Soil- Fill with a new soil mix, either mixed yourself, purchased from a garden center, or purchased through Mel's site
5. Grid- Layout a "square foot" grid across the top of the box
6. Care- Tend garden from the aisles, not by walking through bed
7. Select- Choose different plants for each square foot section
8. Plant- Plant just a few seeds per hole in square foot section, and plant transplants in a half-moon shape
9. Water- Water by hand from air temperature water accumulated in a bucket or rain barrel. If not available use water from a hydrant, but make sure it is warm before using
10. Harvest- When one square foot section is fully harvested, remove old plants, add compost, and plant a new crop!
Now, you're thinking, that's nice, but how do I implement it?!? Easy!
1. Pick a spot that gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day
2. Build a 4'x4' raised bed. Use this guide from Better Homes & Gardens.
3. Fill with soil
4. Plot your grid
5. Pick seeds and/or plants; choose anything you'd like! Just keep in mind facts like if one plant is super tall, don't plant it next to itty bitty as it may overshadow it
6. Plant varieties according to package directions. Remember, plant after danger of last frost, but don't wait too long! Earlier planting means more to harvest earlier on, stronger plants, and more disease resistance
7. Water! Make sure to check daily as hot sunny days can dry out soil quickly
8. Also check daily for pests and diseases. If something looks suspicious, check it out immediately!
9. Harvest, replant, and...
This is a great plan for beginning gardeners who want to enjoy the fruits of their labor but need a little assistance getting started. It is also great for those tried and true gardeners since it is such a fool proof way to keep everything organized! And raised beds have a set clean edge, providing an aesthetic look for every yard!
To Fresh Bounty,