Community gardens are a great way to save money, improve your life and share the load of gardening responsibilities. From garden planning to freezing and canning, gardening as a group is a smart idea.

Save Money

It’s a well-known fact that gardening reduces the tab at grocery stores. Participation in community gardens can also save money in your local garden center and when shopping through gardening catalogs. By sharing the costs of tools, supplies and seeds, the group can take greater advantage of bulk purchasing, sales on more expensive items, special purchases and shipping costs. Special offers are often a help in catering to member tastes for certain fruits, vegetables and herbs. Many community garden groups share magazine subscriptions and pool personal recipes into a fundraising cookbook to further reduce costs.

Improve Your Life

Tending community gardens alongside your neighbors eases the stress of loneliness. The fresh air and exercise involved in gardening can reduce blood pressure, balance blood sugar and improve circulation, all of which contribute to general well-being and ease the debilitating symptoms of various health conditions. Some beds can be elevated to table height or containers placed on tables, to accommodate wheelchairs, back pain, hernias and other issues. Hand tool handles can be adapted in many ways for those who cannot grip typical handle shapes, due to arthritis, autism or cerebral palsy. Eating locally and organically grown produce will reduce your exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals, thus sparing your nervous system, liver and kidneys, among others.

Share the Load

Building, sowing, watering and weeding can all add up quickly on the shoulders of a lone country gardener. However, divide these tasks among a group of neighbors and it’s no longer a burden, but a time of togetherness. For those who cannot complete certain tasks, others can help fill in those gaps. Members of community gardens share the load of harvesting, preservation by canning, freezing or dehydrating, as well as cleaning and preparing the gardens for winter and spring. Some groups hold harvest festivals, with music, games, awards and feasts. Visit my profile for more Country Gardening Tips.…

5 Ways to Garden Together as a Family - FineGardening

Preschoolers are busy soaking up information, processing it, and applying it to their daily lives and most love being outside and playing in the dirt. So, why not spend a little time gardening with them? It is a great learning opportunity and does not require a ton of knowledge. A child’s wonder never ceases when it comes to nature and given just a little bit of information, they will take off and learn more than you would ever imagine. Gardening with your preschooler teaches them about where their food comes from and how it is created. It shows them the importance of the soil, sun, and water. And most importantly, they get to play in the dirt and spend quality time with you! Here are some tips for successfully gardening with your preschooler.

Make Your Plan. The most important thing to remember is that you will probably end up doing the most work on your garden, so plan accordingly. You’ll want to pick easy to grow plants but also something the child will be interested in growing and later eating. Sunflowers are fairly easy, fast growing, and beautiful. Peas and beans come in many varieties and are bush or climbing. Tomatoes are hard to start from seed but a purchased plant tends to be fairly hardy and produces many fruits. Also, take into consideration any size constraints. Some plants grow well in containers and would be ideal for growing on a small deck or patio. Other plants, such as strawberries, can be grown in hanging baskets. Contact your local garden center for help picking out which plants will grow best in your area as well as for ideal planting times.

Stick to the Basics. Preschoolers, although interested and excited by everything, still have a limited attention span, so the details are not that important in the beginning. They really just need the basics to start and will most certainly follow up with hundreds of questions. Start very generally by explaining how the seed needs soil, water, and sun to make it healthy and help to grow big and strong, just like we do.

As you see the various wildlife while working with your plants, you can explain how each has a connection to the plants. Some animals are helpful, while others can be harmful. Bees collect pollen from the flowers on the plant to help pollinate and produce the fruits and vegetables that you eat. Spiders eat some of the bugs that would otherwise eat your plant. Worms help enrich the soil. At every turn, there will be an opportunity to teach your preschooler. But, do not be concerned about getting to every detail. Children at this age are so full of questions, that they will determine the path of the conversation with their questions and observations.

Be Flexible and Have Fun! The experience may not go as perfectly and smoothly as you had in mind so try to just go with the flow. Do not be afraid to fail. The plants may not grow and if that’s the case you can try again, try something different, or if nothing else, take them to a local farmer’s market or pick-your-own farm. They can learn just as well by seeing the local producers with their fresh fruits and veggies or by picking their own blueberries. Failure to grow your own plants can be a lesson in how much work and knowledge it can take to put food on the table.

Cater the experience to your preschooler’s interests. My son usually ends up digging a hole nearby in search of buried treasure, while I do the weeding and pruning. But, he loves picking the vegetables, sometimes before they are really ready, watering, and looking for the first hint of green making its way out of the soil. We plant all kinds of stuff and I let him participate in the parts that interest him. Preschoolers learn much more when the experience is fun and they will be just as excited to grow, pick, and eat one fruit or vegetable as they would be with a whole garden.…

Every vegetable gardener always plans on an improved vegetable garden next year. Dreams of improved garden vegetable production dance through our heads, we want more vine ripe tomatoes, bigger cabbage heads and longer production time for our squash. Fall gardening is the way to make those gardening dreams a reality next year by cleaning up the vegetable garden and improving the garden soil.

Several fall gardening projects need to be done for improved vegetable production next year. Here are some fall gardening tips that will get you started making your vegetable gardening dreams come true.

Clean out all vegetable plants that are have ceased production. Inspect the garden plants as you clear them out of the garden, if they have no bugs or evidence of disease, throw them on the compost pile to be added back to the garden soil next year. If the plants are bug infested or diseased, dispose of them, you don’t want to re-introduce those back into your garden next year. Cucumber beetles, squash bugs, corn borers and potato bugs over-winter in their garden plant’s name sake if the plant is left in the vegetable garden

Garden bugs or disease may have even been a problem in vegetable production this year. While fall gardening, make a note of any garden bugs or disease so you will be prepared with organic or commercial methods of preventing and/or ridding your vegetable garden of these problems next year.

Fall gardening in a warm climate will permit you to plant and harvest a few more garden vegetables. Mid-August through September are good times to plant spinach, collards, kale, lettuce, turnips and radishes.

Planting a fall cover crop in your vegetable garden improves the soil for better vegetable production next year. Fall gardening cover crops include small grains, grasses, legumes that help prevent soil erosion, cut fertilizer costs, reduces the need for herbicides and other pesticides and improves soil health. Next year, you’ll just till in the fall cover crop. Planting a cover crop as part of your fall gardening ritual this year is an easy way to achieve improved vegetable production next year.

Another fall gardening tip for improved vegetable production is now is the time to add manure to your garden. Composted manure is the best and no more than 3 inches deep. You can add cow manure, till it in the soil, then plant a fall cover crop. Fall gardening double impact for improved garden vegetable production through improved soil.

A little fall gardening goes a long way for improved vegetable production next year.…

How to Plan a Garden to Feed a Family

One of the best ways to combine both gardening and parenting tasks effectively is to develop or improve those time-management skills and by all means, put them to use. Keep everything as organized as possible, from garden and household chores to family activities and events. Designate specific days for certain tasks. For instance, clean the house on Friday, hang out with the kids on Saturday, and weed the garden on Sunday. Regardless of what the kids think, you’re not a superhero. It’s perfectly ok to enlist the help of others, especially your fellow family members. Have the older kids pitch in to help the younger ones. Take turns rotating household and gardening chores. Encourage teamwork. For those of you that dislike a particular chore, such as washing dishes, perhaps someone else in the house doesn’t mind. Swap out these types of chores with those that others in the house don’t like to make productivity faster and easier, and perhaps more fun. Use your creativity to make these things fun. For instance, reward the kids for a job well done. Take them out for ice-cream. Give the little ones flashy stickers.

Make family time fun time by spending time together outdoors. In fact, why not consider gardening together. Grow a vegetable garden. Nothing brings a family together quite like a good, healthy meal, especially one made with freshly grown vegetables from your family’s garden. You can design your garden to suit the needs of your family or adapt an existing garden to your family’s lifestyle and interests. For instance, provide a place for the kids to play, the dog to lounge, and so on. Involve the kids. Consider letting them grow a garden of their own. They love to play in dirt anyway. This also gives you the opportunity to share one of your favorite pastimes with them and teach them all about connecting with nature. Let them choose their own plants and design their own garden space. If you have younger children and don’t have anyone to occupy their time while you’re in the garden, there are a few things you could try. For instance, keep the play area near the garden so the kids stay within easy view. Take advantage of nap time. Work on gardening chores while the kids are sleeping. This also works for household tasks as well, provided they’re quiet. Bring the play pen outdoors. This helped me greatly when my kids were small. Not only do they stay inbounds while you work in the garden, but they can also enjoy the outdoors with you. Just be sure to keep them in the shade.

Finding time to enjoy your favorite pastime while making time for your family doesn’t need to be a frustrating experience. All it takes is a little creativity to combine your responsibilities into fun-filled family activities. The memories you cultivate will last a lifetime!…

My spade cuts deep in dirt,
A narrow swath of adventure,
Turning up wet, juicy worms,
Plump with soil, squiggling
Quickly back into the dark, rich loam.

With shovel in hand,
I turn the clumps of sod,
Shake grass free of dirt.
And toss it aside, as,
With straight edges and curves

I create a monument to
My mother’s love of all
Growing things, tenderly
Transplanting her daffodils
Deep in the warm, waiting earth,

Warm like she was, prepared to shield,
Nurture the potential beauty in these bulbs
The way she shielded, nurtured, fed
The potential she saw in all of us.

She, like “Mother Earth” herself,
Was a most amazing teacher.
With wisdom, seemingly beyond
Her tender years, she schooled us

In forgiveness, generosity of spirit,
In “loving others as ourselves,” in
Golden words from the “Good Book”
And how to pray from the heart.

Caring, giving, loving hands,
Those same loving hands
That turned and tilled the soil,
Touched us with kindness, with pride.

Her arms, those same arms
That joyfully tended her flowers,
Those tender arms enfolded us, her
Hugs a haven for many of life’s hurts.

Mom’s shoulders could bear
The weight of the world,
Of many worlds, and often did,
Her tears a balm for those we wept.

She seldom told a fairy tale.
Her favorite stories were family tales.
But her gift for story telling
Fed my love of written words.

With smiles, imagination and sweat
She could lay a path to beauty, and
This was her legacy, her gift to me as
I make a nest of dirt for another bulb.


Are you aware that possibly even during the Stone Age lights had already been around?

When the world was young, man had been using lamps through using rock depressions to put burning natural fibers in animal fat. In later ages, they had transformed through utilizing shells, clay, glass, iron, pewter, brass, and bronze. Today, more than the light the lamps shed, it transcends its purpose by becoming a fashionable home dcor like a table lamp, for example. It has various kinds such as table, buffet, rustic, accent and many more. There are so many options to choose from depending on what purpose you intend to use the lamp for. The table lamp is best used for reading and making school or business projects. A buffet lamp is used as to accentuate a table. A rustic lamp is used to complement the outdoor color scheme of your table. An accent lamp, on the other hand, is utilized to increase direct light of your table to elaborate the emphasis of it.

Bear in mind that your house needs to be a relaxing and a beautiful haven to reside. It must be a place to commit quality time with the family, have a snooze after work, and be with good friends during spare times. It should have complementing furniture designs which will illuminate the shade of the wall grandiosely, so that it is very pleasing to the eyes. The finest light causes your home look classy and superior because it will certainly set the tone as well as the mood.

In literature, lamps or a fondness of them, are considered good symbols and relates to your personality as a knowledge-lover as lamps are most often used as a symbol of enlightenment. To see the light, figuratively, is to understand. When we see a picture depicting a child reading with a table lamp, we will feel its profundity. We perceive that the child had been persevering to educate himself. Hence, the saying, “burn your midnight candle” means to study.

Several movies represent light as Heaven or God. We have not heard about any bad event or thing that individuals associate the light with except of course if you had a faulty electrical wiring that might start a fire and burn off your house down.

However, table lamps are quite safe. They do not just keep you warm, they also let you feel that you are at home and that nothing would bother or harm you. They will give a feeling of security. As you lie on your bed and you turn its light on, you are sure to have a good sleep. Nothing beats the feeling of being at peace, being in the mood to rest because the next day, sunshine will be looked forward to.

Therefore, light up your house with lamps. Permit them to conquer the dark edges of your lovely place.

Table lamp enhance the appearance of your homes through its very intricate design and style. Its illumination provides the required amount of light necessary for a room. It also exudes glamour and elegance. Or you may want to try Lamps.…

Don’t know the first thing about Gardening? It’s too hard to learn?

Absolute Nonsense!

Quite possibly, this is the most forgiving hobby there is. The BIG thing to remember about plants is, they will not instantly die on you. You have a lot of leeway here. Plants will alert you to the fact that something is wrong, by the sheer fact they start to look sad. This gives you time to DO something about it. Unlike most other hobbies, where, if you forget to do something – the whole project may well fall to pieces before your eyes.

Gardening, being such a popular passtime, and with all the latest alternative or organic information we have to hand, gardening as a natural science is fun to learn about and rewarding in the extreme…

Produce your own fruit and veg – do less shopping and re-introduce yourself to the taste of REAL produce.

Keep it organic!- think globally, act locally.

Stay fit and healthy with exercise and fresh air. Gardening is good for the soul too.

Spend quality time outside with the family – in the garden.

Be creative, experiment with new garden designs and plantings.

When you start gardening, a funny thing happens – you LEARN – whether you want to, or not, knowledge just seeps in and before you know it , you will find that you actually – KNOW things.

Shall we begin?

Take your time. Look at your proposed garden area, contemplate it. Do not think for a moment, that you are going to do this in a day. That will only lead to disappointment – and you may as well just go straight back inside and turn the telly on. Take a little time, do a little planning. Don’t take too long, though, keep up the enthusiasm or ideas may begin to fade.

What would you like to have in your garden? Colour, shade, somewhere to sit that is shady and colourful? Somewhere to entertain, or for the kids to play?

Something like…a….

……..butterfly patch

……..water feature, oh, nice.

……..a patch of wildflowers

……..herb garden, right near the kitchen there.

……..Gotta have a vegetable garden!

Better have a shed, too, to store your tools. Where would that be best placed? Don’t waste a sunny position for a garden shed. Sheds don’t need the sun, but your garden does!

Some garden furniture? Somewhere pleasant, like near the jasmine, or the herbs? Personally, I like to sit smack-bang in the middle, where I can see everything; and contemplate what is going on.

If you can afford it, buy your garden structures and furniture, first; and position them where you think they should be. Then create your garden around them. That is another reason I put my benches and seats in the middle – I fan out from there, giving an enormous illusion of expansion, as I go.

If you cannot afford the big stuff, to begin with – merely, leave spaces large enough for where they will go, as you acquire them; and continue with the rest..

If you are just starting out, into the world of gardening – start small. By this I mean: do as much as you are comfortable doing. If this is planting only one thing, then planting one thing is all you do. Never overdo it, as you will find your enthusiasm for the project waning, if not utterly vanishing at the thought of getting out there again. Remember – this is NOT a race!

Other things that come into this consideration are:

Are you going to invite other members of the family to ‘help’? The old adage ‘more hands make lighter work’; is certainly true, but not much fun if no-one really wants to play.

How much time do you actually have, to be playing in the garden? Are you reasonably healthy enough for the task?

The weather must be taken into consideration,too. If you are mucking about in the rain, you will actually do more damage than good – to the garden. Like-wise , if you are slogging around in a heat-wave, you will do more damage than good – to your health.

Gardening should be treated as a continuation, an evolution if you like, of your hobby, rather than a chore that has ‘gotta be done’, like painting the house, or somesuch.

Plants are continuously growing and changing the shape and feel of your garden. You can just let it grow as it will, all higgeldy-piggeldy and wild, or you can just as well hack it back when it becomes less than polite! It will come back. Gardens are very forgiving.

An uncommon secret about growing a garden is that – plants grow, whether you are there or not. It is easier to kill a plant with kindness, than it is to with neglect.…