A Glimpse at Our Gainesville Organic Garden

Here are some photos of the garden(s) outside our home, a small brick house in the Gainesville “Student Ghetto” that has endured the torment of college students since 1929. No more.

With the knowledge, work and dedication of my former roommate Alex Mourant, we have turned a dull, dead landscape — front and back — into a flourishing and inviting space that is now the main attraction of our house.

Photos of Our Gainesville Garden

(Click on any photo to see an even more beautiful, high-resolution version.)

It all starts with the compost. We put our veggie scraps in a pile and mix them with dried leaves to produce a potent fertilizer that is black gold for our organic garden.

Compost Pile in Gainesville

This is our corn bed in the back:

Growing Corn in Gainesville

Growing Corn in Gainesville

Tomatoes spontaneously germinated from the compost on our corn bed, so we let them stay. We also planted beans, to semi-mimic the “three sisters” companion planting method — Native Americans planted corn, beans and squash together. The beans climb the corn, and the squash (or in our case tomato) shades the soil.

Corn, Tomatoes and Beans in the Gainesville Garden

These are probably cherry tomatoes in our corn bed:

Cherry Tomatoes in Gainesville

More tomatoes next to our raised bed.

Tomatoes in Gainesville

Trellised peas in front of our raised bed. If you just taste one of these peas off the vine, you will immediately understand one major benefit of growing your own food, the taste.

Peas on Trellis in Gainesville Florida

Some pots with basil, cilantro, tomato, and hot Czechoslovakian black pepper.

Potted Organic Plants in Gainesville

Alex adding freshly sifted compost to the front corn bed:

Compost, Gainesville Garden

This is our front yard corn bed now, with beans and squash interspersed. I planted sunflowers in the old tire (pictured below) but volunteer tomatoes came up instead.

Corn in the Front Yard, Gainesville Garden

Beans climbing up a post in our side yard. Something is eating the leaves. :-/

Growing Beans in Gainesville

Finally, this is our most recently planted bed, the Forget Me Not Plot, dedicated to my good friend and roommate Alex Mourant, who will soon depart to Fiji for a 27-month Peace Corps term. We planted a bunch of different seeds — including Forget Me Not flowers — in this plot and will let it flourish naturally, with little interference, in the spirit of Masanobu Fukuoka‘s ‘Do-Nothing Farming’ philosophy.

Forget Me Not Plot Dedicated to Alex Mourant