The Garden of Eatin’, (Episode 2 …… “Growing Pains”)

….sorting through the "Information Overload", to get my first edible garden started

Geez, I'm not one that often becomes a victim of information overload, but for a beginning gardener, there is a lot of information to cover to get this project going.

But, I already purchased over $1000 of planters and gardening equipment, so there's no turning back now. I gotta sort all this "fertilizer" out.

Potting soil, garden soil, compost, mulch, fertilizer, perennials, annuals, bolting ……….its all fun but, at the same time………………..GROWING PAINS!!! ……sigh

At least I have the gift of logical thinking……..

So, to simplify this thing, because spring planting season is already here, I figure all I have to do, is converge at the intersection of three things relevant to my situation.

1. Veggies and herbs I like, and a few newbies that I wanna try
2. What grows in Seattle in my spot that only gets 4 or less hours of sunlight a day (on days when the sun is even out)
3. What is easiest to grow (I keep having flashbacks of the cactus that I killed back in college)

My terrace is in an inner courtyard and the "Window to Heaven" only gives me 4 or less hours of sunlight a day, on those "off and on" days when the Sun even feels like coming out in Seattle.

…evenually, after a half hour's searching on the web, I ran across the photo below, and felt a little more at ease, in that a lot of what I like can grow in the shade, and in cool weather.

…though, I never ate turnips or beets, never will………………sorry mom 🙂


Getting "Started with Starters"…………….

I have to run off to get soil and gardening equipment, so I might as well grab some of these amazing inventions I only learned about last week called………….. "starters".

The starters, a gift from the "Gardening Gods", who would have know they had these things for idiots like me who don't want to plant everything from seed…..duh.

Plenty of starters to work with at the Home Depot in Seattle, its like a "Gardening for Dummies" haven……….

And a stop at the Seattle Tilth plant starters event.

Seattle Tilth is a nonprofit organic gardening and urban ecology organization…..

….okay we are grooving now, and I might even get back home in time to watch the game

This gardening thang might be a piece of cake…..

final list of starters purchased

Red Kitten Spinach
Space Hybrid Spinach
Astro Arugula
Italian Oregano (killed in action, not sure how I killed it, died 5 days later)
Pacific Pearl Onions
Candy Mint Peppermint (found out this is an invasive plant will not plant)
French Sorrel
Bright Light Swiss Chard
Garlic Chives (invasive species, but I will plant in separate pot)
Golden Upright Marjoram
Catnip (grabbed this by accident, doubt if I plant)
Red Barron Scallions


seeds purchased

Spinach (various types, purchased the most heat tolerant seeds)
3 types of lettuce seeds (should be very colorful, if they grow)
garden cress (a very nutritious plant)
Carrots (including
lycopene antioxidant rich Atomic Red Carrots)
Rainbow Swiss Chard (I 'm gonna be one "Chard Eatin' Brotha")

….I don't think it is possible for me to grow enough spinach, I go thru one of the big tubs from Whole Foods Every Week


…..anyhooz, I got all my starters

and all my seeds……..

….and my soil and stuff (thanks to the guy at Ace Hardware who told me for container gardening, you just need a quality organic potting soil, as opposed to garden dirt/soil, which is too dense, and he said don't worry about fertilizer, mulch, compost and all the rest at the beginning, because the organic soil starts off with plenty of nutrients…….he said research that stuff later)

..I grabbed some Azomite, which is rock dust, this guru on the web says it is amazing for supplying mineral nutrients and causes amazing growth, I need all the help I can get

….and some earthworm casings (even though I read after the fact they are already in the potting soil)

and my over-priced planters from Garden of Eatin' Episode 1, "Style Points"

Okay, let the "Gardening Games" begin!!!!


"Growing your own food is like printing your own money" :)


……you might also like


Ron Finley: The "Gangster Gardner"
He plants food and gardens in Vacant lots in South Central L.A.

The "You Tube" Farmer
Professional athlete walks away from $37 million contract
to start a farm. He says he taught himself to farm on You Tube

click here or photo for all my articles in
"Sustainable Eating, Living, and Gardening"

6 Responses


It's funny how we overthink it (can't help ourselves, I guess).  I kind of did too for my balcony garaden.  I think the biggest mistake was not having deep enough planters.  And to think that my grandparents covered an entire lot next to their house with all kinds of root vegetables, including rows of corn, as well as fruit trees.  Crazy, huh?


Hi Mari,

Funny, I’m a self-professed “over thinker”. But that guy at Ace Hardware was thrown in my path, he made it so simple. But I wanted to write this for anyone else that is starting, since there is great info on the web, no step-by-step for newbies. So far as pots not being deep enough, I did run across people talking about that, and I started with fabric grow bags instead of pots, the concept is that the roots grow right into the fiber of the bag and keep spreading, whereas roots in pots just roll around looking for more nutrients. I’ll get into that stuff in an episode I have planned called “Garden Tech”.

Thanks for stopping by

~stay healthy~ (and happy gardening!!!!



Many of the shade tolerant plants listed above are at the top of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Nutrient Density Chart and the top 8 are juiceable.
Swiss Chard
Bok Choy
Romaine Lettuce







Hi Bobbi,

I haven’t got into juicing yet, but for me things come around when they come around. I’m currently steaming kale and Swiss Chard and adding it to my smoothie. (But I cover that in episde 3!!!)

Doug W


Yeah, juicing and smoothies are the same to me. Using my Vitamix, it pulverizes and busts up the molecules of anything you put in there, including rocks. Don't rocks have minerals in them??? No chewing required and you get all the fiber that juicers make you throw away. Going gung ho with water as the base, all organic baby kale and spinach, collards, mustard greens, cucumber, romaine lettuce, parsley, avocado + goji berries (check out growing your own to save $$$), chia seeds, and flax seed meal. Add some coconut sugar at the end and you've got a green smoothie to set you up for the day. If I tried to eat all that, I think I would fail miserably. I'm taking the green smoothie challenge and drinking one per day for a month and then reassessing my state of mind and body. Hey, it's easy being green.



Hi Bobbi,

Interesting because I just bought the Breville “Boss” for $400 and passed on the Vitamix. We all know Vitamix is the best, but Breville has a slicker style. You know Style Points 🙂  But the Breville “Boss” touts itself as good as the Vitamix and so far I love it. Your logic on Smoothies vs. Juicing is exactly why I haven’t got into the juicing craze, I never researched it, it didn’t feel necessary, there is always a trigger or voice in my head that instinctively tells me to do something new, it has not yet told me to start juicing.

I’ve been doing a smoothie for years and years now every day, my liquid base is coconut water right now, sometimes green tea or regular water. Last month I started using Coconut Palm Sugar. I overload with fruits to mask the kale, broccoli, and chard taste. Many say one should eats fruits separate but that ain’t gonna happen for me. I have the goji berries in mine also, along with Hemp Protein powder, maca, black sesame seeds, reishi mushroom spores powder (love that stuff), a sprinkle of turmeric/ginger/ceylon cinnamon, cacao, and other things I occasionally bring in and out like sea buckthorn, cranberry powder, and others.

Doug W.

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