Green Moms Carnival Write About Gardening

This post is an entry for this month’s Green Mom’s Carnival. The topic is Gardening.

This Mother Earth’s green thumb is more a beautiful shade of brown. My outdoor gardens over the years have usually been meager attempts at live vegetation. Truth is I am lazy. I have in the past planted and then let nature do the rest. Meaning weed overgrowth or sun scorching. I feel terrible that this has been a reality for me but I thought I’d be truthful

However I am getting “better”

I finally have tomatoes figured out.  I have three small raised beds, beautiful tall sturdy tomato cages and my soil is wonderfully porous and rich.  I also did basil successfully last year.  I kept it simple and enjoyed the small yield which  was just enough for my personal needs. It was plenty for many tomato, mozzarella and basil salads and even a few batches of pesto

first cherry tomatoes from last year

Last year I started composting, well my landlord did, and I got to add my veggie scraps. This curbside garbage reduction method makes me so mother earthy happy I can’t stand it – composting is so cool.

I have also accomplished the container garden.  In years past I just did flowers.  While these have sometimes been beautiful they haven’t been edible

This year I planted lettuces, spinach, serrano peppers and more herbs all in containers. I am also planting seeds which I have not ever had luck with, but am determined this year to give it a go.  I am doing part starts and part seeds.   

pre-planting raised beds and containers

I am inspired very much by Janis King of Walnut Grove Farm,a woman I befriended when my daughter and I were doing college searches. 

She hand tills these huge plots and has rows and rows of greens, herbs and flowers for eating and drying.  Her garden is just beautiful.

Last summer she handed me scissors and said have at it – make yourself a salad!  Of course it was positively delicious. 

I thought what if I could do this in my very own back yard?  

I don’t have any great gardening tips just yet. 

This brown thumb is still becoming green

Karen Hanrahan ~ Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant/Blog Publisher
708.482.0678 ~ Websites:
Nutrition Weight Loss, and Green Clean 

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19 Responses to Green Moms Carnival Write About Gardening

  1. Enjoyed your post – also a single mom of two – just gardened with my daughters yesterday – please check out books & music I’m sure you’ll love for your children!

  2. Karen,I just heard on NPR that you should plant tomatoes about 3 feet apart to avoid blight! Good luck with yours.Diane

  3. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Thank you! Wonderfully Illustrated books

  4. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Good to know. My garden is smaller, couldn’t afford to really space them that way. I think I’ll try two per cage this year and see what happens. Maybe two varieties?? 

  5. JessTrev says:

    What more do we really need in life besides a still-warm-from-the-sun tomato with homemade pesto on top?!! I don’t do all that much more than you in our community garden – but I will say, if you are doing ok with tomatoes and basil, you should try hot peppers if you like em, and oregano and mint are voracious + tough to kill.

  6. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Oh Jess I totally agree! I planted poppies, wildflowers, sunflowers,lemon balm, parsley, lettuce, spinach seeds, basil, tomato and serrano peppers, and lettuce starts…more to plant later – it’s fun!!

  7. Mary says:

    After 6 years of pots I can say with conviction, that it just isn’t the same as sticking them in the ground. I miss my open dirt, but I’m glad it’s working for you.

  8. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I’m so with you re: the dirt …seriously — Mary!!

  9. Green Bean says:

    Bit by bit, huh. That’s how I’m doing my garden. I figure out one thing and then slowly move on. My thumb may end up green too one of these days.

  10. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I get so excited like …look I planted some seeds and then something pokes up from the dirt and I am like …is that a weed?  So much to figure out. Some people seem to do it so effortlessly.  I hope your thumb turns green very soon

  11. mcmilker says:

    I like the idea of using huge pots. That’s always a struggle. Our soil here is so salty, we plant almost nothing in the ground – all in pots.

  12. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I’ve never heard of salty soil! 

  13. Katy Farber says:

    Beautiful tomatoes! I am trying a container garden, too. Only easy crops for me– little weeding, watering, remembering. My thumb is also NOT green. But I do try.

  14. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Thank you Katy, I think we have to do what fits …and keep trying.

  15. Chris Rose says:

    Hey great post! I would like to touch base with you about your blog. Please contact me directly at Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks,Chris

  16. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Thank you Chris !

  17. Dexter boyle says:

    It feels great that you take acre of your garden so much. Can any one tell me how take absolute care of a garden?

  18. Karen J says:

    Bright, Happy New-House New-Life New Year!I just found this fun color-play site – had to make a new “palette” for you:“Brown becoming Green” at

  19. Karen Hanrahan says:

    How cool is THAT!! Thank you Karen

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