I doubt that songwriter was regretting anything remotely related to gardening, but today I find myself “think’n” the same thing. Yesterday I posted an entry on Twitter to see if I could get at least some moral support if I pledged to do a daily video blog, documenting my efforts to grow an organic victory garden, sufficient to supply my family of four with all the vegetables needed for the entire summer, without spending over twenty-five bucks!
The response from Twitterland was swift and overwhelmingly positive. Before I had even a moment to second-guess my decision, word was spreading in cyberspace and my fate was sealed. The challenge was on. So, not counting the video camera I just finished ordering for $$$$, twenty-five bucks is just about all I have left to spend!
So, step one is obviously to organize my budget. With so little money, this will require that I be creative, resourceful and cut costs at every turn. Although I already have a lot of the needed supplies from previous seasons, I’m not going to use them. I want this to be a level playing field so that anyone following along can do the same thing and truly create his or her own twenty-five dollar victory garden.
My mind is racing right now at all the things I’ll need to start this garden from scratch and see it through to harvest. I’ve got a small area on the side of my garage that I’m going to use to put my garden. Location is key when growing vegetables and full sun is the most important thing. The garden will be long and narrow and I need to retain the soil with timbers or large stones or blocks or whatever. But since I’m not spending money, I’ll have to see what I come up with.
I like deep raised beds, but that requires lots of good organic soil and amendments. But where will I get all that for only a few dollars? Part of it will come from the compost I’ve been making but that won’t be nearly enough. I need soaker hoses, timers and mulch. I’ll need more compost and nutrients along the way and I need to be prepared to deal with pests that might show up.
I’ll need quite a few varieties of seeds but that can add up quickly. Again, I have to get creative. Can I get these essential items donated or at least deeply discounted? Not likely since technically I’m not a charity case. Perhaps I can barter myself for a few hours work in exchange for a few garden essentials instead.
So, please check back often as I take you along for the journey. I’ll be video blogging about this nearly every day and you can see first hand my trials, challenges and ultimately my victory. This is certainly going to be an exercise in patience, pride and frugality to be sure. But this is also going to be a lot of fun. I’m excited to get my hands in the dirt again and along the way, share this experience with you and many others. Ultimately, through the process, I hope to end up feeding far more than just my family of four. That’s the plan and that’s what I’m think’n!
p.s. The images in this post document the first step in starting this garden on a shoestring. Toilet paper rolls are a great seed-starting pot and it's recycling too. The soil in the tubes is home made compost and leftover potting soil.