There are so many reasons why I think it is important for everyone to be growing at least some of their food. For one reason, it is a huge learning curve and I know it takes several seasons to start getting it right. For another, our health may depend on it given the growth in GMO use and the long shipping times it takes produce to show up in our stores. I don’t like to focus on doom and gloom scenarios, but economically our bad weather patterns are causing crop shortages and for many already, their personal economics are causing hardships with their food budgets.
I have been trying to lay out a garden plan while waiting for the tractor work and have decided for me the easiest way to begin is based on the square foot model. So many choices to make; it seems like I am spinning my wheels trying to decide how many of what can go in how much space and which should be grouped together. I have all the information, but it is a time factor now to get ready for a fall garden. I am so glad I found a free, online garden planner from the Gardener’s Supply Company. They have pre-planned raised beds in many different designs, from a Fun for Kids bed to herbs to High Yield to Salad Bar and others. They also have a Design Your Own feature where you can lay out your beds with the crops you want to grow and the site will populate each of your square foot grids with the right amount of that crop. A Growing Guide is included with more links to all you would ever want to know about any particular vegetable. It works for me! Check it out here!
Oh, and in case you need to know your gardening zone, the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map can be found here.