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Found 12 results

  1. Having a garden in your own backyard can be a highly rewarding notion. You can either make a beautiful flower-garden and use it as your own private little oasis or you can grow vegetables in it. The latter method allows you to produce organic food for you and your family and save some money along the way. Whatever your choice may be, the key to making your gardening efforts more efficient mostly lies in how diligent you are when it comes to its maintenance. One of the huge items on this list is the question of watering. Most domestic watering methods are inefficient and waste too much water, however there are a few ways you can make this both effective, environment friendly and inexpensive. 1. Drip Irrigation Image source: Flickr It would simply be unfair to start this list with any other method, seeing how it is the pinnacle of both simplicity and frugality. All you need for this to work is a hose long enough, that you will strategically deploy all across your garden. After this, you need to poke tiny holes in this hose (as small as possible) so that it starts dripping in all the right places once you turn the tap on. As for the tap itself, it is in your best interest to open it as little as possible, because too much water will create pressure that will probably destroy the whole system. 2. Using the Bucket. The greatest problem with the previous idea is that it relies on tap being constantly open. Instead of it, some people decide to use a bucket or a barrel filled with water with a tiny hose attached to it. This bucket would have to be elevated on a platform of any kind (even things such as stone, chair or an old tree stump will do the trick) in order to allow the flow even to the water at the bottom of the bucket. Another advantage of this method, which shouldn’t be overlooked, is that it allows you to use gathered rainwater, which makes your efforts planet-friendlier (not to mention more money-saving). 3. A Plastic Bottle System Another course of action you could take (perhaps even simpler than the drip irrigation one) is the so called plastic bottle irrigation. All you need to do here is take a large plastic bottle and poke few holes at its bottom. After this, you need to bury its lower half into the ground and fill the bottle with water. This way, it will gradually release water. When you take a closer look at it, this system is cheaper in the long run since it uses a finite amount of water, instead of relying on the tap that never ends running. 4. PVC Drip Irrigation A PVC drip irrigation method is an ingenious and simple project, which can be made for as little as $50 and is specifically designed to minimize your water spending. Here, all you will need are some PVC pipes (both 3/4″ and 1/2″), end caps, elbows, connector tees, ball valves, some PVC cement, pipe straps and some screws to attach them. All of these, are standard and can be found in any hardware store. As for the tools you will need, a simple hammer, nails and a drill will do. Now, assembling it is a bit tricky, but those determined to go through with it can find an in-depth-tutorial here. 5. Getting Serious Even though most of the above mentioned methods did usually cost under $10 to make, there is no reason why inexpensive should serve as a synonymous for next to nothing. For just a bit more, you could get some plastic ground stakes, tee connectors, micro sprayers and even some retractable hose reels. In this way, you can make a sprinkler system, almost authentic to those that can be seen in stores and ensure that your garden is always taken care of properly. In Conclusion Keeping your garden safe during the summer is a vital task, but it is also something you need to start worrying about on time. Even though you don’t have to go out right away and start working on the system, it would be smart to at least start doing some research on which of these methods would suit your needs, and those of your garden, the best. The prices of all the above mentioned are fairly low, especially when considered with the prices of commercial DIY systems. You should also keep in mind that this project is not something you will do every year. Overall, undertaking such an effort is always more than worth it.
  2. The Environmental Truth Behind Gardening

    Gardening goes beyond just a hobby. It’s not just watering and plucking leaves. It’s more than just finding a seed and planting it in the ground. And it’s true that planting your own food can help cut down costs from your monthly grocery budget. But it goes beyond even that. When you decide to make a garden, you don’t just do gardening for yourself. You do gardening for the environment. Here are some of the reasons why: Plants Oxygenate The Air This is Science 101. Plants are essential to our ecosystem because they are the ones that cleanse the air we breathe. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide we release and in return they release the oxygen we need to survive. Trees and plants are the lungs of this world. Purifying Bodies of Water Your garden plants can also help in water purification. By having a garden such as a rain garden, you can make use of run-off rain water and prevent harmful substances and pollutants from making it into our bodies of water (e.g. lakes, river, and streams) where we get not only our drinking water, but our other sources of nutrition. The run-off water can be used in reed bed systems for filtering gray water that can be reused around the home and yard, and can even be recycled for consumption purposes. What Noise? Having a garden rich in trees and plants has been proven to reduce the effects of noise pollution. Trees and plants absorb these loud sounds making its surrounding free from — or at least have lesser effect — of noise pollution. So if you live near a motorway or road with frequent passing vehicles, it can be a good idea to start this new “green hobby.” Wildlife Habitat It may just be a small garden with little patches of greens, but it can still be a very important place for wildlife to be. Plants can be both the home and food source of animals and/or insects that no matter how small are still essential to the balance of natural processes and phenomena. Imagine that, simply by planting a garden, you are even helping life thrive, even unconsciously. Plants Help Regulate the Temperature There’s a big and significant difference between a barren land and a land that’s filled with plants. In winter, a barren land can be really cold and in the summer it can be very hot. But a landscape with plants (in this case, a garden) can warm your home in the winter and cool it down in the summer. Such is the importance of even a small hobbyist’s garden. If you don’t have space for your own garden and want to rent a garden plot, check out YardYum! They help you find available garden plots for rent in your neighborhood. Think of this as an extension of the community gardening concept. So tomorrow when you go out and water your plants, wear a smile knowing that you are actually doing Mother Nature a favor, no matter how small a contribution it may be.
  3. In our modern day and age, people are more and more concerned about preserving the environment, and rightly so. There are plenty of scientific studies that suggest the planet is facing environmental challenges the likes of which it has never faced before. It has gotten to the point that going green is no longer seen as making a personal statement. It is now more about simply being a responsible person. Luckily, with the advance of technology, it has never been easier to be an environmentally friendly home owner. Solar Energy Solar panel technology has been around for quite some time now. It has never been more affordable than it is now, however. The benefits are pretty obvious to see. By switching out your power source from public energy plants which use up natural resources such as coal and oil, you substantially reduce your carbon footprint. Solar energy is not only incredibly easy to obtain, but it is also very cost effective in the long run. After all, the sun is free to use. So while the initial cost of solar panels can be scary for a lot of people, be assured that they will more than pay themselves off in due time. Of course, you don't have to go all-in on solar energy if don't want to or can't afford to. You may not be able to afford enough panels to power the whole home at first. If this is the case then you can still use solar panels to power parts of your house, while relying on conventional power for the rest of the spaces. It is still better than obtaining all of your energy the conventional way and can be upgraded when you have the ability. Water Efficient Plumbing I'm sure that you have seen the water efficient bathroom appliances when you go out to restaurants and other such public places. While the businesses generally say that they installed these appliances in order to be environmentally conscientious, we all know that all they really care about is the bottom line. Yet they still installed them. This should be taken as a cue that water efficient bathrooms are both cheaper and good for the environment. Nature-Friendly Gardens This one really only applies to people with yards, but since that represents a lot of people it is important to mention. Basically, fill up your yard with local plants instead of the standard (water depleting) grass. Not only is it environmentally friendly because you are using native plants that enrich the environment, but it also provides the house with unique curb appeal that everyone will appreciate. So the point is that making your house a little more eco-friendly is far from difficult. In fact, it has never been easier. If you are building your home, companies like Fischer Homes can often construct the home to work well with these green initiatives. So if you haven't already, consider making a few tweaks to your house in order to ensure that you are doing your part to preserve our environment.
  4. Many households have their way of family bonding, whether it be a family game or movie night. Some households bond through on-going or long-term projects, such as family gardening. Although a long-term pastime such as family gardening may take more care, it is worth the health benefits and happiness it will bring to your literally growing family. If you follow these four tips, the entire home will flaunt their green thumbs with pride for a long time to come. Tip #1: Purchase Seeds with Short to Long Growth Times An inevitable component to gardening is the waiting game. Germination and growth times vary greatly among flora. To keep your children involved in the family garden, it would be best to put them in charge of sowing fast-growing seeds such as pumpkin (whose vines being to rapidly spread within a week), radishes, and wildflowers. While seeing fast and consistent results from their plants, the kids can also track the growth of other plants, like a giant sunflower. Tip #2: Choose a Safe Pesticide When developing a garden, all green thumbs out there know that their plants face threats from the environment. Dying and decaying gardens can be disheartening to the growing family, but there are number of ways to deal with these threats through the use of pesticides. However, the pest for your specific garden must be identified first. Once you identify whether its weeds, insects, fungus, or plant disease, you need to find the safest pesticide for your garden. For instance, a family with crawling pests and dogs would need an insect pesticide that was safe for canines to be exposed to. Many use natural alternatives such diatomaceous earth to keep active pests at bay. Tip #3: Mix and Match Garden A colorful garden that brings fragrance, decor, and harvest will be a beloved family garden. When purchasing seeds, don't just think of a flowery landscape. Think of flower beds, butterflies, and ripe cherry tomatoes. There is nothing wrong with having different sections to your family garden. In fact, you may find that family members prefer to tend to one type over another. Many garden and farming supply companies, like Central Farm and Garden, actually using many different types of plants. This not only makes things more colorful—and more fun—but can make plants healthier and help them grow larger. Tip #4: Plant Everyone's Favorite No matter the growth time or plant type, every family member should sow his or her favorite plant. It will bring so much joy and personal fulfillment when it blooms. These tips should have your family growing in no time for a long time. If the space permits, you could even grow a family tree.
  5. Carrots are one of the most enjoyed and widely used root crops all around the world. Maybe this is so because the veggie grows easily and you can use it in many ways in your dishes. They are one of the most important cooking ingredient in some cultural cuisines and are the second most popular vegetable after the potato. The colour we usually connect carrots with is the orange, but there are more - red purple, white and blue. Its way has started from Persia and has conquered the whole world. Today the biggest producer is China with almost 46% of the global output, followed by Russia and the United States. There are some very good reasons why this veggie is so liked around the world. Dare to take advantage of all its positives! 1. Healthier Skin There is a big quantity of Vitamin A in the crunchy vegetable and the combination with antioxidants protects your skin from the harmful sun rays. Low levels of Vitamin A in the body can cause dryness of the nails, skin and hair. A half cup of carrots provides 210% of the daily dose of Vitamin A, 6% Vitamin C, 4% of Calcium. 2. Slows Down Aging Carrots are full with beta-carotene, it acts as an antioxidant to the cell dissolution. Well known fact is that it helps with the slowdown of the aging cells. 3. Protects Your Mouth And Teeth The crunchy vegetable can clean your mouth and teeth. It scrapes away the plaque and the little food parts likewise the toothpaste and the toothbrushes. All the minerals in the carrot work against the tooth damage. It stimulates glands and gums to produce more saliva to balance the formation of cavity bacteria. 4. Reduces The Cholesterol It is a good idea to put more carrots in your diet or daily menu because it reduces the levels of cholesterol in the body. Many studies conclude that a dose of carrots can prevent problems related with heart diseases. The high amounts of fiber and pectin in it - are capable to reduce the blood cholesterol levels just in three weeks. All you need to do is just eat a cup of raw carrots every day. 5. Reduces The Risk of Cancer The vegetable is recommended as a natural fighter against lung, breast and colon cancer. The alpha-carotene and the falcarinol can protect you from these insidious diseases. 6. Keeps The Vision Sharp If you have existing problems with the vision, carrots won’t cure them, but they can protect you from sight issues provoked by the deficiency of Vitamin A. There is a study showing that people who consume big amounts of beta - carotene have 40% lower risk of macular degeneration than those who eat little. 7. Prevents Diabetes The plant is good for the regulation of the blood sugar because of the existence of carotenoids in it. Carrots can regulate the amount of glucose and insulin in our bodies, thus providing healthier and more functional life for diabetic patients. Even more - carrot juice can help you with the gastrointestinal and stomach health. 8. Stops Memory Loss And Keeps The Brain Healthy Carrots are very beneficial for the middle-aged people. The beta-carotene in it protects the central nervous system against aging. A study shows that eating just one carrot a day can reduce the risk of having a stroke with 68%. Nowadays the majority of carrots come from China, they are exported all around the world to become part of our delicious dishes. However, there is a great pleasure to dine on a salad you have grown in your own veggie garden. If you are not an experienced gardener, but full of willingness to learn how to grow this plant, then you can always search the expert assistance of vetted gardeners. They will help you with the first steps of planting, growing and caring for this extremely salutary vegetable.
  6. Gardening as a Hobby

    Gardening is my hobby. I derive great pleasure from this hobby. At the back of my house, there is a small plot of land. It is my garden. I grow flowers and some vegetables of the season on this plot. Beside this, I have a number of flowers-pots in which I have grown some very-green plants and some flowering plants. I indulge in my hobby early in the morning as soon as I am out of bed, or in the evening after I return from my college. I do not allow my hobby to come in the way of my studies. I carry on gardening only in my spar time. The act of gardening goes back thousands of years. If gardens are beautiful to look at, imagine the pride and sense of accomplishment that the creator of such beauty can feel. Besides that, gardening is a great way to reduce stress, get a bit of exercise, be creative, and develop patience. Numerous studies have been undertaken which show that gardening offers many health related benefits. The most obvious benefit of gardening is that it can be a great way to relieve stress. The hustle and bustle of everyday life is difficult to avoid. Work, family obligations, and social engagements are just some of the things that take up chunks of peoples' lives. With so much going on, many people simply forget to make time to relax and do the things they enjoy. Growing a garden requires both an investment of time and attention. Planning the garden and then caring for the garden offers the gardener a simple and inexpensive way to unwind and relax. Gardening can help a person clear the mind. Gardening allows the participant to refocus their attention on the creation.
  7. Grow Fast, Grow Strong

    In the time of recession, many young people are turning to self-employment options. Among dozens of next-year-millionaire-making business ideas, those that base their income on the land are often unjustly underestimated. One of such business ventures that is also a good investment is growing nut trees. In a nutshell, this article describes all the requirements and benefits of having a private nut plantation. Why nuts? Nuts are nutritious, and with the popularity of organic food and healthy lifestyle, a handful of nuts is a part of every weight loss diet. They are not a kind of food that spoils easily, so the storage is less demanding than for example peaches or strawberries. Apart from this, nut trees are very resistant and need minimal maintenance. People say that you plant nut trees for your children and grandchildren. However, today’s agronomy has produced grafted trees that start bearing fruit as early as one year after planting. Before you plant There are a couple of things that you need to make clear before your go out and buy several scores of nut trees. Not all nut species are suitable for any climate and soil type. Consult an agronomist on what nuts to grow on your patch of land. Secondly, you need to consider how much space you have and how much space each tree needs. You should also consider what pests and diseases are prevalent in your region. Dealing with pests If you are planning to grow your 5 acres of nut trees close to a woodland, your biggest problems will be squirrels. They are mainly interested in nut kernels while they are still green in their dough-like stage. In July and August, squirrels are magnetically drawn to these trees, removing the kernels for their winter storage. However, if you set a dog or two to run loose among the trees, the furry pests will take their business elsewhere. Cats are even better guardians as they will actively climb tree trees and chase them off. Harvesting Once you plant the trees, harvesting is the period that will take the most of your time and effort. You need to gather, prepare and preserve the nuts. The degree of human labor will depend on your willing to invest into machinery. Unless you have a trained brown bear, you will definitely need a small tractor with a trunk shaker attachment. In order to make your tractor and other farming machinery completely autonomous, you should invest in a sturdy polyethylene Rapid Spray diesel tank, so you always have a steady supply of safely stored fuel at your farm. Preparing and storing When you pick the nuts from the ground you need to dump them in a water tank. Diseased, damaged and old nuts will float at the surface. To prevent molds and improve the fruit flavor and texture, you need to dry the nuts until moisture content drops below 10%. You can do this by spreading them in a single layer in a cool but dry and ventilated place so the air can circulate freely about them. You can tell that the nuts have dried when the kernels began to rattle in their shells and can snap on bending. The process takes from one to three weeks. When they dry, you need to store them in a cool place. Although all nut species are resilient and easy to grow, you should stick to one that grows best in your neck of the woods. After all, a nut farm is an investment and legacy that will last for generations.
  8. Organic Landscaping: Maintenance Of Mowers

    Lawn mowers are arguably the most common gardening tools found in the shed of every house with a garden. Professional landscapers use also use them, even if they prefer high-performance models and their units are therefore more powerful. Many different types of mowing machines exist, but we all know the major ones: push, rotary, riding mowers. Although you probably use and store them the right way, you should still perform a few additional tasks regularly. Some of them may be annoying - but in turn, your equipment will be in top working condition throughout the year. Sharpen The Blades First of all, how to tell if blades are dull? The easiest way is to look at the grass after trimming and see if you're getting a clean cut. If the area top looks whiter then usual – it's a sure sign that blades need to be sharpened. If you don't do so on time you will end up with a bad-looking lawn and eventually a lack of balance that slowly damages the whole engine because of the strong vibrations. So, these are the steps for the most common (rotary) type: Make sure there is almost no fuel in the tank, so that nothing will be spilled when you tip the machine to the side.Take out/disconnect the spark plug for security reasons.Use a wrench to unscrew the nut and take the blade off the mower.Set the blade firmly in the vise and sharpen it as you go from the outer edge towards the center. Keep the existing angle while working or, if it's really damaged badly, try to go around 30 degrees.Once you're finished, check the blade for balance. Remove some more metal where/if necessary – you need to make sure that no side is heavier than the other.Keep in mind that reel blades are not recommended to be sharpened at home. Engine Care Not much to do here, fortunately. It's best to follow manufacturer's instructions if you have them handy. If not, just be sure to change the oil after every 20-25 hours of mowing. Also, clean up air filter/s together with the oil refill. Cleaning If you have a push-type mower, grab a putty knife and scrape off parched grass clippings and other dirt. Wash down the whole unit with the garden hose. Experts in residential landscaping from Sydney remind that you should always lubricate visible metal parts (including the blades) right after the rinsing, once the surface is completely dry. For electrical models – clean up all areas surrounding the openings and get rid of grass and other particles found on the cooling fans to prevent excessive heating of the engine. You are allowed to apply a mix of hot water and household dish-washing liquid on the external surface if it's very dirty, then let it dry naturally. Tip your landscaping tool to one side in order to remove the grass stuck to the bottom – use a power nozzle if you need to.
  9. How To Build A Butterfly Garden

    It's easy to know when spring is upon us, the trees return to their lush green color and start to bloom, flowers shoot up from the ground opening their petals to the sunshine, birds return to the area and fill the air with birdsong, and baby animals start to appear in the bushes, and butterflies come back. It's easy to attract these beautiful and interesting butterflies and monarchs to your garden. All you need to do to start is have plants that feed caterpillars and adult butterflies, but if you want to create a sanctuary for these flying beauties you'll need some simple plans for your garden. By planning what plants you'll bring into your garden will help to encourage butterflies to stick around, laying eggs and creating new generations. To do that you'll need to choose a combination of plants that are nectar plants, and caterpillar 'host' plants, which will feed the adult butterflies and young caterpillars. These two groups will provide an entire life cycle of food for the butterflies in your garden. Nectar plants are plants that have bright blooms, almost all flower bearing plants are nectar plants, but the ones that work best for butterflies are Purple Coneflower, New England Aster, and the appropriately named Butterfly weed. Four more good nectar plants are Milkweed, Marigold, Oregano, and Butterfly Bush. The more diverse types of flowers you plant the more butterflies you'll attract. Next you'll want to have some caterpillar plants for the babies to munch on. These you need to be prepared are going to be eaten. However that's what they are going to be planted for! To avoid a 'bug-eaten' garden, you may want to plant these plants in areas that will not be very visible. These plants are also called "Host Plants". Alfalfa, Clover, Deer-weed, Hollyhock, Mustard plants, Fennel, Dill, Sunflower, Cabbage, Milkweed, Thistle, Hops, Nettles (Careful these sting!), Wild Licorice, Pansy, Choke-berry, Snapdragon, Toadflax.. There are hundreds of host plants out there, but these are the ones that will be the safest for your growing caterpillars. Now you have the plants, the best place to plant them would be an area that will be shaded at some parts during the day, such as tree shade, but not totally covered as not to get sun. Dew collected on the leaves should be enough to 'water' your butterflies.
  10. I am moving to a new house soon with a big garden. So I was just wondering how I can make my new garden as green and eco-friendly as possible? For the moment it only has a two trees, some bushes and large areas of grass. But I want flowers, some nice bushes and maybe even a little pond.
  11. Like I said in another topic in this forum: I am moving to a new house soon which has a big garden. Or rather it has a big boring lawn. For the next summer I want a garden full of flowers that will attract bees and keep them safe. So which plants and flowers will attract bees the best?
  12. Get Gardening for Good Health!

    Supporters of organic living are the influencers, oftentimes responsible for making mainstream consumers aware of things like additives, over processing and genetically modified foods and ingredients. Unfortunately for the average person, it can take a major health issue to really start taking an informed inventory of their lifestyle and the quality of food they're consuming. Dietary hyper vigilance can be a lot of work to maintain. Looking for the informed consumer in the grocery store is easy because they are the people actually reading the labels. Most people reading this know that when shopping for produce there are 3 options. Conventional, genetically modified and wonderful organically gown produce. Did you know that there's a 4th? You got it, home gown produce. Time to talk some dirt. The Skills and Set Up Whether you are fortunate to have a back yard or not, setting up your home garden to start growing some of your own food is pretty easy. Some of my fondest childhood memories occurred in my family garden. Picking and eating fresh carrots still warm from the ground, collecting peas and eating them while watching Bugz Bunny with my dad. Wants your kids to love veggies? Get growing. They'll love getting their hands dirty, seeing the plants grow and veggies flourish. It's also an opportunity to teach them the principals and values of caring for a garden. Not only will it give you a great excuse to unplug and get some fresh air, but it'll directly impact your health and quality of live because fresh veggies are delicious! If you are creating a traditional vegetable garden, consider the location before you begin. For plants to produce vegetables they need an area that receives full sun for most of the day. Choose an area to develop that is away from shady trees, and also ideally near your water source. It doesn't have to be expensive to start your own garden if you are resourceful. Steps to get you started: Mark off the area you want with wood stakes and string. Stand back and evaluate the space prior to lifting the lawn. Is it big enough for the type of plants you want to harvest?Don't forget to account for space to allow you to walk between your rows of plants, water and weed. Double digging is a lot of extra work but it has a huge pay off. Rather than digging the traditional six inches in depth, double it to a foot and back fill it. By aerating the soil and making it softer, you will encourage your vegetable roots to go deeper. Healthier plants create a more bountiful yield. Use a rotor tiller to start, and get in deep with your shovel. Take a sample of your soil to your local garden center. They will be able to advise you on the appropriate compost and organic fertilizer to add to your soil for best results. Invest in a good quality composter (if you don't have one already) and turn your plant trimmings into valuable topsoil in your own yard. Planting a balcony garden? Choose larger planters that will sustain deep roots. Go vertical with your space and utilize hanging baskets for things like cherry tomatoes and even chili peppers or strawberries. Recycle a 2L and "Make Your Own Pop Bottle Drip Irrigation System" What to Grow? The next part is trying to figure out what to plant and make sure the seeds you buy are certified organic. You'll find many types of interesting heirloom vegetables you'll want to try. Google "˜organic seeds', enjoy. First, start by thinking about what you want to eat. Are you a family that enjoys eating a lot of lettuce? Varieties like loose leaf lettuce are very easy to grow in a garden or in an over sized planter. Green leafy vegetables such as Swiss Chard are packed full of vitamins and will continue growing after cutting for the duration of the season. Carrots are fun to grow, but take up a bit of space. Tomatoes (including beefsteak and cherry) are ideal for home gardens, as are cucumbers, green onions and some types of squash. Beets are fantastic and easy to grow, simply plant and water them, then wait for harvesting. Turnips can be waxed and stored for months in a cold place. Think like your Grandparents and choose vegetables that can be stored, canned or frozen for the winter and utilize your surplus. Blanch hard vegetables like carrots and freeze for healthful eating all winter long without going to the grocery store for subpar and over sprayed alternatives. Don't limit yourself to just the garden. If you love fruit, why not plant an apple tree? In as little as four years you can be harvesting your own apples for snacks, baking as well as making organic apple sauce. Cherry trees thrive in most climates and give a good yield in the early summer. Accept that you will also be feeding some of the local wildlife with your bounty, and that's a good thing too. Helping the Environment There are so many benefits to your health and to the environment when you start to grow your own food. Even if you aren't able to garden year round (depending on the climate) even diverting a small portion of your food bill from the grocery store will make a difference in your budget and ecologically. No pesticides in your own vegetable garden. Plants filter the air improving air quality. Using water reclamation saves fresh water and prevents waste. Lower the emissions by buying less foreign sourced fruits and vegetables. Use natural herbs as pest deterrents, and incorporate them into your garden. You will also enjoy harvesting them and using the fresh herbs for your cooking. Having your own vegetable garden is a lot of work, with a lot of reward. If you have friends who garden as well, arrange a cooperative effort to share excess produce and trade your tomatoes for their extra green peppers. If you find you have a lot of excess vegetables, don't let them go to waste! Most food banks and shelters will accept donations of vegetables and you'll be helping the environment and your community with your new green thumb. Remember what starts in your backyard can change the world.