Eat, grow and learn more about vegetables

Chef Vanda

I am committed to providing only healthy gourmet meals. This means my food is as close to the way food was intended to be: free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, genetically-engineered ingredients, or irradiation. My meals are free of corn syrup, bleached white flour, chemical preservatives, artificial colors and hydrogenated fats. I am committed to sustainable living by supporting local farming; cruelty-free, organic, free range meats and poultry; free trade ingredients; eco-friendly and sustainable fish harvesting; and being seasonally. I am committed to reducing my impact on our environment by reducing trash, recycling and composting. I even drive an efficient car and thanks to a LIPA program, the electricity to my home comes from wind and water.

Our raspberries are going to be happy this year

Then the test, first on the raspberries in the front yard. We leveled the PVC as well as we could and aimed the holes to look like little fountains. SUCCESS! We tweaked the valves to account for different water pressure but it worked great and was extremely satisfying to see the PVC tubing worked so well.









Irrigation system for our raised beds

The only problem was the feeder hose which ran across a walkway that could become a safety issue. We’ll find a solution for that. Most importantly, we had to figure a way to get water to the raised beds. First we ran heavy duty hoist closer to the beds and added a quality multi-splitter.

We considered running a separate line to each bed before deciding on adding a timer to the peas and bean bed and an automatic timer for the raised beds. From the automatic feed line we buried and split at each bed with a controlled feed at each split and then a PVC valve at each row to fine tune the pressure so that all rows would get an even amount of water.



A little tweaking; lower the pressure at the raised beds closest to the source, leveling the PVC tubes to provide even distribution and a little patience. SUCCESS! Every raised bed was set on a timer that would run by itself at 4 am for an hour and a half and would saturate the bed every few days.

Our plants are in

The days have started getting warmer and our patience for the seeds we had planted. Did we plant too late? Did that cold spell ruin our seedling? We weren’t going to take chances, we went to the finest nursery and bought a bunch of organic plantings – tomatoes, peppers, soybeans, herbs, basil and mints,





I added a trellis to help my soybeans grow and in a specially prepared hay bale, we planted burdock. A large section was carved out and filled with soil and fertilizer. This will allow the prized roots to grow large before we harvest them.



Finally, the seeds that we planted and were impatient with are coming through. This year we will be growing:

Project Raised Bed Garden

We located a reputable nursery that would deliver untreated soil from a forest being demolished for a new development (as close to “certified organic” we could afford).
And so the project began.

Soil delivery

We assembled the first enclosure and began filling it. We mixed compost, perlite, peat moss and the forest soil. In the process, the sides shifted and we realized we hadn’t selected the best location for the raised bed and it ended up crooked. More thought had to be given to the next four.



We lined up and marked the remaining locations, then came the tedious labor of lugging the soil the nursery delivered from the front yard and filling in the raised beds.secretgarden756