The Shinoda Veggie 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.