Anna Shinoda

The Shinoda Veggie Garden

Fresh from the garden

The Shinoda Vegetable and Herb Garden

I love trees.  I love flowers.  I love succulents.  I love almost all plants.  I also love rocks and soil and rivers and lakes and oceans.  I love nature in general.  I could do without mosquitoes.  But I guess that I have to put up with them because we’d probably be screwed somewhere along the food chain without them.  As nature lovers, my family tries to do what we can around our house to limit the ways we are screwing over the planet.  I don’t consider myself a true environmentalist: I still eat meat, I fly great distances in airplanes often, I own leather shoes and leather purses and leather chairs and I have a multitude of other very non-environmental sins against me.  But we do a lot of little things – and some big things – that are green and I’m especially proud of the work we’ve done with Music For Relief to reduce global warming.  Over the coming months, I’m going to post things that we do here in the Shinoda house to try and keep our carbon footprint a little smaller.  Hopefully it will give some of you out there a few ideas of things you can do in your home.

I’ll start with our veggie garden, because it’s going bonkers right now.  I just picked two cucumbers, two japanese eggplants, some onions and a gazillion cheery tomatoes (and a handful of regular ones, too)  from my little raised bed.  My herb garden provides us with most of what we need for seasoning as well.

A few years ago, I was told by John Picard that growing my own food organically is one of the best things I could do to make my home more green.   Before then, I hadn’t given much thought to how many resources were wasted getting food to my table – from the fuel it takes to transport the food down to the packaging and even the little stickers they put on the fruit and vegetables.  Veggies grown in my garden save those resources.  They are organic.  Most of my soil is fertilized from my worm bin and/or compost bin, which is double great because it also keeps kitchen scraps from piling up in a landfill (more on that later).

I was so excited about trying to grow my own food that I asked my awesome in-laws (who are incredible gardeners) to help me set up a raised bed as a Christmas gift.  After the initial work of building, planting and adding a drip system was completed, I was surprised to learn that I only have to do minimal work to keep it going.  It takes one afternoon twice a year to remove the plants that are done and mix the soil – hard work, but so worth it- and another afternoon to plant it.  That’s great fun for the kids… nothing like playing in dirt and using a watering can!  Of course, finding the right spot for the garden and getting it going took a little trial and error, and I’ve had to learn quite a bit about finding organic ways to battle bugs and other critters that like to eat my plants.  But I’ve figured it out.  The garden is thriving.  And my family is reaping the rewards daily with the freshest, most delicious healthy treats.

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16 thoughts on “The Shinoda Veggie Garden

  1. thegluelpfan on said:

    I live in the centre of the city (literally) and we can’t really have a garden here but we do have a garden in another area where we wanted to built another house.My dad is taking care of that garden and I get to help from time to time,we have potatoes,tomatoes,cucumbers,onion,peppers,strawberries and a few others and I have to say it feels really great to be able to produce those for yourself and your family.And you’re sure that it’s all organic and it’s been looked after like it’s supposed to.Having a garden is a blessing really.


  2. Just wanted you all to know that I’m reading your comments. Thanks for sharing! And to answer the sun question…
    The sun/shade is perfect: early morning sun, a little shade break mid-day, then late afternoon sun.


  3. Pingback: Inspired by vegetables | 10Ch_iie

  4. I’ll answer this as quickly as I can, between work my 3 year old boy and my other of 33 year old baby boy (you know what I mean), I have not much time for me so I hope I not to make mistakes with the translation, please forgive me if I’m wrong X ‘(
    Living in a place where if you spilled salad soon have tomatoes growing there, and be careful where you put the seeds of fruits because there’s no room for more trees, makes you take these things for granted, I honestly forget how much it costs you to get natural things when here we still buy from producers to consumers not frozen at all, or only a few days of storage.
    Reading this feels good, you and your husband have many people paying attention to you that is good to try to build awareness and knowledge about important issues of human interest, if you want to change the world change yourself first =)
    A few years ago I moved from the house where I grew up and I realized how much I missed listening to the birds in the morning and have the visit of strange insects, I’m lying I do not miss that very much, but anyway it’s fun to collect and eat your own spices and some food, we had mainly fruits, plants and flowers, my mom loves them.
    About mosquitoes you can plant citronella, marigold and basil plants, even indoors, put them in the window is fun is like a barrier. I hope the translation is correct and understandable
    P.S. your cucumbers and cherry tomatoes are superb… kudos to you


  5. Since I can’t edit my comment I will mention this. I forgot to put this in here with my previous comment. My dad likes to use egg shells for his composts, and funny coffee grounds I do believe. Whatever he sees disposable lying around for good Mulch. I do wonder one day though if he ever decides to grow a food garden of some sort. Just plants for now.


  6. The doggie is lurking behind the tomatoes…


  7. That’s so cool!! My mom and stepdad have had a small herb garden that we use for our cooking for about 5 years now, and we also grow a bunch of our own vegetables too! 🙂 Home-grown stuff is not only more green, but IMHO, it tastes better, too!


  8. Haha, my dad is the same way with composts, and tending to his flowers. He loves to do all kinds of measures to keep his garden healthy, and keep the bugs away. He doesn’t grow any vegetables, or fruits. He just grows flowers, trees, and uses compost as mulch for his plants surrounding the trees.

    See, my dad isn’t big on Pine Trees, so he got rid of them but in return he planted a bunch of medium size regular forest trees you see in every spot pine use to be at. Let’s face it for us pine cones are a pain haha. The only thing I hated about this whole thing when I lived with my parents was going out to water all the flowers…we had a big back yard. Even with a sprinkler system it doesn’t get everything. It was worth it though, because by the end of the day we got to see something beautiful.

    My family is very big on Nature in general in other words. It’s nice to know there are other people out there as well like this that do anything to have a healthy environment food and scenery wise. As for me I wish I could have a garden with flowers, but I live in a city; and an apartment none less! My patio is very very small. The only thing I could fit on there is maybe is some small plant pots. I shouldn’t complain. There’s a neighbor of mine that has her entire patio covered in vines, and pots of flowers. It’s like a mini jungle in there! Her own enchanted forest.

    Sorry rambling. It’s nice to see this! Keep it up! I def want to read more from you! Thanks for posting!


  9. YoMarquesLP on said:

    I totally agree with this, we have our own garden here and we usually get some food from it. Plus, and since we have a small place where we can hang out, it’s always nice to be out there. It’s good to know that these small things, which end up being funny to do, can help the environment in general.
    Thanks for sharing this with us! You’re a great example of how many things we can do to help, so I hope people will read this and get awesome ideas 🙂 Looking forward to the next blog posts!


  10. evooba on said:

    Unfortunately for me, living downtown doesn’t allow me to have a house with a garden so we just have small little pots on our kitchen with herbs we use while cooking. Both my aunts and uncles though, who live in the suburbs, have their own veggie gardens. One is pretty big actually and from what I’ve learned from spending my summer vacations there, is that it really takes a lot of work and care and love to grow them and tend them properly.

    It’s always nice, sitting down for lunch with the whole family knowing that the salad for example, came straight from the garden, all pure and organic!
    I like the fact that you can have a variety of veggies to grow if you have the right space or like try something out of the ordinary…like my uncle tried growing watermelons, dragon fruits and potatoes this year and it was so much fun, we got these baby melons that turned out to be way more tasty that the ones out in the market.

    May I suggest a few easy veggies to grow? Green beans!! You get tons and tons of them and you can basically store them in little packages and they last the whole winter. Also, bamboo trees! They grow fast and add a nice touch to the garden, you can use a specific breed for the food too. 🙂

    It’s little things like these can make a home more green, right?

    Can’t wait for more posts like this one, it’s gonna be really interesting!


  11. You made some good points here. Growing your own food reduces all the resources you usually need when you get your food from the supermarket. I also think the whole “garden experience” is generally great for kids. Not only do they have a fun place to play in, but they also learn the value of their food. I think it’s different when you eat something that you’ve actually seen growing in mommy’s garden. Jamie Oliver once had a whole season of his show in his own garden. He gave some great advice on what to grow and how to do it properly, and I don’t even want to start talking about his awesome recipes! He also did some fun thing to make his children eat their greens: together with them, he grew their names with salad and herbs in his garden. I really like that idea. I don’t know if you have an Instagram, but his account there is full of awesome photos from his garden and his cooking.


  12. tensh_iie on said:

    Coming from a very nature-bound family as well, I totally know what you are talking about. Both my grandparents used to have this huuuge garden (my parents still have, but sadly don’t have much time for it) and I remember my grandpa to go there every day. We kids used to play around in the little lake, or the huge meadows. And when my grandpa or grandma called and asked us to help we gladly did. Nothing was better than getting cucumbers, onions, tomatoes or even pumpkins or green beans. Nothing. And I also remember I spend hours on cleaning and popping pea’s when I was little. I loved it and there was nothing better.

    I’m really glad you will take time to write down such things and maybe help people another way to help, little and small things they might never have wasted a thought on. But every little thing will help – plus like you said, there’s nothing better for kids than dirt and a gardening can, I know that from experience haha

    And, something else that you haven’t mentioned, there’s such a HUGE difference in taste between stuff you grow and plant yourself and the stuff you buy in the supermarket. Some might say self-grown stuff doesn’t taste as good but that’s just because they’re not used to the way how tomatoes or cucumbers normally taste. How they taste without all the chemical stuff that’s put on them so they will grow bigger and faster. So there’s not only an environmental aspect, but also a health aspect for ourselves as well.

    So thank you a lot for this series of posts, I can’t wait to see more 😉 Great job, really great job!


  13. Hi Anna- I was wondering; how much sun:shade does your bed have? I have twin cockatoos and a tortoise that eat a lot of fruits and veggies, so it’s mainly for them I want to start a proper bed (:


  14. tensh_iie on said:

    Reblogged this on ROADS UNTRAVELED.


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