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14 March 2012

Hi, I’m Ryan, I’m an amateur organic gardener near Raleigh, NC, and this blog is about my personal experience gardening.  I hope to share my successes, my failures, everything I learn, everything that stumps me, and my attempts to fit it all into my understanding of the world and my place in it.  Let’s do a round of introductions!

This is the garden plot where I hope to grow food.

This is the book teaching me how to do it.

This is the hand that will do most of the work.

These are the tools the hand will use.


This is one of three rain barrels around the house.

This is the well that will do the rest.


This is the nuclear plant that powers the electric motor in the well.

This is the compost that will feed the garden.

This is the manure that will supplement the compost.

This is the retired horse that makes the manure and occasionally snacks from the garden.

This is the farmer’s market where I’ll buy most of the seedlings. [anybody have a good picture of the NC State Farmers Market?]

This is a tiny, tiny portion of the gasoline that enables me to transport these things to my garden.

This is the beard that will eat from the garden.

There are many other characters in this play, including my parents who own the land and allow me to garden on it, the bees and butterflies that pollinate the plants, the worms and microbes that maintain the soil and break down the compost, the many other insects that live in the ecosystem of the garden, the rabbits and deer that will try to eat my garden before I do, the expanding suburbs that displaced all those rabbits and deer, the people who grew the seedlings, the people who built and fix my car, the people who dug and maintain the well, the people who made the tools I use, the miners who gathered all the raw materials used in everything, and all the people who died in wars fought over the metals and oil.  I do not have the time or resources to document all these relationships to my garden, but I do think they are worth mentioning and keeping in mind, as this garden would not be possible without them.

My goal is to grow food, learn about food and the local ecology, reduce my dependence on destructive agribusiness and unsustainable fossil fuel use, and attempt to live as an integrated part of the world around me.  Sounds fun!


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  1. Caroline permalink

    Ahem, what about the sister that cheers you on and occasionally gardens and cooks with you and really wants to start a brother-sister run CSA?

    Awesome pictures! 🙂 That beard sure can eat a lot of organic food.

    • My sister that is creating a small army of cheap labor for our future CSA? Yeah, she’s pretty awesome.

      • Caroline permalink

        Yep! Here’s hoping I can continue to add to that small army in the future… Just not anytime real soon! 🙂

        And glad to know I’m awesome. It runs in the family.

  2. Sara permalink

    Cheese–I look forward to following your garden! We are working on ours too, hoping to produce more meal foods and not just a ton of basil to feed my pesto addiction. My son gets his own garden this year and we told him he could choose 3 things to plant…all he wants to plant are strawberries! Can’t really blame him though!

    • Thanks Pikkle! One thing this book suggests is companion planting strawberries and spinach together. I’m going to try a lot of companion planting this year myself. If you decide to do it, let me know how it turns out.

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