Garden Creativity: The Productive Kind

Garden Creativity: The Productive Kind


I am not the cutesy-craftsy, artsy-fartsy, Holly HappyHammer type. 

Chaya building something

I will not likely write a blog post about the 18 styles of wind chimes you can make out toilet paper tubes, with viral Pinterest photo to follow.  I can admire the work of others in this particular genre. If you are the Queen (or King) of Mod Podge, leave me a note on our Facebook page and I will check out your rainbow of creativity (we even have a pinterest board called “repurposed” where I can admire such handiwork). 

Pantry Paratus on Pinterest

I love food.  Good food, wholesome, homegrown, locally grown, chemical-free, and delicious food.


Eat Real

Thus, gardening, I do love gardening, because as I said, I love food.  Sunshine and the feel of dirt between the toes are pretty cool gardening perks, too.   Pinterest can just never do justice to the feel of dirt between the toes.  Thankfully, I have friends who love real food as much as I do and are crafty to boot.  I’m getting link-happy again but they all open in new windows, so click on them & get to them when you get to them. 

Step 1 is the garden itself.  Susan, a Master Gardener in her home state of Pennsylvania, gives you Vegetable Gardening 101 on Learning and Yearning.

Susan from Learning & Yearning

Susan also covers the basics of lasagna gardening, a style that really creates nutrient-dense food because the soil has various layers that break down over time. 

Lasagna Gardening

  Lasagna gardening is a great way to go for both new gardeners and for new gardening spots; learn how to create a raised bed frugally with someone who shares her first-time experience with you at Healthy Roots Happy Soul.

Creating a Raised Bed Frugally

When was the last time you took a stroll through a successful vegetable garden? They inspire me and I love to ask questions! Take a stroll through this Missouri garden with an admiring daughter (Michelle from Simplify. Live, Love.) whom was sure to ask plenty of questions on our behalf. 

Tour of Dad's Garden by Simplify, Live, Love

Michelle puts what she learns into practice, too, with a great article on growing potatoes!   Potatoes get the shaft.  They are really not difficult to grow (although watering might be necessary where you live) and you have not lived unless you have eaten a homegrown potato.  Really.  It should top your bucket list.


Once you have that veggie garden going, you will need to do a few things to maintain that rich soil, such as composting.  At the bottom of this blog, you will see some great articles in the Pantry Paratus repertoire (we have a “repertoire”—fancy).  Urban gardening can limit abilities with composting—piles are not possible and the prefabricated bins are very pricey! Healthy Roots Happy Soul did a great job creating a functional composting bin with nothing more than a garbage can! While I think that more oxygen would help, this is the perfect solution for an urban homesteader in stealth mode.

DIY Compost Bin with Garbage Can

If you are not sure you even have the space or ability to do that, Recipes to Nourish has a recipe to nourish your soil with liquid compost.

Companion planting is a very important key to keeping the soil healthy and to keep pests at bay.  Natural Family Today wrote this great blog to give a basic understanding of companion planting concepts.  Get this book devoted to the subject in practical detail for planning your next garden arrangement. 

Carrots Love Tomatos, at Pantry Paratus


Speaking of companion planting, the Happy Healthnut has a beautiful picture of marigolds interplanted with veggies to help keep bad bugs away.  While you are visiting her page, get this super-useful recipe for herbal insecticide to help the good guys win.   

DIY Insecticide

The next concept I want to throw your way took me by surprise; I used to throw extra kombucha scoby into my compost bin, but had done so unwittingly (and uninformed completely).  See what happens when Real Food RN throws her scoby to the garden!  Oh, and we’ve got a great infograph about your garden pH if you need help with that—the link is at the bottom of the blog (it’s all I can do to refrain from saying “repertoire” again).

Using Kombucha Scoby in the garden

And the grand finale to this fireworks display of homegrown veggies: the cutesy-fartsy-happyhammer (I think I just made that up) craft projects:

How to Make Bird Feeders for the Garden (by Diary of a First Child)

DIY Bird Feeder

DIY Plant Labels (by 5 Little Homesteaders)

DIY Plant Labels


 Keep Growing!



We have written a few gardening articles ourselves.  Catch up with these great articles:

Growing an Indoor Garden (guest post)

Starting Seeds: Getting the Right Seeds for Your Garden in 3 Simple Steps

Small Space Gardening

A Garden Blessing

Modern Day Victory Gardens (guest post)

Nature—the Original Conservationist

Podcast Interview with Scott from DownToEarthSeeds

Gardening Infographic: Soil pH Balance

Build a Compost Bin with a Klamper

Interview with Cathy Cromwell, author of Composting for Dummies


Check out Our Favorite Gardening Books here to learn all of these skills in more detail.

Roo Gardening Apron

Dirty toes are one thing, dirty clothes?  Avoid that in style with our hyper-functional Roo Gardening Apron.







Photo Credits:

All photos were used with permission.  Follow the links below to see the original photos and to catch up on their latest gardening articles!

Chaya: Pantry Paratus

Eat Real: Pantry Paratus

Susan & Lasagna Gardening: Learning & Yearning

Raised Garden Bed & Garbage Can Compost Bin: Healthy Roots Happy Soul

5 Gardening Tips (Dad’s Garden): Simplify. Live, Love.

Dad’s Homemade Insecticide: A Happy Healthnut

Using a Scoby in the Garden: Real Food RN

How to Make a Bird Feeder: Diary of a First Child

DIY Plant Labels: 5 Little Homesteaders

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