The Beginning of Stone Hill Garden and Its Military Ties


Tabatha and Shane head 

shotI grew up in central Pennsylvania where gardening is a family activity. As a child I enjoyed earning a nickel for every potato beetle that I picked from the plants. My favorite part was enjoying the delicious ripe veggies as soon as I picked them and managed to wipe them clean on my shirt.

Tabatha had some exposure to gardening as well when she was a child. She also had some experiences with goats and chickens. Tabatha has always had a ‘green thumb’ and enjoys maintaining indoor plants as well as growing food in the garden.

Now we are all grown up with a family of our own. We started a small kitchen herb garden in 2007 and then decided to establish a potted garden on the patio of the house we were renting in Yuma, Arizona in 2010.

Yuma potted 

At the time we were both on active duty in the Marine Corps. It can be difficult to start or maintain a garden while someone is in the military. You never know when you could be deployed, sent away for an extended period of time for training or even told that it’s time for you to move to a different base.

In 2010 I volunteered to be relocated to southern California. We continued our gardening practices here in California and we have actually ditched the pots and put some tomato and pepper plants in the ground. I talked about gardening while at work, and this has rubbed off on a few of my fellow Marines who have decided to start a small garden as well.

1/11/2012 2:27:05 PM

I suspect this is Shane. Thanks for clearing up the name thing. I had wondered about that because her comments appeared to be from the blog owner but the name didn't match. LED lights are becoming the new generation of lighting. They use an incredibly small amount of electricity but give out quite a bit of light. Have a great day.

1/11/2012 8:34:55 AM

Tabatha's screen name is Samantha Holden, just to clean things up. As she stated, we appreciate your comments and support. We are continuously shifting toward self sufficiency and share our experiences with others. We recently ordered some solar kits that include the panel, controller with battery, and two 12 volt LED lights. These will become our indoor lighting for our living room and bedrooms in the evening. These kits are also small enough for us to pack up when it's time for us to move again. They are supposed to arrive in two days, and we are anxiously waiting for them!

Samantha Holden
1/2/2012 6:39:17 AM

Thank you for the welcoming. You can have a rotating garden here as long as you dress your soil. We rotate plants, mulch, and compost religiously. We also recently put up a greenhouse type structure to protect from the random frost. What we cannot grow outside we do in pots indoors; but only what I use regularly. We love watching our food grow and our boys love sneaking out and eating the fruits from the garden before bringing me back some for our table. Our boys are getting bigger and our daughter is now old enough to poke a hole with her little finger and drop a seed in. She is catching on and showing an interest just like our boys had. Now that we are almost settled in and planning our spring garden layout we also need to remember to plant enough since most of our carrots and tomatoes did not make it out of the garden. My boys loved sneaking out and pulling them just to make a dash to the hose for a rinse so they could gobble down as much as they could before they were caught. It didn't take long since you can smell freshly pulled carrots a mile away. I hope our blog inspires everyone to try something new and hopefully we will learn something new from the comments you leave us.

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