Backyard gardening, especially food gardening, has become increasingly popular in this area and in the Midwest in general. People who garden have the satisfaction of growing and using their own produce and sharing it with friends, family and neighbors.
Most people in the area have traditional gardens with rows of vegetables in the soil, but other types of gardening are also used, including raised-bed (constructed of wood, stone or concrete), straw bale (a raised-bed method of growing from organic material), lasagna (uses compostable materials such as grass, leaves, dirt and manure and requires no digging and no tilling), square foot (uses small but intensive space), container (uses pots instead of planting in the ground) and landscape (incorporates vegetables into traditional landscaping plants and shrubs).
Whether tending to flowers or growing their own vegetables and fruits, backyard gardeners must pay attention to their soil to get the best results. Composting and vermicomposting (creating a nutrient-dense plant fertilizer made from worm castings) are excellent ways to enrich the soil. NOTE: Hillview produces and sells vermicompost called VermiGold; proceeds from sales support Hillview programs.
*Permaculture is the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms developed from natural ecosystems.