I don't pretend to be a master gardener. In fact, I'm not even sure you can call me an amatuer. Beginner is more like it. True, I did garden with my family as a child. But picking up rocks, and allowed weeds does not make one a gardener.
In past years, I've failed miserably, mostly probably because I forget to water. I'm slightly lazy, and always a very busy person. This year I've read Supersize Me and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and others, and have realized how little I want to be dependent on the food giants with their GM foods. So we frequent family farms that use heirloom seeds, and buy my own seeds from http://www.rareseeds.com/.
This year I think I have so much more invested in my garden than years past. With three children to feed and care for, and concern about what goes in their bodies, I am working harder. But I only have 2 garden spaces. Half of our back yard is overran with Japanese Knot Weed, an invasive and non-native plant brought to the US in the 1970's for "decoration". Between the knot weed, jewel weed, nipplewort, baby oaks, morning glorys, and blackberries, I have my work cut out for me!
Last year, before I found out I was pregnant, and in my early pregnancy, I had pulled up quite a few of the strawberries in the garden pictured above, and tried to plant some seeds. Unfortunately, my same old habits took over, plus the additional "burden" of pregnancy, and I just was not able to physically continue taking care of it.
By this spring, my little garden was again overrun by jewel weed, nipplewort, baby oaks, blackberries, and strawberries (sometimes considered a weed in Oregon, they are pretty invasive). The last few weeks we have worked to clear out that little garden. This is square foot gardening to the max!
In this small space of 5x8 or 5x10 I have planted popcorn, lettuce and chard, 2 kinds of carrots, 2 kinds of beans, a row of broccoli, some cucumbers (I'll train them to go up the fence), and a dozen onion starts.
Of course, this is not enough food to keep us all winter, but I do have a baby to take care of, a house, and soon school again. It will be enough to supplement our budget, and fun for the kids to go pick dinner!