Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Who Knew Getting Your Hands Dirty Could Taste So Good?!?

There is absolutely nothing that tastes as good as fresh vegetables from your own garden.  Well maybe chocolate.… 
Being able to grow your own food has many benefits; you know how the food was grown and certainly are aware of the quality and freshness.  You also know that it has been handled properly and hasn’t been contaminated with e-coli or some other pathogen.  And there is the benefit one derives from just digging in the soil, planting and nurturing.  We all know people who list gardening as one of their favorite things to do. 
My family & I consider it a privilege and look forward to planting our multitude of small gardens around the house.  We have a fairly large one (10' x 30') behind a fence to keep the deer out, but instead of planting flowers in the beds adjacent to the house, we plant vegetables.  Part of that is being conservative with our water consumption, not watering anything we can't eat.  Even the large pots on the decks hold pepper plants and herbs, so gardening doesn’t have to be done on a large scale.
But what if you don't have a big yard or live in an apartment?  The Greater Spokane community has done some tremendous work establishing community garden spots throughout the area. Many of them are associated with specific neighborhood councils, churches, and community centers.  The idea behind the community gardens is to provide space for people to get involved with growing their own food when they don’t have the resources where they live.  There is a small fee for using the gardens, usually on a sliding scale that depends on the amount of land being used.  There are some basic rules that need to be followed and of course, one needs to be able to get along with their garden neighbors!  If you haven't yet planted that first garden or maybe it has been a while since you have done it, there is lots of help available to get you started.  The Master Gardener program through Spokane County WSU Extension is a great place to start.  www.spokane-county.wsu.edu/spokane/eastside/
You can also contact us, the Spokane Conservation District for technical assistance and soils information and testing.  We are here to help! Just send me an e-mail.

For a list of local community gardens and information on starting your own, visit www.spokanegardens.com.