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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
Healthy living noteables
Gardening - my own art form
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About this blog
By Valerie Brandt
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness ...
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A Healthy Dose of Spice
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness and differences of the slower life from one state to the next. My husband and I own our own business where we provide for our three growing daughters who are the light of our world. Writing has always been an outlet for me, starting a diary as young as 4th grade and continuing for each of my daughters currently. Writing clears my mind and my heart of things that I would rather say but don't (due to my impeccable manners) or did say and wished I hadn't (sometimes those manners fail). I am clearly outspoken and am working on being filled with grace and compassion. In my spare time my family and I enjoy reading, biking and cooking. We do NOT enjoy cold snowy weather.
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By Valerie Brandt
April 22, 2013 4:41 p.m.



I have always loved gardening.  I grew up on a farm where dirt was part of who you were.  We were always dirty, Farmer Dad was always dirty, the house was always dirty (those lovely dirt roads), it was just part of us and we knew it.  We embraced it.  We loved it...mostly.  

When I grew into a young lady I set my sights on city living.  I had to adjust to things being so clean!  It was amazing and awful.  When we purchased our first house there was a completely shaded backyard.  It was perfect for reading a book in, not so much for growing vegetables.

Our second house has proved to be more profitable in that arena.  We do have one problem.  I love to move my plants and sometimes the garden!  I just want things to make sense.  Where the garden was when we purchased the home was in a strange place in the backyard so I wanted it moved so that we could utilize our whole space and the kids would stop walking through the garden.  We moved it to a place where we were astounded at how great things grew!  So much so, that we are saddened that this year we have to move the garden to make way for an addition.

I decided that I wanted a raised bed, to deter children and animals.  I also decided that I love the idea of square foot gardening and companion planting.  Square foot gardening uses the idea of breaking your garden into a square foot pattern and planting as much as you can within that one square foot.  

 

Companion planting is utilizing one plant to help another, it helps them to grow better, keeps bugs and disease away and you, the grower, gets the benefit in the end of glorious veggies, fruits, herbs and flowers.

 

My goals for this spring are:

Build 2 - 2.5 foot by 7 foot garden boxes for my raised bed (if the rain would ever stop...)

Start a fruit garden at the edge of the raised beds (which is tedious since the first year is a "don't touch" year)

Plant a nutritious and beautiful raised bed (and secretly hide the view our neighbos have of us on our patio)

 

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