In this era of industrial grown food transported thousands of miles, and food borne illnesses that can often result, many people understand the health and environmental benefits of eating locally, or at least regionally.  Part of the new “locavore” movement is growing some of your own food, and one of the best and easiest ways to do so is to install a raised bed garden.

A raised bed garden is a garden built on top of your native soil typically sized around 5’ x 10’.  The basic idea of a raised bed is that instead of battling against poor soil conditions, you build above ground where you have absolute control over the soil texture and ingredients. You can plant more in a raised bed garden because you don’t need to leave room for paths.  You simply lean over to work in the garden. Because raised beds tend to have more plants in less space than a traditional vegetable garden, they have fewer weeds and require less maintenance.  Raised beds also drain better because they are elevated.

As with any garden, the quality of the soil is key – healthy living soil means healthy thriving plants, which means healthy fresh food.   So make sure you use local compost to enrich the soil, hopefully from your own compost pile. Along with the satisfaction of growing your own food, you’ll save money and will find that raised bed gardens add beauty to your landscape!

Have fun, get creative and grow a themed garden like a salad garden, a pizza garden, an Italian garden, whatever you can imagine. One idea is to grow fruits and vegetables from the Dirty Dozen list,the produce that contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving and the foods you should always eat organic. These foods are believed to be most susceptible because they have soft skin that tends to absorb more pesticides.  Growing your own food is very rewarding!!!  Go to Gardener’s Supply Company for ideas!

Image by Peter Wild




3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by peter grose on May 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    hey, betsy. just stumbled upon what’s green wi…. and congrats to you. my gardening days are over, but could you send a blog sample to my daughter (and therefore your cousin or something) kim, who’s just getting started at their new house in san jose. think she will be hanging on your every word. she’s kimgrosemoore@stanfordalumni.org, or possibly ,edu. claudia and I are back home in cambridge for most of the summer, so let’s try to get caught up. see ya’, peter


  2. Posted by mjmcc1 on May 11, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    cool… I am more informed from reading your post… and I like it. Michael


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