Raised Bed Gardening Blog


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.  


On a cold, blustery, snowy evening, there's nothing more satisfying than making your own Gnudi pasta and fresh tomato/marjoram sauce. Ah, for that lycopene hit from those Italian cherry tomatoes! High in Vitamin C, with anti-cancer potential, tomatoes provide so much more for you than just great tastes. And with a bit of resveratrol from a glass of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, you have a wonderfully appetizing and healthy meal! Buon Appetito!! Go to the Recipes section for Ricotta Gnudi with Tomatoes and Marjoram!


When life deals you lemons, gladly make lemonade, or anything else for that matter that has lemons in it! Lemons contain bioflavinoids- antioxidants that help cleanse the blood, detox the liver, and strengthen the immune system. They are loaded with nutrients, and may be used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Last night, we made a simple dish of sauteed chicken thighs, with lemon zest and juice, sherry, and mushrooms, with a nice bottle of Carmenere from Chile. Delicious, and it had us puckering up all the way till bedtime!

Santa Fe Head Start Programs

Grow Y'own, along with CCLI- (Climate Change Leadership Institute)- will begin installations at all the Santa Fe Head Start facilities this week. Head Start offers parents opportunities and support as they identify and meet their own goals, nurture their children in the context of their families and cultures, and advocate for communities that support children and families of all cultures. We are proud and honored to work alongside CCLI and the Head Start locations in Santa Fe and surrounding areas, and can't wait for all involved to enjoy fresh, organic, healthy, and free food supplies!

Cimate Change and Grow Y'own

As the climate changes, and yes, the climate is definitely changing no matter who you talk to, and all of a sudden there's 2' of snow in your backyard and you need food from the store, then no matter what your leaning or who you pray to, the only sure way to feel secure is if you have food and water to survive. Grow Y'own raised and covered beds can give you that safety and stability year round!


The Winter snow storms keep rolling through the New Mexico Highlands, and there's nothing better to warm you up and keep your belly fed than delicious, nutritious soups. Enter 'Vegetable Soups' from Deborah Madison's Kitchen! She guides you through the art of soup-making, starting with the addition of olive oil, dark sesame oil, butter, stocks, and even unidentified leftoves from the fridge! For all soup-ianados, THIS is the book that will inspire you and leave you to wonder why it took you so long to add it to your collection. From beginning to the creative-finishes end, these soups will whet your appetite, and sustain you through those cold Winter months!