Backyard Gardening;

I recently adopted a new hobby, backyard gardening,it is a hobby now, but during my high school days it was a means of putting food on the table and money in my pockets, anyway, I digress.

 Times are a little hard right now and many people are struggling just to make ends meet, people in Jamaica and other parts of the world are having to be ingenious in stretching their grocery dollar to feed their families, having lived in both Jamaica and the United States I have a little bit of  experience on what it feels like to be without money, or at least enough of it, in both countries.

I would like to stress to my friends  who access these blogs, that it is really isn’t that difficult to produce fresh vegetables and fruits to supplement the family’s dietary needs, and maybe add a little blessing to someone else.With very little space and a few dollars at the right farm store, you would be surprised what you can accomplish .

This spring I ventured into a farm store a short distance from my home, I purchased a variety of seedlings , including two varieties of lettuce, two varieties of watermelon, cucumber , green peppers, squash ,(or what we in Jamaica call pumpkin),hot peppers,tomatoes , zucchini . Supplemented by eggplant and Callalo  seedlings a friend blessed me with.

So I proceeded home with my seedlings , along with some peat moss, a small bag of organic fertilizer, and  some top soil, to the side of our house and there I did my thing.Well it’s been over fifty days and my family have benefitted from green peppers ,plum  tomatoes,callalo,hot peppers, and our lettuce are almost all gone thanks to my wife.

I am in total and utter fascination at the goodness of God in providing food for my family from such a confined space and I thought I would like to share that with you wherever you may be.You too can do the same in a wooden box or an old tire, or a small area where there is at least six hours of afternoon sun,a little less would not be catrostrophic.

You can find good top soil anywhere in Jamaica or other parts of the Caribbean and you may be surprised that here in the USA the  leaves you rake and bag in the fall , may be stored and used as valuable mulch in the spring.Places like Kingston Jamaica poses a slightly bigger challenge for tenement dwellers , for those in high-rise dwellings this may not be for you, but for those people living on ground levels , even rented tenements, you can produce some tomatoes , peppers , callalo,and even cucumbers and cabbage to bolster whats served at the dinner table, the weather is good and you may do this year round in Jamaica, people in the New York  do not have the luxury of year round gardening but should take full advantage of the warm months.

Happy gardening.

mike beckles:

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