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Sustainable Living in Reston, VA - Backyard Grocery

Sustainable Living in Reston, VA

happy dawg at the garden

Happy Dawg watches as Rick works on our plot. She loves the garden.

The summer of 2011 we had our first garden plot at our community garden in Reston. It was a 10×10 space, and boy did it produce for us! I had the best lettuces, kale, spinach, tomatoes and peppers of my life. Rick had a wonderful time tending it, and we both realized we loved the notion of growing our own food. So, when we had the opportunity to move over to a 20×20 garden plot, Rick jumped on the opportunity.

Community gardens in general are, in my opinion, one of the best uses of common space ever devised. We live in a town house, and without access to this garden, we wouldn’t be able to jump on the local foods/sustainable living bandwagon. Thank you Reston for providing this incredible resource.


Rick working on the greenhouse. At this point, he still wasn't done entirely, but close enough for us to plant.

We got our new space in September, too late for the summer gardening season. But that didn’t stop Rick because the real reason he wanted a bigger space was so that he could build a greenhouse and grow year round. (Not sure if it was the building something or growing part that jazzed him more. I suspect a little of the former based on how much work he has put into our fabulous plot.) Our greenhouse is the talk of the garden…the neighbors love it and are waiting eagerly to see how it does. I think there may be a few more popping up soon. That is, if the RA design review board doesn’t make us take it down. It has been deemed a structure, and thus they must approve it. Fortunately, we’ve got the director of community garden advocating for us. She, and other people interested in sustainable living, know this little greenhouse is a good addition to the garden.

winter vegetables in greenhouse

Our first crop of vegetables in the greenhouse.

I just finished up the radishes. The winter lettuce is almost ready to harvest, with the turnips a few weeks away. I’ve got more radishes, broccoli, spinach, and broccoli rabe on the way too. Our planting was a little random this year. Next year we will think it through a little better, mostly so that I’m not harvesting all of everything at one time. We have room to stagger the crops, so I say let’s do it! Meanwhile, I will enjoy every bite of the food we harvest this winter…I’ll also enjoy seeking shelter in the greenhouse on cold days. It’s warm in there!

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