Ever changing and ever producing! My vegetable garden is constantly in motion with things coming and going throughout the seasons. It is more than just a space that produces nearly all of the vegetables I need throughout the year, it also is a destination- a tranquil repose from the hectic urban environment. It is therapy and sustenance for the soul. It provides me with a link to my heritage and cultural roots.
My vegetable garden produces from two areas- the backyard soil and from window boxes arranged along the back wall. Although I have always had vegetable gardens of some kind, I put the first permanent beds in several years ago. I kept expanding them until I basically ran out of room. It’s not that my entire backyard is a vegetable garden, because it is not. It also has a spot set aside as “prairie”, a shed, a working area, a composting area and patios. The vegetable beds basically take up the space I would have ordinarily dedicated to lawn. But, instead of me working for it (mowing, trimming, fertilizing, watering, etc.), the garden gives back. In fact, it pays me back at a per-hour value well above minimum wage and this pay is tax-free. This past year, I purchased less then $20 in vegetables from the grocery store!
After planting all of the usable ground area for vegetables, I lifted my eyes up towards the vertical spaces. The back wall of the home was an excellent location for some window boxes and I set about making that happen. To my surprise, I was able to create significant growing space even where there was very little land area to work with! For those who have only a courtyard to work with, there is still much you can do.