LIVING A DREAM: Fresh Organic Vegetables

For my whole life—not just while living my dream—I have ALWAYS come up with new “projects,” and this time I’m hoping it’ll provide me with Fresh, HOME GROWN, Organic Vegetables. I know, there’s a lot of eye-rolling going on in Tennessee at this little announcement, but the more I read about the chemicals in the soil and herbicides being used for pest control, the more I feel like I need to do whatever I can to eliminate those things from our diet. So I began a search for the most economical, productive way to grow vegetables in our tiny little spot. And, as most of you know, we live in a trailer park. Let me explain.

It Came In On Wheels

The people here would love for me to refer to the community where we live as a “Four Star Manufactured Home Community.” But they need to understand something about me: I’m Tiny Fields’ daughter and I call it like I see it. And the way I see it is this: if it came in here on WHEELS, it’s a TRAILER. You can call it whatever you like, but it’s still a trailer. It may be a “double-wide,” it may have all the bells and whistles to make life comfortable and chandeliers and a sun porch and patio and carport and nice stuff. But it’s still a trailer, and there is NO shame in trailer park living. So you know if I’m in a trailer park, I can look in any given direction and see trailers close by, and each of us has a little strip or two of yard. Big enough for a couch-sized “garden” last year, and big enough for a GARDEN TOWER this year.

The Garden Tower 2 Project

The Garden Tower 2 should look like this after a few weeks. How exciting is that?

So I found the Garden Tower 2 Project website, and began reading and watching the videos. It made sense to me! I’ve looked at aquaponics (they require fish you have to feed and water pumps), and hydroponics (they require some kind of plant food and water pumps), and both of these require some kind of electricity to run. I’ve looked at raised bed gardening, but we’ve had a drought here and watering is often strictly limited. And when I found the Garden Tower 2 Project, it just made sense to me!

The Size Fits My Space

So the Garden Tower 2 takes up about 4 square feet of space (this works in our trailer park, but would also work on a sunny patio or balcony, as well), and you can plant about 50 plants. It’s designed to prevent evaporation, so all the water that goes into the garden goes directly to the plants. There’s also ball bearings on the bottom level so you can turn it –right where it stands–for the best sun-exposure for all your plants. These are really good benefits, in my opinion.

Natural Fertilizer

And you use your kitchen scraps (potato and onion peels, apple cores, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc.), along with red wiggler worms, to create a natural fertilizer from composting. No chemicals. The vegetable scraps break down, the worms crawl in and out (oh, that song is now going through my head! Y’all know the one! “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out…” ugh!), keeping the soil loose and fertilizing the roots of your plants. Since the soil is so nutrient-rich, the plants are supposed to grow bigger, better, faster, and nutritious. This means that in a few weeks, if we’re in the mood for salad for dinner, I can just waddle out, pick some lettuce, a few green onions, a couple of tomatoes, maybe some strawberries or parsley, and in a few minutes, the salad’s on the table! Fresh-picked, organic vegetables, right from my own trailer park lot!

Planting

These are my seedlings just getting started.

So I bought seeds and started some seedlings indoors (on the above-mentioned sun porch). Oh, I was efficient, too. I had the supplies: grow pellets, little plant containers, potting soil, etc. I carefully planted 36 little starter pellets and 18 little containers and five or six little additional starter pellets in a tray, which are all Kentucky Pole beans. As I planted, I drew up a matrix of what was planted in each little spot: 9 early tomato plants, 9 beefsteak tomato plants, 6 cilantro, 3 kinds of watermelon, one cantaloupe, 2 squash, 2 jalapenos, and on and on… for 54 little future seedlings. I didn’t count on all of them actual sprouting, but planted, drew up my little diagrams and hoped for the best. And days later, I have sprouts coming in! I am excited. But I cannot for the life of me find my drawings, so I’m not sure what is what. I so carefully document what I planted and where it was, and promptly lost the chart. Robert says that’s just the way life is. You make plans, hope for the best, and just accept what comes along. I’d say he’s about right.

Surprise Garden

So I am going to plant my little unknown seedlings and see what happens. I’ll certainly recognize a tomato from a watermelon when it comes in. I’ll know a bean from an onion. I’m just going to have a grand time, planting and watching my little seedlings (and the two or three other plants I bought) grow in my what I now call my Surprise Garden Tower.

You Can Win One of These

Oh, and while I’m at it, you can click here and sign up to win one of the Garden Tower 2. They’re giving away some of these, so go sign up here and maybe win one!

Y’all DREAM BIG!  I always do!

Love ya for being here!

peggy!

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