Gardeners will garden. No matter where we live, whether it is in drought-stricken states like California or rain forest states like Oregon or Washington, we will grow vegetables or flowers.
We garden in containers, in raised beds, hydroponically, in greenhouses. no matter what we have to do, we WILL garden.
Here on Dodd Mountain in rural Arkansas, we have stone instead of soil. If you scrape your foot on the ground, you will hit stone, not soil. So we have to make our own soil. We compost everything there is to compost. We never burn the leaves here. We put them in the compost heap. Often we just direct compost putting the leaves in plant beds using it as mulch over the winter.
After the road grader goes by on our dirt road, we harvest what it leaves behind and incorporate the clay into the compost. Really, we do. We shovel the clay into a wheelbarrow and walk it up the driveway to the compost heap or sometimes into the garden itself. It can fill holes in a raised bed. Actually, I don’t do that. I hire a strong young man to do it.
We even have a deal with the electric company tree trimmers to dump their chipper/shredders in our yard so we can spread all that lovely mulch over the stone our house is built on. With time and patience, we may be able to harvest more than just the pine needles and acorns that fall every year.
Gardening is not cheap here in Stone County. I garden in raised beds here using straw bales between logs from felled trees nearby. That took heavy machines to cut the trees, trim them into logs and put them in place. Straw bales are not cheap either. And the raised beds make it easy for me on my scooter to plant, weed and harvest. If they were not raised, I would not be able to garden.
You can see that perhaps buying produce at the grocery store might even be cheaper than gardening. But is any grocery store tomato anywhere near as good as the ones you harvest from your own garden?
Assorted peppers, green tomatoes for frying, cherry tomatoes for snacks while picking other veggies
English peas ready to be picked and shelled. Remember doing that with your grandmother sitting on the back porch?