I’m writing this post under the best possible circumstances: in the early morning light, out in my newly-renovated back yard, gazing upon my new raised garden beds just waiting to be filled. (If any of my neighbors are looking my way, they’re not getting as good a deal – they’re gazing on me in my pajama pants and a ratty tank top.) In the two years since I started gardening very modestly with a Chia Herb Garden, I’ve come a long way. I’ve learned how to produce more tomatoes than I could ever eat in one container, and now I’m ready to graduate to the next step with lots more room for lots more veggies (and one fruit that Fiona begged for).
After consulting with the family, we decided on the following:
- Tomatoes. They will always be my first choice for planting because after eating home-grown tomatoes, anything else tastes like a plastic red nothing.
- Romanesco Broccoli. Because I’ve only seen it on TV and I really want to try it!
- Orange Cauliflower. Because I go through a couple heads a week, mashing it and mixing it with potatoes and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. So why not make it orange?
- Purple and Orange Carrots. Because my son loves carrots sautéed with dill, and the purple ones will freak him out, and Fiona and I dip these in Hidden Valley Ranch dressing for a quick, colorful snack.
- Zucchini. I go through these like crazy, sautéing them with dill for pasta, shredding them for zucchini pancakes, and making loaves of the most delicious zucchini bread ever.
- Jabanero Peppers. Because my husband likes things HOT!
- Watermelon. I have no idea if watermelon will grow in Brooklyn, but our backyard is super sunny, so it’s worth a try. This was Fiona’s first choice, so how could I say no?
- Herbs. I haven’t decided which ones yet, although parsley, chives and basil are the ones I use the most so that’s probably what I’ll grow.
I actually wanted to get started almost two weeks ago, but almost as soon as the backyard renovation was done I threw my back out. But now I’m feeling great and ready to go, just in time for the long weekend!
Because of our totally leaded soil here in Brooklyn we still have to grow our vegetables in containers (I prefer my children un-leaded). So I’ve got two big round containers, a long trough, and a giant bathtub, although now they’ll be buried and looking like they’re part of the raised beds.
The BIG Giveaway
I’m extraordinary lucky that I was able to have these planting beds built for me. But I’m even luckier that thanks to the wonderful people at Hidden Valley’s Love Your Veggies, as a mom panelist I get to help two of my readers start their own vegetable gardens in a very big way, and help them enjoy their veggies once they’re grown. Two winners will each get the following:
Frame It All Raised Vegetable Garden, 8’X8’X12”. This amazing raised bed system can be put together quickly with a hammer and screwdriver, and the shape can be adapted for your space. Don’t have grass or even a yard? Just take out the stakes on the bottom, set it up on a patio or on cement, fill with dirt, and you’re ready to garden!
Vertex 7-Piece Garden Tool Set with Folding Seat, because I’m one of those people who believes having the right tools makes any project more fun.
Magid Terra Women’s Gardening Gloves, so that you don’t have to get dirt under your nails (I hate that!).
Ball Home Canning Starter Kit, because trust me, you will grow more than you know what to do with.
Twelve Ball Jars with Canning Lids
$35 Gift Certificate to Home Depot, to pick up seeds, soil, Miracle Grow, whatever else you need to get your garden started.
And of course, products from Hidden Valley to eat your veggies with!
The total prize value for each winner is just a few cents short of $500!
To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me about where you are with gardening. Are you a seasoned pro who’s constantly delivering extra veggies to grateful neighbors? Do you have a window box full of lush herbs? Or are you a beginner eager to get started?
For a second entry, you may tweet about this contest with a link back to this page. Or, you can copy and tweet the following:
Hidden Valley & @SelfishMom are giving away 2 gardening packages worth $500 each, everything you need! http://bit.ly/ke1jt0 #LoveYourVeggies
Make sure to leave a second comment with a link to your tweet, or it won’t count (instructions on how to find and post the url of your tweet can be found here).
So, that’s a maximum of two entries per household please! This contest will close at noon-ish on Monday, June 13th. The two winners will be chosen by random.org. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter. Prizes may be shipped within the continental United States and Canada only. See my complete Giveaway Rules page for more information.
Good luck! I am so excited to be holding this contest and want to give a BIG shout out to the folks at Love Your Veggies, who have been a dream to work with. Now let’s get gardening!
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has Compensation Levels of 9 & 14. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.