Raised Bed Gardening Blog


Weed Spray

For the majority of the folks who don't want to use a toxic weed spray, here's a simple formula to try and find very effective! Mix 1 gallon vinegar, 2 c epson salts, and 1/4c Dawn dish soap. Spray away and watch those nasty buggers disappear!!

Veggies for Allergies

Allergy season has begun, early, here in NM. The winds are blowin', the juniper pollen is flyin' through the air, dried grasses are piling up in corners and against walls, and people all around town are sniffin' and cryin'! And its only mid-February!! If you've got veggies in your Grow Y'own's, then more than likely you have some of the best things to eat to counter the allergies. Dark, green, leafy veggies- especially kales, deep yellow and orange ones like carrots, beets and their tops, onions, and garlic to name a few. Also very helpful are ginger, horseradish, cayenne, yams, and cabbage. One season I eliminated bread, dairy products, sugar, and chocolate, and it made a world of difference! Yes, unfortunately....chocolate!! Oh NO Mr. Bill!!

Chard and Kale Chips!

For chard and Kale chip recipes, go to the Recipes section on this website!! YUM!

Make Someone REALLY happy!!

GIVE. Give a bed to a school. Give a bed to a prison program. Give a bed to a shelter. Give a bed to a home for abused women or children. Give a bed to the elderly. Give a bed to community housing. Give a bed to a youth shelter. Give a bed to a friend in financial need. Give a bed to a loved one. Help this circle continue. If you have the money to spend on extraneous things, then give to someone who can truly use it to grow their own food. 
Without food and water, nothing else really matters. Grow Y'own!!!!


So many people, with so much money, have no idea where to put it to the greatest benefit. I've got a solution. Give to a local school. Give to a local prison system. Give to a shelter of very needy, homeless individuals. Give, by giving them the ability to grow their own food supply. Give them a Grow Y'own. One bed. What a difference it will make in their lives. 

Eric DiStefano

The passing of friends always puts your own life into such immediate perspective. The news that Eric DiStefano- culinary master and chef at Coyote Cafe and Geronimo- had died, has hit the City Different community very hard, and has left all those knew him, his talents, and his cuisine with a great sense of loss. This year, with every planting of gardens, I shall think of him, and celebrate his remarkable career, as I watch new growth emerge, becoming foods that he used so skillfully for his ingenious creations. 

Make a Difference Day

'Make a Difference Day' is Every Wonderful day for me and my business- Grow Y'own. Teaching children the benefits of sustainability, horticulture, math, science, and how to grow their own fresh, organic, healthy food supply. Watching the wonder on their faces when seeds start popping through the surface, the tiny shoots emerging and forming the dual cotyledons, and then growing into mature plants that are edible or have edible fruits, is the greatest reward and symbiotic empowerment any business owner could dream of and wish for! Truly a blessing!

One of the Healthiest Meals on the Planet

Last night we fixed one of the healthiest meals on the planet- Honeyed Salmon with Gomasio crust over Brown Rice with a Ginger/Soy marinade- all cooked on a Cedar Plank over a low fire on the BBQ grill. Yeow-zahs! Gomasio is made from ground sesame seeds mixed with sea salt. Sesame seeds are probably the oldest condiment known to man. With their nutty taste and crunch, they contain a rich assortment of minerals that have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, have been proven to prevent high blood pressure, and protect the liver. Their ultra-high copper content has been known for reducing some pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis. Salmon, with its rich concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids for control of the body's inflammatory processed and improved brain function, is one of the safest fish to consume. Cooking it very slowly on a cedar plank retains the moisture of the fish, and brings out more of the individual flavors.  Brown rice- rich in fiber and selenium- substantially reduces the risk of colon cancer. All together, this meal was not only delicious, but made us feel so completely satisfied and healthy when we had cleaned our plates! A simple, worthy preparation to undertake, with many, many rewards. 

Death and Planting

A longtime friend chose her 'right-to-die' alternative the other day. The pain and suffering had become intolerable for her, so she bravely ended things. At one time in her life, she was an accomplished vegetable gardener. One of her greatest joys was to grow things, can them, and create a luxurious pantry for the long, snow-bound months of Idaho. There is hardly a more rewarding feeling, than when its 40 below zero outside, the snow is 8' deep on the level, inside is toasty warm from the 24/7 burning woodstove, and you go to your pantry to view 20-30 different kinds of fruits and veggies, all canned and ready to go into another delicious Winter meal. So this Spring, as I am planting my crops that will sustain us throughout the year, I'll think of the beautiful life I am creating, I'll think of my dear friend, and I'll recall her great spirit that she put into gardening and growing her own nourishing food supply.

School Gardens

One of the most satisfying experiences with Grow Y'own is helping elementary schools set up their gardening programs, and working with the young children. The first school we installed was here in Santa Fe, at Larragoite, with about 100 kids. Many of the kids who went there relied on their school lunch as the main meal of the day. On the day of set up, myself and one helper and 100 kids planted 6 raised beds with starts and seeds. A lot of the children didn't know what kale, arugula, sorrel, beets, or many of the herbs even were, or had every eaten anything like them. When we were planting the carrot seeds, they had no connect that this is where they came from, rather than from the Albertson's store! This was in May, at the end of the school year. When they came back at the end of August, they were excited and dumbfounded to see what had become of the seeds and starts they had planted. On harvest day, each child picked things that they had help to plant. They then marched single file, down the hall, toward the cafeteria, holding their 'prizes' in their little hands...beaming. It was so rewarding, experiencing this symbiosis of knowledge and joy, and the realization that from that time forward, they would know where a carrot came from, what it really tasted like, fresh out of the ground, and that they could do it again and again over the course of their lifetimes.