I have built three outdoor projects at sellershome.com since we bought the house for this next phase in our online training. Since we took over the house two years ago, I have worked to establish a garden to keep up my ethos that whenever and wherever we can we should grow at least some of our own food. Why do I say that? Well, since 1992 I have always tried to grow a vegetable garden to provide food and to maintain my interests in health and wellbeing. I am not into meditation as an isolating influence because my work gives me ample opportunity to contemplate and I don’t really have the pressures most people suffer from because my work is an immersion into total therapy on its own. Indeed, my classes have hosted professors of psychotherapy, psychotherapists and those investing in the lives of those who struggle with mental health issues.
My garden flourished over the last two years and last year I grew enough potatoes and have supplied my own needs for seven months thus far. I saved enough to replant this year’s seeds from my last year’s plentiful harvest. I know, ‘taters‘ are cheap. That’s not the point and I won’t take the time to disabuse anyone as to my reasoning beyond saying we are designed to grow, cook and make. I’ve always found healthy realms of periodic strenuous exercise in gardening and since moving into my house in mid-2019 I have moved three tons of soil in building up and developing my growing beds and boxes.
Of course, it is not just potatoes, the beds were filled with everything green going from spinach to lettuce and swiss chard to carrots. But then, of course, there was filling my garden with the two sheds and the greenhouse, the raised beds and my granddaughter’s sandbox which we featured in a series on YouTube on how I built it and which she has pretty much played in since then. See the post here.
You will want to make it as much as children will want to play in it, I am sure.
There is of course exercise and mental stimuli gymnastics throughout everything that I do. Planning and developing ideas that culminate in regular growing and making is intrinsic to us all, even if we don’t as yet do any of it. One day and for no apparent reason, we decide to plant a single tomato plant and we nurture it until it yields for us to eat its fruit. This is therapeutic. We make a growing box to plant three more plants next year and we again get the benefit of fresh fruit. This is therapy.
When I built my garden shed by the raised bed area last summer I incorporated two nesting boxes inside the shed. By boring a small hole under the eaves and building a cavity inside, I created a nesting box for smaller cavity nesters like titmice, wrens, nuthatches and others. It worked! A nest with a clutch of eggs emerged as five newly hatched blue tits. They are growing fast.
It’s good for us to save seeds and plant in season, humbling if you see what I mean. My soil is already radically different since I first worked it in 2019. Just adding horse manure and straw to lighten the heavier clay has made it so that my fork goes down a full ‘spit’ (10″ or 25cm) deep. A ‘spit’ is the length of the spade blade. The soil changed colour from grey-brown to black as seen, and weeding is just as easy as can be.
I grew potatoes in boxes last year and this gave me a better return than from those I planted in the ground, still, on average I had a return of about 11 times what I planted. Plenty good enough considering `i did not let all the plants go full term but harvested new potatoes for two months beforehand.