Cheap Gardening: Almost free raised beds

April 1, 2023
Category: Cheap Gardening

I have been super gung-ho about permaculture, organic gardening and improving the quality of our lives (balance, health, lower stress, etc). Over the last couple of years I went a little crazy with garden seeds, plants, raised beds, etc. I wanted to make fast transformations. I typically don’t ever do something halfway that I am passionate about. I was reminded of the 9th permaculture principle: Use small and slow solutions. I’ve been thinking about this over the winter. I was not able to get everything done that I wanted to because I had too long of a list, I wanted to change/do too many things. When I do this, I don’t have time to “observe and interact” (the 1st permaculture principle).

Part of the reason I got into permaculture gardening was because it felt like a way to express who I think God is. I think God created a beautiful, regenerative world. God created nature to regenerate itself. Unfortunately, humanity has often failed to be good stewards of nature. We have forgotten that when we mimic nature’s regenerative processes, we understand the universe and God in a more profound way.

So what does all of this have to do with cheap gardening? I was watching a great video by Roots and Refuge on the food system in the U.S. and how messed up it is. One story really stood out to me where she was talking about a girl who lived outside of Washington D.C. (near where I grew up). In her urban neighborhood, there wasn’t a single grocery store, only gas stations/convenience stores. Anyone in that community would have to drive 45 minutes to get any fresh fruit or vegetables. And many people in that community didn’t have a car, so they were out of luck. So that meant that they likely only had access to food that wasn’t as nourishing and healthy. That community is in a food desert. That negatively affects the health of that community. When our bodies aren’t nourished, they don’t function as well as they could otherwise, affecting mental health, physical health and emotional health. How and why do we have these food deserts in a country as wealthy and progressive as the United States? It literally is a type of oppression when we don’t provide the opportunity or access to basic health and wellness in certain communities, in our very own country.

Okay, I STILL haven’t gotten to my main point. Gardening can be such a game-changer for people’s health (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual). But currently it is not accessible to everyone. The people that you often see who garden are people who have:

  1. Land
  2. Free time
  3. Money

When you watch youtube videos or read books about gardening, you see all of these beautiful gardens that people are growing. And then you start making a list of the things you need to own or purchase to garden and it can seem impossible for many people. Land, tools, soil, compost, fertilizer, wood for raised beds, seedlings, seeds, etc. If you are living on a meager budget, and sometimes you can’t even purchase what you need to feed or clothe your family, how in the world can you invest even $50 into something like gardening? What if you scrimped and saved to get $20, will that be enough to start growing your own food?

THAT is my point. We need to make gardening accessible to everyone. I mean EVERYONE! I am on a journey to figure out cheap and easy way for people to get started with gardening. I hope to post more and more ideas as I have them but here’s a few videos who are already doing great work in making gardening accessible:

Share This Article:

All Blog Posts