A Teaching Garden: Community STEAM Education Project (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)
We are Life Long Learners who have taken to guerilla gardening in order to fight obesity, malnutrition, illness and disease in our Community.
Small Space Gardening Yields Large Meals. Many people think they need massive fields to grow their own food. This is totally not necessary. Almost everyone may enjoy this pleasant pastime. Gardens are being grown in windows, on patios in pots, along fences, in hanging planters and upside down anywhere there is enough space and sun. Vegetables may be grown anywhere there is enough soil, drainage, fertilizer and sun. Some of them are very good in small spaces. Pole beans grow and yield generously in a small patch of ground.
These snap beans have been trained to grow up on a make shift trellis created by standing 3 sections of aluminum fencing on end. Old telephone wire is use to hold them togther. Metal stakes hold the structure upright. This is a small patch at the Eastern corner of my house replacing 3 massive trees that fell almost 20 years ago. Pole beans produce more when they are picked regularly while they are young and tender. When conditions are right, they are harvested every three days and sometimes more often.
Working outside in the open air has always made me feel better. As an adult I came to call it my therapy. For a few years, my father and I grew a large garden in back of my modest suburban home. Now a pool covers most of that garden space and I garden in small, raised spaces around my property. The cabbage here are surrounded by marigolds. Aphids love the tasty cabbage but they don't like the smell of marigolds. This is called companion planting.
When I was a child I did not understand the therapeutic affect my chores were having on me. My Mother insisted that I have a garden of my own. She gave me several tiny brown paper bags containing vegetable seeds and a copy of "Poor John's Farmer's Almanac. My parents planted large crops for market with a neighboring farmer and also farmed our own land to feed the family. I planted vegetables in my Mom's many flower beds until I was finally given a place fertile with black soil and loaded with earth worms. It was a space on the south side of the stable by the path leading up and over the hill to Aunt Marian's house. The grownups admired my productive gardens. At the same time, I worked as required with my family on our main gardens and with the large farmer in the planting and cultivation on the moon. I had to read the book and basically do what it said. I learned to follow directions very well. Each year the space I was allowed to use became a larger harvesting of cantaloupe, cucumbers, corn, beans, peas, strawberries, peanuts, apples, pears, grapes, plums, pecans, walnuts, white potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Sharecroppers worked on the very large farms that supplied the produce that was shipped all over the country. The large farmers were pumped up with the realization that they were basically feeding the country. The cantaloupe crates sported the name Ridgeway. A Ridgeway cantaloupe was sought after nationwide. Sharecroppers did all the work for a small portion of the profit and credit at the store. Our family farmed our grandfather's land that bordered the big farm near us. At least, that is the way it worked by the time I was old enough to work the land left my father. Ours was a farm community. Farming sustained us. Nothing was wasted. My father made wine out of anything that had juice and my Mom preserved and canned a portion of almost everything we grew.
I am retired and dedicated to improving my health. My refrigerator contains only foods that are from the Super Foods Category. My recipes are designed to help lower and maintain my cholesterol and my blood sugar. 6 months ago, I was informed that I have Type 2 diabeties. I was warned to lose weight, because of dangers to my heart since my family history is filled with diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease.
Dr. Oz, Dr. Mercola and Web MD have become my best friends. My cholesterol levels are no longer in the danger zone. I take my calcium, D, B complex, C and krill oil supplements. Life has a certain clarity since I have been trying to erase acid reflux by eating no agitating foods and not overeating. Drinking Metamucil, sipping a little red wine, dining on the finest produce, sleeping more, walking more, and stimulating my brain is making me feel great.
While learning to cook delicious healthy meals for myself and my family is quite satisfying, I have decided to share the experience. Visit my blog often if you would like to learn to grow your own food and to change the way you think of eating altogether.