IKEA’s Socker Greenhouse, $19.99

As some of you know, I had a serious health scare a few months ago. It was a scared-straight kind of scare brought on by unchecked and prolonged stress.

During that difficult time I read Dr. Mark Hyman’s UltraMind Solution:  Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First. In it, he talks about how food can be used as medicine and how the wrong foods (think processed and sugary) can turn your body into a battleground with repercussions that manifest as diseases and chronic conditions.

The key thing that resonated with me was when he said this: you can put your money on your dining table or you can give it to the pharmaceutical companies. I decided then and there that when I cooked, I’d put it on my dining table. I never thought I’d be one of those people who shop at Whole Food exclusively and pop supplements like candy, but I have to admit, I do feel a lot better.

I was so convinced that a few months back, I converted my pretty, but useless front and side yard into an organic garden superstore. It’s a huge learning process that I’m still tiptoeing around, but if you’re curious about starting, here’s what I did.

1) Buy a greenhouse, pots, potting soil and organic seeds for inside, $40
This is the fun part. Decide what herbs/veggies you like. Look at the package for care instructions before you buy. I went seed crazy and bought a few that needed to be planted outside. I find herbs work best and it’s cool having them fresh by the range.

2) Talk to an expert about planting outside
The guys at Sunset Nursery were super helpful and patient. They also have a huge selection of organic seedlings ready to transplant to your yard that range from $1.49 to $5 per plant.

3) Planting outside & what I’ve learned so far…
Lettuce had full sun, sprouted then died. Lettuce now has shade and grows constantly
– Green onions aren’t growing for some reason – any ideas?
– Rosemary, thyme, basil, mint and cilantro delivered far more than can be eaten
– Squash, zucchini grow super fast but need a lot of space to spread out
– Tomatoes grow like crazy. Give those babies a rack to cling to and don’t let the vines touch the ground

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