Organic Vegetable Garden

Explore the benefits and philosophy of a vegetable garden and most importantly, learn how to build one

Creating an organic vegetable garden offers numerous benefits, both for you and the environment. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Healthier, Tastier Produce: Organic vegetables are often richer in nutrients and have better flavor compared to conventionally grown ones because they are not exposed to synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

  2. Reduced Exposure to Chemicals: Organic gardening eliminates the need for synthetic pesticides and herbicides, reducing your exposure to harmful chemicals.

  3. Environmental Sustainability: Organic gardening practices are more environmentally friendly. They promote healthy soil, minimize water pollution, and help preserve beneficial insects and wildlife.

  4. Educational Value: Organic gardening can be an excellent learning experience for both adults and children. It provides opportunities to understand the natural world and develop important life skills.

  5. Emotional and Mental Well-being: Gardening can be a therapeutic and stress-relieving activity, offering a sense of accomplishment and a connection to nature.

  6. Self-sustainable: Organic gardening allows you to take control of your food source, not depending on food companies and lets you be more self-sustainable.

  7. Aesthetic Value: Organic gardens can enhance the beauty and aesthetics of your property, with well-maintained, diverse plantings.

Overall, an organic vegetable garden offers a holistic approach to growing food that is not only good for your health but also contributes positively to the environment and your community.

constructing and taking care of a vegetable garden
constructing and taking care of a vegetable garden
permaculture described by Bill Mollison and David Holmgreen
permaculture described by Bill Mollison and David Holmgreen

"Start with why" Simon Sinek

leafy vegetable garden
leafy vegetable garden

1. Select Your Site

Choose a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Most fruiting plants, like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and melons, need full sun to produce well. However, leafy greens like lettuce, kale, and many herbs can live with 3 hours per day. Stay away from large trees and roots (which can steal nutrients and water from your vegetables). If you don't have a large yard, no worries—container gardening to the rescue! Just make sure you use the right size pot for whatever you're planting in your organic garden.

2. Use Great Soil

Excellent soil filled with nutrients is one major key to a successful organic garden. Rich, well-draining soil encourages your plants to produce strong root systems. The basics of making good soil are incorporating a couple of inches of quality compost into the top few inches, maintaining a 2-4 inch layer of mulch. A thick layer of organic mulch not only helps control weeds by blocking the sun they need to grow, but also helps retain moisture in the soil so you may need to water less. Mulch eventually breaks down and adds nutrients to the soil, too—and you know your plants will love that!

3. Pick the Perfect Plants

Selecting plants native to your region or bred specifically for your climate helps create a healthy, low maintenance organic garden, which is especially important if you're new to organic gardening.

4. Water Wisely

Too much water can be just as bad for your plants as not enough, so always check the soil before watering. Stick your finger one inch down into the soil. If the soil feels moist, leave it alone, but if it's dry, it's time to water. Be sure to water the soil surrounding the base of the plants so the roots absorb the moisture.

Water newly seeded areas often – maybe even daily – and newly planted areas probably every 2-4 days. By late spring, water less often – perhaps once a week – but more deeply to encourage roots to go down. Of course, the above varies depending on your climate, but that’s the basics.

5. Record Keeping 

People don't seem to talk about this, but for me it's one of the most important for a funcional garden. Maintain a gardening journal to track your successes and learn from your mistakes. This helps you fine-tune your gardening strategies over time. Not everything works for all gardens, and what doesn't work for most gardens could maybe work for yours, Mother Nature, with all it's unpredictability and beauty.

So how do you build one from scratch?

Now that we've covered the basics (there's obviously a lot more but I'll let you find that on your own) I want to talk about Permaculture

Planting seasons (important to also have in mind)

Planting seasons are crucial for successful gardening because they align your gardening activities with the natural cycles of your local climate. Understanding and executing planting seasons effectively can significantly impact the health and productivity of your garden.

Understand the specific planting seasons in your region. Research your area's average last frost date in spring and first frost date in fall. These dates will help you determine when to start planting and when to expect the last cold snap.

Choose crops that are well-suited to your local climate and planting seasons. Not all plants can thrive in every season. Look for varieties that are adapted to your region.

Practice crop rotation to avoid soil depletion and reduce the risk of pests and diseases. Plan your crop rotations according to the changing seasons.

Permaculture is a holistic approach to designing and creating sustainable and regenerative systems for food production, land use, and community development. The term "permaculture" is derived from "permanent agriculture" or "permanent culture," reflecting its aim to create systems that are both ecologically sound and self-sustaining in the long term. Developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970s

I find this concept to be very important, in a world where most of us live in urban households and are completely dependent on the colossal food companies, that don't care about being sustainability and use chemicals that we know nothing about and that harms ours and the natures health. That's why I think this philosophy of Being is very virtuous. Here's the key takeaway:

The core idea of permaculture is to design sustainable systems that care for the Earth, people, and fair resource sharing. It relies on principles like observation, efficiency, diversity, and the use of biological resources to create resilient, interconnected, and regenerative systems for agriculture, land use, and community development.