Gardening is a Natural Beginning to a Healthier Living.
Gardening is a Natural Beginning to a Healthier Living.
My husband, Steve, and I believe in giving back to the garden naturally to ensure a healthy growing environment for our plants. This consists of using cover crops, adding natural kitchen food scraps, worm composting, as well as yard waste to put nutrients back into the soil.
All harvesting is done by hand, by me! We do not have a crew or machinery, making it a very personal experience. I try to harvest the best produce of each crop. This allows me to give a more thorough check on the produce sold to you, to ensure you are getting quality products.
I do not wash my microgreens when harvesting because I believe that more handling of the food allows more opportunity for bacteria to find its way to your microgreens. Instead, I harvest straight into your packages so you get your microgreens as fresh as possible.
When it comes to the garden produce, I do rinse off the dirt. (smile) We do not use any chemicals or GMOs in our garden. Every living food in our garden is naturally grown and naturally cared for. We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction and love growing healthy food for others.
A garden is a journey and a natural beginning to a healthier living.
My name is Kathy Aust. I love gardening and am anxious for every plant to be ready for harvest. (Sometimes a little too eager, resulting in immature vegetables harvested too soon.)
My husband is the brains behind all the building projects. (If you build it, SHE WILL PLANT!) We make a great partnership on the homestead with our specific talents, ideas and to-do lists.
The garden is my personal journey and my happy place. It is where I find peace, tranquility, and therapeutic relief from the day's struggles.
My goal is to be able to help others create a sustainable, enjoyable and healthy lifestyle through their own garden creations and experiences.
Below are some garden projects and garden layouts we have built on our homestead. They are meant to give you some ideas that you might want to think of for your own garden and homestead.
Time to prepare for the harvests that will need a drying rack. Last year I used garage racks and storage racks. This year, hubby and I are building the outdoor drying rack on the back of the rinsing station. There is a tree back there to the right in the image above that is just far enough away to provide ample shade from the afternoon sun. There is also quite a bit of wind that will assist with the airflow needs.
This is our first year starting our own compost bins. Things to throw into the compost bins: dead fruit tree leaves, rotted fruit from the trees, grass clippings, wood chips, garden trimmings, natural food scraps from the kitchen, shredded paper, and shredded cardboard and paper egg cartons.
Now we won't be wasting all that great material. We will compost it through the year and use that rich dark compost for our raised beds next year.
You can turn your compost every few weeks to speed up the composting process if you need it sooner. However, our plan is to have it ready for next year's crop so we are taking the long method and letting it work its magic through the year on its own.
A rinsing station can be a GREAT asset. It takes your rinsing, pruning, cutting, and preparing your garden food out of the kitchen (This was one of the first things my husband built and I think I know why, ha ha).
Being on a well, we are able to attach a hose to the well and run the hose up underneath the sink. No fancy or expensive plumbing. We are quite lucky in this aspect. My next step is to attach hooks, hangers, cubbies and anything else I can think of to the back wall to make all my tools more accessible. New image will be provided once I get that complete.
The hose rack was built to hold 3 hoses on the front and 3 on the back. It's nice to have the hoses off the ground where spiders like to congregate.
We secured solar lighting to the top, which adds a nice ambiance in the evening. (No function, just visual enjoyment.)
Our first garden year in our new house, we built 3 one-layer raised beds and realized quite quickly, in our older years, that constantly bending over and kneeling on the ground definitely needed an upgrade!
Double-layer raised beds were born! THANK GOD for such blessings!
This allows us to do the following garden tasks without the back pain: planting, minimal weeding, pruning leaves, bug missions, and harvesting.
There are so many other benefits to having double-layer raised beds, but too many to list here.
When we realized one-layer raised beds posed issues for our back, we decided to make use of them by planting climbing plants (cucumbers, snap peas, beans) or taller plants (tomatoes, tomatillos, corn, sunflowers) for easier access.
We added two trellises to one of the beds and left the other two beds alone for the tomatoes, corn, and sunflowers.
We could use the bed without the trellis to plant potatoes in and then invite our young grandchildren over to do the harvest, since they are already low to the ground and love digging in dirt. I think I'm on to something!
We had this dirt garden layout from the beginning, but it was very primitive and only had dirt rows dug into the very rocky ground for a pumpkin patch. We have since upgraded this area to a much more useful section of the garden.
My husband had the novel idea (bless his heart) to provide me with a walking path around the dirt garden layout. I also have some paths created through the garden as well to be able to get to the plants from the inside.
Something to remember when you have a bigger garden section is how you are going to get to the plants in the middle! This is where you need to spend a little extra time planning your garden layout before you begin.
We made this little filter station with some scrap wood, some left over screen and a re-purposed frame that used to be a cabinet with a window in it. Remember, your garden projects do not need to be expensive.
Hey, use what you got and don't forget about garage sales! You can find some GREAT gems, and enjoy the money savings.
We will use this new little station to filter our worm compost, rinse the initial dirt off vegetables before we plop them in the rinsing station, and dry small herbs and seed stems in the sun.
Natural Beginnings Garden
2217 Sirkka Street ~ Centralia, Washington
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