GROW O'ahu

Island Style Gardening and Plant-Based Living

What Nature Can Do in 30 Days


You’ve all heard the line: “30 Days to a Better YOU” or “30 Day Shred!” or “Change your Life in 30 Days!”

Well, self-help and late-night home shopping have nothing on this hard-working little pallet garden and her assorted container friends. I’m reminded of the line from Jurassic Park, when they are all wondering how a single-sex environment started hatching eggs: “Life will find a way,” says the nerdy scientist.

Indeed it does.  Here are the newly built pallet gardens just one month ago.

And here they are today, literally pumping out food.

About half of the plants were from seedlings at our local nursery, but the other half, I’m proud to say, were from seeds that I didn’t kill.  We will have lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, broccoli and peas all from seed, all bred to resist the heat for where we live. (They are traditionally bred, not GMOs.)

And it is getting HOT.  I left my pruners in the sun too long the other day and the rubber handle melted into a glob of goo.  Also, the mini-greenhouse I got to start more seeds (one of those kinda cheap ones) melted while sitting on my potting bench outside. Tropical heat fail.  I mean really, if the seed-starter box melts, what chance did my little seedlings have, without proper protection?

Today our happy hens are running about the yard doing insect control for me, and I’m very thankful for the raised beds so I don’t have to fight with them to eat the bugs, not my lettuce.  Rosie is giving me the look, “What do you want? I’m busy here.”

It will be a few more days for grape tomatoes and more strawberries.  We have increased our growing site to about 54 square feet.  Not much really, especially since my partner and I both grew up with dozens of acres, but we are proving to ourselves that it doesn’t take that much space to make a serious dent in your produce bill.  From these small areas, I harvest several pounds of greens, herbs and strawberries each week.

I should really figure out a way to “quantify” the Green Box’s contribution to our home.  I suppose I could weigh everything I bring in, write it down, then look in ads for produce to make a comparison, but I’m too busy gardening. I love these boxes so much, we might just build another one. Expand the family a bit, see if we maybe add some corn to the menu!  


Author: Carmen

Things I love: justice in all forms; flowers; locally grown food; cloth-diapering; breastfeeding; feminist theory; outdoor play; beaches; wine; Divine interventions; 4-H and coffee. Things I loathe: racism; homophobia; toxic crap; misogyny; litterbugs; the zombie apocalypse and pitbull-haters. My formal education is in sociology, gender studies, and public policy. I'm also a Lactation Educator; 4-H Youth Development coordinator a Certified Master Gardener and a graduate of a Permaculture Design Course. I've been blogging for several years on dozens of topics- everything from women's health to breed-specific legislation. But the thing I like to write about most is my gardening, food adventures and my kids. So there you have it. Please be kind. Thanks.

7 thoughts on “What Nature Can Do in 30 Days

  1. Sounds like you are having quite the heat wave! Everything is looking good!

  2. I can’t wait to start doing this at SOME point! *sigh*

  3. Carmen, I just love your blog 🙂 Your garden is super inspiring!!

  4. This is so cute! Love it!!


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