Green Champion: @naledi_farm

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Every once in a while, at and Resurge Industries Inc,  we come across someone doing something green to better their own lives and the World’s, and we like to share their stories and tips with you.
The Green Champion’s story and tips we’d like to share with you today comes from @naledi_farm, a generational sustainable gardener who has been gardening from almost day 1!

WeWentGreen: What persuaded you to start gardening?

@naledi_farm: This is the only life I know. As a little girl I recall how I would follow my father around, especially in the garden. We were not rich, but we lived a life of abundance- we grew our own food. I must have been 8 years old, when we first learnt about nasturtiums, which my father grew as a border along the front of the house. Today I grow my own nasturtiums. I grow mine not only for their beauty but for the many benefits they have in my vegetable garden. Every home should have a vegetable garden. We don't have to buy everything we eat. The greatest comfort and peace comes from food we grow ourselves.

WWG: What do you have to say to people who say “I don’t have enough space for a vegetable garden?”

@naledi_farm: No space is two small. You don't need fields and fields of land to start. You can grow many vegetables (tomatoes, peppers and leafy greens) and herbs (parsley, coriander, origanum) in pots and containers on the patio, or in the windowsill. You can also incorporate veggies in your flower bed. All you need is a sunny spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sun in a day.

WWG: Do you compost?

@naledi_farm:Yes. Nothing goes to waste. Apart from the many benefits compost has in my veggie garden, it also saves me money. I don't have to buy any fertilizers to enrich my soil.

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WWG: How often do you have to water the plants?

@naledi_farm: It depends on the season. Right now we are in summer and we are receiving beautiful rains. I don't have to water my garden. On very hot days I water my garden early morning or late evening. I also always apply a layer of mulch on my garden beds to help retain moisture. Check out our blog post "How to Save Water in Your Home." 

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WWG: Do you use any natural pest repellant?

@naledi_farm: I practice companion planting. I always plant flowers and herbs in between my vegetables. I particularly love marigolds they attract beneficial insects that attack and kill aphids. They also have a strong smell that repels many garden pests, including squash bugs and tomato worms.

WWG: What are the easiest crops you can grow in small spaces?

@naledi_farm: The easiest crops to grow in small spaces are leafy greens such as spinach, rocket and mizuna. You can also try alliums like chives, spring onions. For herbs go for parsley, coriander and basil.

WWG: What do you recommend, starting from seed or from seedling?

@naledi_farm: If you are new to gardening, start with seedlings. They will give you that instant boost in confidence you need as a beginner. Seedlings are also helpful when you are pressed for time and you want your crops to grow quickly. Seedlings are however more pricey.

WWG: How do you plan ahead for a growing season?

@naledi_farm: I always make sure that I am not too late or to early for a planting season. For my spring summer garden I look at my last frost date and sow my crops immediately after that. I also love to experiment with new plants and incorporate these into my garden plan.

WWG: What would be an easy start for a beginner gardener?

@naledi_farm: There are many basic things you need to do before you start growing your garden. From choosing the right location, to preparing your soil. My biggest advice to anyone who wants to start and is new to gardening is this: Start small. Don't start by digging up your whole yard and planting every crop there is under the sun. You will be setting up yourself for failure. Start small and learn the ropes as you go. Start with seedlings or if you want to try seeds, go for beans, they germinate quite quickly and are very easy to grow. Click here to learn about "The Basics of Sustainable Gardening at Home."

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