Did you know this about squash?

Squash is high in vitamins A, B6, and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, and potassium. That’s a serious nutritional power-packed veggie. Yellow squash is also rich in manganese. This mineral helps to boost bone strength and helps the body’s ability to process fats and carbohydrates. Pretty cool don’t you think? BTW this super veggies is one of the easiest to grow yourself. You can even grow it in a pot, if you don’t have a lot of space.

…and the flowers are so beautiful. One squash plant produces vegetables over a long period of time. I have 12 squash plants in my garden. Half of them are planted in the ground, and half in pots. Starting in April I plant a couple seeds every other week, to spread out the harvest over the summer months. We’ve been eating squash in every thinkable shape for over a month, and we’ve also been able to share many pounds with our friends. The twelve seeds I planted will provide abundance of squash for the rest of the season. I paid $2.25 for a seed package of organic yellow squash. So far this season I’ve harvested  more than 100 all organic yellow squash, and we’re not even half way through yet. The plants are setting new flowers every day. Eating good, quality, organic food doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact it’s the other way around. If I’m counting low the $2.25 I invested in the seed package will yield 200 squash. Very likely more. You do the math.

Yes, there is some work included in the deal. I planted the squash in compost from our household scraps, and I’ve been mulching my plants with organic matters that I collected outside (available for free,) and watered  my plants every day since I planted the seeds in April. Gardening may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. In Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget , the book I’m working on, I’m going to include some numbers. The actual cost of  creating a sustainable garden, and what you can expect to save, compared to purchasing organic produce at a grocery store.

The joy included doesn’t have a price tag 😉

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Love,

Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share; Book – Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget

Start your weekend with a cup of coffee with me! How was your week? 

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My daughter is thrilled that her corn is growing so much. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she is going to be able to taste it, before she goes to her dad by the end of next week. 

Besides my regular job projects, horses, gardening, and being a mom, I’ve been busy working on my book, Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget. I’ve been focusing on a chapter about mulching these past few days. 

A mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil. Reasons for applying mulch include conservation of soil moisture, improving fertility and health of the soil, reducing weed growth and enhancing the visual appeal of the area. A mulch is usually, but not exclusively, organic in nature. – Wikipedia

I wish that someone had explained the importance of mulching to me, sometime there in the beginning. Ohh…how much smoother the gardening learning curve would of been. It feels like a very important chapter. The chapter that I wished I had read before I started gardening more seriously. It’s been fun. This chapter is far from finished, but I feel that the book is making some progress.

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Baby fig trees from cuttings, with plenty of mulch. I add organic matters to my garden every week as needed. 

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Above is some of my squash plants, growing along a fence. If you look under the leaves, in the photo below, you’ll see….drum whirl….lots of mulching. 

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The chapters for my book is pretty much lined out. I have published a couple books before, but they have been very different, more of luxurious coffee table books. Focusing on highlighting my photography, while raising money for charity. They have been expensive to print, made with glossy, thick paper. This book is going to be a high quality book, also with photos, but made with a more normal price point in mind, that fits the title. I want it to be easy accessible for anyone who could use it. My previous books, that I enjoyed making very much, was targeted to wealthy european horse people. This book has a completely different targeted audience. Here’s a little teaser from the introduction, that explains my motivation. 

The methods in this book is a result of 5 years of experimenting with organic gardening, on a very slim budget. You will be provided with different approaches to organic gardening on a budget. They are easily adapted to your amount of space, gardening zone, and access to material. I’m a homemaking, homeschooling mom, that for the most part been alone in my responsibility to raise a healthy, happy little girl. My motivation to write this book is very personal. Especially during the first years my creativity was often tested to the max, when it came to providing healthy food, due to limited finances, and a nomadic lifestyle. I’ve lived, and I’ve learned. 

Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget, covers everything you need to know to get started; planning an organic vegetable garden, materials, compost, mulching, seeds, how to grow your food scraps, plants, trees, propagating fruit trees, kitchen herbs, mushrooms, sprouts, harvest, how to barter your produce/work for a bigger variety of local produce, and container gardening. 

I believe that you are what you eat; mind, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food.  My ultimate dream is to have a small homestead, and be as self sufficient as possible, producing the majority of my family’s food myself. I am working towards that goal, by growing as much organic produce as I can. I love that gardening is a lifelong learning process. I’d love to share a few of the things I’ve learned so far. Most of these activities are kid friendly. If you have kids, I highly recommend growing produce that your children enjoy eating, and involve them in the process. There’s many colorful photos throughout the book, showing how my daughter and I tried different approaches to gardening, and the pro’s and con’s with each one. Growing my own food makes me smile, in many ways. Literally because I enjoy working in my garden, and internally because it makes me feel good eating organic food. My conscious also smile back to me when I try to lessen my ecological footprint, by eating a more locally produced, plant based diet. I sincerely hope that Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget, is going to help you, and your family towards a happier, healthier life.

This is very much a work in progress. Is there a chapter that you would love to read, that I didn’t think of? An angle that would make the book more interesting for you?  I’d love input, and constructive criticism.

Any fun plans for the weekend? Please join the Weekend Coffee Share, I’d love to have coffee in your backyard this weekend, and hear all about your week.

Happy Friday! 

 

Love,

Ms Zen