Congratulations to Beth and Scott Morrison, our grand prize winners in the Lawns to Lettuce Un-Contest! Beth and Scott won a cedar raised bed for their city lot in Granite Falls, which they fondly refer to as "Almost-A-Farm". When they first moved in, their 1/4-acre was just lawn, rhododendrons, and boxwoods. Now they have an apple tree, artichokes, sunchokes, pumpkins, beans, kale, herbs, tomatoes and much more. But that's not all. When they found out their neighbor had a 1/4-acre they weren't using, Beth and Scott turned it into a community garden (with their neighbor's permission, of course). Beth and Scott and their three young children now garden the lot in addition to their own and provide food to help feed four families throughout the summer! On top of all of that, they've even influenced one of their neighbors to start a garden in her yard. Way to go from Lawns to Lettuce, Beth and Scott!
What is your proudest DIY garden project? In one year, we have turned 1/4 acre into a veggie garden, with yard space for the kids, have chickens and enough to share with the neighbors.
Favorite element? My neighbor has 1/4 acre they were not using, they offered it to us as a community garden. We now garden that, feeding 4 families weekly throughout the summer. Another neighbor now is starting a garden in her yard.
What do your friends or neighbors say? It is neat to hear people talk as they walk by about pumpkins, squash, cabbages and roses all living together. Last summer, one girl did her senior picture in front of my gate with Red runner beans on it.
What was the biggest challenge? (And what did you learn from it?) Farming in the city is harder than I thought. We have always been on acreage. Learning to deal with rodents in compost, not being able to bring a tractor in to dump compost has been a lesson in creativity. We added 10 yards of compost to both our garden at home and the garden next door
What is your favorite water-saving tip or trick? Drip lines, deep watering every 3 days or so. When the kids play in water tubs (we don't have a wading pool) I scoop out that water for plants rather than dump it out.
Why do you love gardening? It is in my blood. My grandfather was known to take cuttings from everything to root them. My father has corn 7' tall this year. I find it a huge accomplishment to take seeds, plant them, water and be able to feed our family on a $3.00 seed packet. My kale is a product of seeds I bought 5 years ago. I save seeds each year so that I do not have to buy it. I would say the first pack of seeds was a good investment.
Final thoughts or bonus ideas? Get the whole family involved! My kids help plant, I have mystery squash and beans everywhere since I give them the big seeds to plant while I work. My three-year-old packs around patty pan squash pretending they are babies. They do kill some plants with kindness, but all three of our kids eat things like kale, squash, beans, carrots and more.