Monday, June 9, 2014

It's Time To Gift Plants!

The past two months we have been busy, busy.  Sowing seed, getting the greenhouse and containers ready and getting the hydroponic systems ready to go.  Then when seedlings were big enough transplanting those and getting them ready to gift.

What a Spring!  This year we planted almost 2300 seeds, almost all of them came up.  We had a late frost and snow for several days after plants were already up.  We couldn't keep all of them warm so we lost quite a few of them, we ended up re-planting almost half of them.

Since this is the first official year of the Growing The Seeds of Love organization, I am very pleased with the amount of plants we were able to grow and give away so far.  We have gifted 3/4 of the plants that we had to gift this year! We still have a lot of black bean plants and also almost 3 trays of tomatoes to gift yet so if your in our area, contact me if your interested in some plants and we will fix ya right up :)
It has also been nice talking with folks and telling them about our mission.

Just think of the impact we could make if most of us chose to grow some if not all of our own, organic produce!
And if we also grow food for those in need then Wow, we could really make a difference and wipe out hunger and bring back good, healthy, nutritious food.
This is our mission.  This is our challenge to you!

I would love to hear your growing and gifting stories and have you as a guest writer to the Growing The Seeds of Love blog.  If your interested, please contact me and we'll get it all worked out and get your stories posted.

Until next time, happy growing and gifting everyone <3

A few photo's of some of the plants we had available to gift this year:
 Green Beans and Black Beans for Gifting, most of these have been gifted!

 Tomatoes and Squash, all of these have been gifted :)

 Almost 3 trays of tomatoes to gift yet!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Sharing Garden Shows the Way to a Moneyless Food System

This is such a wonderful article from Shareable and a great example of what we are doing, volunteers coming together and sharing the bounty with those in need  <3
Here is a link to the original post on Shareable

 The Sharing Garden Shows the Way to a Moneyless Food System

In Monroe, Oregon, the Sharing Garden started and managed by Chris Burns and Llyn Peabody is the gift that keeps on giving. Over the past few years, the garden's bounty has tripled thanks to the support and hard work of "Sharegivers" (aka volunteers) who donate various materials and actual labor three mornings a week.
And, in true Sharing Garden fashion, the harvest is distributed not only to the volunteers, but also to the food bank next door, as well as churches and other community members in need... all for free, as part of what Burns calls "nature's economy." He points out that, "None of the other lifeforms on the planet use money or currency of any kind. There's a symbiotic relationship, an interdepency. So we're trying to model that in the garden so that people understand they can give freely without having to account for their giving, and knowing they will receive what they need."
With the Sharing Garden, Burns and Peabody have established a circle of sharing in their community. As a result, the couple now enjoys free housing in a 1930s farmhouse owned by a volunteer. The garden, itself, also enjoys rent-free status on its two-thirds of an acre site. The total experience lands them smack-dab in the middle of the sharing economy, and they excitedly encourage others to join them by taking some baby steps.
Burns explains, "You can look for opportunities to give anonymously. And they happen every day. Just going by somebody in the shopping mall and giving them a nice smile... And you don't have to get credit for that. It's this whole idea of giving to get -- getting credit for your giving, getting recognized for your giving. You start there. The garden is way down the road." Check out the video below about The Sharing Garden courtesy of Peak Moment TV:

 If this post resonates with you, please consider supporting Shareable. Watch the two-minute video below & donate to our crowdfunder.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Almost Planting Time!

Like everyone else planning on gardening this year, I am drooling over the many seed catalogs I've received the past couple of months.  I made my list of the seeds I need and checked it twice :)
While waiting for those to come in, I have plenty of seed to get me started on this seasons plants.

We tried hydroponics for the first time last year and it worked out great for us.
We also do a lot of container gardening and a little traditional gardening in raised beds.
One thing I would really like to try this year is a planting style called "Square Foot Gardening".
If you have not heard of Square Foot Gardening (SFG) before then a good place to start for info would be Mel  Bartholomew, the creator, website at .
This is such a wonderful concept!  With SFG you can grow 100% harvest with 50% of the costs, 20% of the space, use 10% of the water and 5% of the seeds and it takes only 2% of the work over traditional row gardening methods!
This is such a simple method that anyone can learn to do it and it will greatly help the food shortage situation we are facing.

In a nutshell, to get started with SFG all you have to do is build a box (3'x3' or 4'x4') with weedcloth on the bottom, fill it with soil and add a grid.  Here is some info from Mel Bartholowmews site:

The 10 Basics of SFG

Click each of these points to learn more.  Thanks to Cassie Aula, one of our best certified instructors in Ohio,  for the descriptions of the basics.
Square Foot Gardening LayoutNo more gardening in rows! What a waste of space! Always think in squares: lay out 4 foot by 4 foot planting areas with 3′ wide aisles for easy walkways between them.
Square Foot Gardening BoxesBuild garden box frames no wider than 4 feet x any length, and 6 to 8 inches deep.  Boxes can be built from wood, vinyl or even cinder blocks.
Square Foot Gardening AislesIf you plan to have more than one garden box, separate them 3 feet to form walkways. Aisles can be made from grass, brick, stone, mulch or any other material that enhances your garden plan.
Square Foot Gardening SoilDon’t dig up or use your native soils!  Line the bottom of your box with a good weed fabric and fill boxes with Mel’s special soil mix: 1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
Square Foot Gardening GridOn top of each frame place a permanent grid that divides the box into one foot squares. The grid is the unique feature that makes the whole system work so well.
Square Foot Gardening CareSince you will NEVER walk on or depress the growing soil, don’t make the frames any wider than 4 feet (2 feet, if only one side is accessible). Any wider makes it too difficult to reach in to tend the plants. Tend to plants regularly and trim dead leaves and branches with a pair of scissors. Harvest with scissors, too, to protect the plant from damage.
Square Foot Gardening Plant SelectionDepending on the mature size of the plant, grow 1, 4, 9, or 16 equally spaced plants per square foot. Choose fruits and veggies that make sense for your family and for the intensive planting style of the Square Foot Garden.
Square Foot Gardening SpacingPlant two or three seeds in each spot by making a shallow hole with your finger. Cover, but do not pack the soil. After sprouting, save the best one and snip off the others - thinning is eliminated.  Seeds are not wasted. Extra seeds can be stored cool and dry in your refrigerator. Don’t over-plant. Plant only as much of any one crop as you will use.
Square Foot Gardening WaterWater the root area only using a cup from a sun-warmed bucket of water.  Water often, especially at first, and on very hot dry days. Warm water helps the soil warm up in early and late season.
Square Foot Gardening HarvestHarvest continually and when a crop in one square is gone, add a handful of homemade compost and plant a new different crop in that square.
That’s how simple the whole system is!  Remember, you don’t need any tools or fertilizer.  Once your garden is built, there’s no work…and best of all, no weeds!  If you’re just getting started with Square Foot Gardening,  leave a comment below and let me know if this crash course helped you understand the method better!

Here is a link to the SFG store for books, dvd's, tools and more 
and this is a quick overview video about Square Foot Gardening.  

My challenge to everyone is to start a garden this year, if you live in an apartment or don't have a yard then plant things in containers and set them on your deck or balcony.  If you have the space, grow extra food for someone in need.  As well as utilizing extra hydroponics plants this year, I plan on doing a couple of extra square foot boxes for veggies to give away to people in need.
We can wipe out hunger!  Along with providing much needed fresh produce we will also be helping people towards a healthier eating habits and life style.

So lets grow those seeds of love everyone <3


Friday, January 24, 2014

A Little Intro To Hydroponics

I am totally in love with Hydroponics.  I became interested in that type of growing after watching some wonderful videos on YouTube made by mhpgardener .  I love this guy!  He always makes it look so easy and fun too and there is tons of great information in his videos.
We chose to use the Kratky or Floating Raft method for our first Hydroponics project.  It was very easy to build and proved to be an excellent choice for us for several types of lettuce, spinach, kale and chard.
Here is a video that shows how to build the floating rafts.

Our Rhubarb Red Chard had those gorgeous pink/red roots also.

In addition to having the floating raft table, we also save all of our food safe containers like gallon miracle whip containers, medium and large size deli tubs, cottage cheese tubs etc... and used a hole saw (we used 2") to cut holes to fit our 2" net pots in the lids.  We spray painted our water reservoir for the Hydroponics table and all the containers black to prevent algae growth and then put the nutrient solution in the containers and put the net pot with seedlings in the holes and we're good to go.  We grow many different vegetable plants utilizing these containers.  We had such an abundance of greens, we had more than enough to share :)
We also set up a dutch bucket system for our tomatoes but I will do another post on those in the near future.
As a side note, if you live in an area that gets really hot in the summer months you will want to cool the water down in your reservoirs (should be around 75 degrees) by adding bottles filled with ice and or insulating your tank in some way.  We have a lot of 100+ days in the summer so that is a must for us.

Here is another version of Hydroponics using a simple rail system using pvc pipes with end caps or you can use pvc fence post with end caps.  Many versions of this system can be found on YouTube just search using Hydroponic Rail Systems.

 I hope this post gives everyone a little bit of insight into Hydroponics gardening and that you will feel inspired to try it yourself.

Happy Growing!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Hello everyone, so glad to have you here!
Let me start by telling you a little about myself and this project.

I am a wife to an awesome man of 25 years, a mother to 19 fur babies (13 are rescues). I love animals and all things gardening. I am a jewelry designer, Artist and crafts person.

I was born a city girl but despite living in the city my parents were very avid gardeners.  At our summer property "Up North" in Michigan, they would put in a garden of several acres and planted almost everything imaginable.  They always planted at least 200 tomato plants.  My Mom canned everything.  I didn't realize it then but we were pretty lucky :)
When I was young I never wanted any part of gardening and surely didn't want to get dirt under my nails, lol. Also, after seeing a few garden snakes out there I said no way to gardening. 
Now, much older, out of the city and trying to grow my own produce, I wish that I had listened and learned what they were trying to teach me.

Seeing a great need and feeling a responsibility to start providing our family with healthy, organic veggies and fruit, we built a greenhouse and I started gardening 2 years ago.  I have a true desire to help us become self sustainable and help provide to others in need.  Gardening is one way I can do that.
It's time for humanity to start giving back to the land and not just take from it.
I still have a lot to learn and hope that by sharing in this blog, we can all "grow" together, pun intended :)

The Growing The Seeds Of Love idea came to me when I was trying to figure out what I could do right now to help others in need.  Hunger is a huge problem all over the world and there is something we can ALL do to help.
This projects purpose is to challenge everyone to start growing their own organic food for themselves and grow extra to help at least one person or family in need.  It doesn't matter if you live in a big city or out in the country.  Everyone can grow something.  Container gardens are extremely popular and work well in spots that just don't have much space.

So come on everyone, get those seeds started and start Growing The Seeds Of Love for you and your family and someone in need.

I would love to share your stories and photo's of growing and sharing your bounty over the coming months so please send them to me so I can publish them on this blog.

I hope that all of you are inspired to help others and follow your bliss, your passion for that truly is our life's purpose <3

These photo's are of our first year trying hydroponics.  My husband built a hydroponics table and we were able to grow several kinds of lettuce, spinach, chard and kale on it.

Our first crop of rhubarb red swiss chard from the hydroponics table, Yum!