Lord we pray "Help me to continually increase parish vitality and reflect the presence of Christ in the world."

Browsing The Carpenter's Bench Blog

Gardening: What is your style?

What is your gardening style?  Are you into the latest technology?  It can save you time.  It can improve outcomes.   Garden gizmos don’t have to be fancy or battery powered.  For instance, adding landscape fabric can save you time and work by keeping weeds down all season long.  Check out this solar powered owl:

 Scarecrow Owl

It moves its head to scare off birds and varmints.  Looking for gardening answers fast?  There is an android app for that:  A Gardeners Handbook: Volume 1.   For the more advanced gardener, there is even a device that will measure soil pH, fertility, moisture and sunlight called Rapitest

I usually look at gardening as a time to unplug and get away from the stream of information that seems to inundate my life.  I’m not opposed to technology, but I find getting away from it all for a while to be rejuvenating.   I enjoy feeling the dirt between my fingers, the sun’s rays upon my skin, and the cooling effect of a breeze when I have gotten hot.   Enjoying and interacting with nature is definitely a wonderful benefit of maintaining a garden. 

Another thing I enjoy about working in the garden is that it gives me a chance to reflect on problems or think over things I have read.  If I start to get tired my thoughts often turn to my grandmother.  She maintained a large garden and preserved a good portion of her family’s food.  I am reminded about how much easier we have it today, where gardening is a hobby and not necessary for survival.  

It is a great hobby, no matter what means you employ.  You can’t garden without getting outside and getting some exercise.  You also get the benefit of fresh veggies.  If you like tomatoes, you are well aware of how much tastier the home grown variety are than what can be purchased as the grocery store.  Garden fresh veggies are more nutritious too, as you consume your garden produce soon after picking it.  Vegetables loose nutrients the longer they sit, and who knows how long the vegetables have been sitting on the shelf at the supermarket?  

St. Joseph’s Church has a Community Garden that is open to all comers.  If you don’t want to tear up your lawn, you live in an apartment, or otherwise don’t have room for a garden, this is a great opportunity to plant a garden.   10 ft. x 10 ft. plots are just $10 for the entire season.  Many people like to get 2 or more plots.  There is a water spigot available at the Community Garden for your watering needs.  Plots are typically available by Mother’s Day, which corresponds with the danger of a freeze being over.  We have the garden plowed in fall and spring so the soil is usually pretty easy to dig in. If you are interested in a plot, contact me at [email protected]


  • Patricia Arthur

    Thank you for this enjoyable blog post!

    I LOVE to garden ... in fact some of my most memorable childhood moments are of going to the local greenhouse with my mother as a very young girl - maybe around the tender age of 5 - and helping to pick out plants to bring home and plant in the flower bed.

    The first vegetable garden I planted was probably very near that same age, I dug up a place in the backyard about 3 x 3 and planted navy beans and popcorn from the cupboard. Needless to say that first garden did not do too well!

    I graduated from those small beginnings to my largest garden which consisted of 4 raised beds sized 4 x 50, growing 4 varieties of tomatoes, several varieties of lettuce, radishes, peppers and cruciferous vegetables, squash, zucchini, potatoes, corn, beets, turnips, onions, carrots, cucumbers, green beans and a separate patch of strawberries and raspberries. It was quite an undertaking, one which helped feed my extended family and friends and fill my freezer and pantry with plenty of produce for the winter months.

    There just seems to be something about gardening that gets into ones bones ... it may be hereditary - just kidding; although all my siblings and children seem to have the same love for gardening. The smell of the freshly plowed soil, getting my hands into the dirt and watching the seedlings sprout up through the dirt and mature into consumable food ... there really is nothing like it!

    I am unable to maintain and enjoy such a large garden at this point, but I cannot imagine a time when I won't have at least a small plot of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. My mind is already busy considering the possibilities for this year. I look forward to seeing the progress at St Joseph Community Garden!

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