My husband and I gave up on trying to nurture and grow an abundant garden last year. We were overwhelmed and feeling slightly defeated by the community of squirrels and raccoons (oh and the LARGE gopher that lives in our small garden).
We always managed to grow a small balcony garden when we lived on the 8th floor of a local apartment building. Every summer we enjoyed an abundance of mixed herbs, and a few small Lebanese cucumbers. And when we moved into our new home, we were thrilled about the possibility of growing a bigger garden! We bought all of the “gear”, chicken wire, tomato cages, bone meal … you name it, we bought it.
The moment we moved in I ran to the local market and purchased many different types of seedlings, beans, tomatoes, herbs of all kinds, beats, rhubarb and the list goes on. I almost immediately planted them and impatiently waited for the seedlings to grow. Each morning I would go and check out my plants with as much excitement as a child waiting for Santa Claus.
And one by one, my plants fell victim to the neighbourhood animals. At first I didn’t know what was happening. The tops of the plants were perfectly chopped off, leaves of plants would go missing and pots would be knocked over (and — tomatoes would be left half eaten). It was only after I several times of replacing the seedlings and buying different environmentally friendly products did we decide enough was enough. I think the real icing on the cake was when my cousin and I saw the most massive gopher emerge from under the tomato plants we had placed along the back fence.
We started looking for alternative solutions.Ways to make us feel like we were eating locally grown, fresh produce. Someone told us about the CSA Baskets, and after much research we decided to try it bi-weekly at first.
After picking up two very abundant baskets from Rochon Gardens, a local Ottawa family vegetable farm with some of the highest quality produce, we switched to weekly and even threw in eggs.
I recommend you check it out!
What is a Community Shared Agriculture Program? For more information on Rochon Garden’s baskets click here.
“Community Shared Agriculture is the coming together of the consumer, the farmer and the land in order to support and grow sustainable agriculture in the local community. To participate in a CSA, a consumer pledges their support to a farm operation by purchasing a farm share. This share allows the consumer the opportunity to actively participate in the growth of local farming and in return they receive a weekly box of fresh produce directly from the farmer’s land.” (Rochon Gardens)