Dr. Theresa Martez' blogspot

Inspiration For Healthy Living

Hard work paying off–Organic Gardening June 13, 2010

Filed under: Organic Gardening — Theresa Martez @ 9:17 PM

We have had an unbelievably wet spring here in the Pacific NW, along with some cool temperatures.  Thankfully, our garden is flourishing!  The fence is completed and the ground cover is down. Now, we’re just waiting and watching things grow.  The Yukon Gold and Red potatoes love their new home and are growing quickly.  Other veggies that are doing well, include the carrots, beans, onions, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. 

Due to the cool temperatures, we’ve had to re-start some vegetables in the garage—this would inlucde cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, celery and romaine lettuce.  We also have tomatoes growing in the garage.  We will plant those in the beds after three weeks of good growth (and hopefully higher temperatures during the day and night).

On a frustrating note, we have some new uninvited guests visiting the garden areas.  We have three non-intimidated rabbits, slugs, and moles.   The rabbits have eaten all of the Kale and many of the growing sunflowers—and luckily they haven’t gotten inside the fence (yet).  We’re going to try to put up a 2 foot fence around the perennials, sunflowers, and herbs/kale to combat the varmits.  We’re also going to try some ways to combat the slugs—it involves beer!

 Here’s some pictures of the finished product. Once things grow some more and we start harvesting, I’ll post something else with pictures.


Organic Gardening–Phase 2—plus a recipe for organic fertilizer April 15, 2010

Filed under: Organic Gardening — Theresa Martez @ 8:30 PM

MY OH MY how things have changed in just three weeks!  We’ve got a couple of things going on right now.  First, we’ve been extremely busy, trying to build a picket fence.  I can’t believe how much work goes into building a fence from scratch.  While it’s a lot of work, I hope that it will pay off by keeping unwanted animals out.  My husband is the master-mind behind the entire fence. I am just the master painter! 🙂

Secondly, we’ve got plants growing in the garage and things we’ve already planted outside. The plants in the garage (arugula, broccoli, celery, romaine, iceberg, and brussels sprouts) are growing quickly. They love the heating mats we’ve placed under their pots.  Outside, we planted potatoes, carrots, sunflowers, and scallions. We had a freeze here in Snohomish a couple of nights ago, so I hope everything will survive!   This coming weekend, we plan to plant the rest of our seeds or plants from the garage outside. 

I had a question from a patient who has been inspired to start an organic garden.  She wanted to know where to get manure for fertilizer.  Here’s the answer:  1. If you’re going to use manure, you want to make sure that it is from a known source where it comes from grass-fed animals (basically, making sure that the animals aren’t given antibiotics and other chemicals). 2. Use compost instead—you can get organic compost from Home Depot or Lowes (look for Cedar Grove Compost—a company out of Everett!).  3. Supplement the compost with an organic fertilizer.  Here’s a recipe for organic fertilizer:  4 parts cottonseed meal or canola-seed meal, 2 parts bone meal, 1 part kelp meal, 1 part garden lime. 

Once things grow some more, I’ll make another post.  OR .  . .maybe I’ll post some pictures of our fence when it’s done.


Organic Gardening–My Family’s New Hobby March 22, 2010

Filed under: Organic Gardening — Theresa Martez @ 9:02 AM

One garden plot

My husband was so excited by our tiny little vegetable garden last summer, that he was inspired to think bigger. He came up with the idea, and gently coaxed me to get on board with a larger organic garden.  I’m very proud of  his idea and it makes me giggle a bit, mostly because I’m the Naturopathic Doctor and usually think more “organically”.  One of the main reasons for growing our own food is a goal of eating “clean and more nutrient-rich” food.  Surprisingly, the Pacific Northwest has pretty poor soil, so we have to do a lot of extra work to make the soil ready to produce nutrient-rich food.  Becuase of the abundance of rain in the NW, this tends to wash away all of the nutrients in the soil.  The food we are going to produce is technically organic (not certifiable yet) and should be better than the vegetables you can pick up from a local grocery store.  Here’s some reasons to eat out of your own garden:  Fresh fruits and vegetables, no trasnport time, more nutrient-rich, and the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve grown your own food!

In 2009, our garden produced small pumpkins, cucumbers, sunflowers, and about 10 pieces of good lettuce. This year, we are adding potatoes, green beans, arugula, carrots, scallions, romaine, broccoli, dill, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, celery, garlic, zucchini, squash, and Walla Walla onions.

Last September, we did a load of back-breaking work to create 8 garden plots measuring 8 feet by 4 feet. Our yard has very poor soil, or should I say clay. In order to have garden plots that would produce good vegetables, we had to dig out all of the clay and rocks and replace it with garden soil, compost, and nutrients. Trust me when I tell you that it was HARD work!

Our 8 garden plots

At our current stage in the process, we’ve started some vegetable seeds in peat pots in our garage. Seeds need a specific temperature/environment in order to sprout and then be transplanted into the ground.  We intend to transplant those pots after the last frost (according to the almanac, it’s April 15th).  Starting vegetables inside before the frost has the main purpose of giving some vegetables extra time to grow. For example, celery needs 110 days to grow after being trasnplanted outside.  The vegetables that don’t need to be started indoors include pumpkins, cucumbers, potatoes, garlic, onions, sunflowers, and herbs.

Our starter pots in the garage

My goal is to blog about the steps involved and our progress on the garden.  If you have any questions, comments, or tips, please don’t hesitate to speak up.  Don’t be surprised if you see our “extra” vegetables being sold in the office this summer!  YUM!

My boys--preparing a part of the garden