~Who Put The “Gardens” in WellStone?~


Always Searching For Health

As a mom, a grandma and an educator, I have passed through a variety of seasons in my life.  After the season of teaching full time in a classroom, I moved into the season of home schooling our children.  Moving to our 45 acre farm, we had the privilege of participating in a home school co-op with seven other families. It was a wonderful and very busy season. Throughout every season I was continually researching and experimenting with a variety of health options. (Some of those options were so extreme it would probably make your eyes pop!)

Drink Your Veggies

When juicing came onto my radar screen, I purchased a very expensive juicer and worked it every day. I loved the taste of the juices, but prepping the fruits and veggies was a little time consuming and there was a lot of fiber that went to waste. I began making friendship bread with some of the left overs, but that took a lot of sugar and time to keep it going (some ladies jokingly called it bondage bread!). We had chickens at the time and they loved the scraps, so that was a plus, but I found it took so much produce to make one glass of juice that it wasn’t cost effective for our whole family.

Around the time our youngest child was getting ready to graduate, I began using a NutriBullet and started making smoothies. Again, they were delicious, and I was able to keep all the fiber of the produce. They were also very fast and easy to make. One day as I was making my morning smoothie, my husband Steve watched as I was cramming lots of kale and other produce into my Bullet cup and he was shocked how much I could squeeze into one smoothie. At the time, organic produce was not as easily accessible to where we lived. I was spending plenty of time and money to fill those smoothies.  He asked me how hard I thought it would be to start growing our own vegetables and together we began researching more efficient gardening techniques.

Grow Your Own: Food By the Foot

Growing our own produce had been the original driving factor that started us looking for land when we moved from the city. I have always loved my flower gardens, but my vegetable garden was overwhelming in the busyness of life. I was discouraged when I would walk out to find weeds so tall and thick you could see nothing else. There had to be a better way. We found the book “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Barthelomew.

Square Foot Gardening

My husband couldn’t put the book down and read it all in one night. Steve is an entrepreneur to his core as well as being gifted working with wood and iron. His creative process designed simple raised bed square foot gardens. We have very dear friends who own an organic greenhouse (Sullivan’s Greenhouse) and they were expanding into more and more vegetables.

The beauty and wonder of raised beds is that they can be individualized according to space and need and they can be mobile. You can take them with you if you move. They are also versatile enough to be used anywhere. You can grow food on rooftops, on patios, on sidewalks, etc.… You just need  sun, water, soil and TLC.  The condition of the soil is not a worry, because you fill the beds with a healthy soil mix. I even started working with composting worms to create my own healthy compost from kitchen scraps and newspaper. The weeding of raised beds is minimal and watering is easy. We even built a stand up style bed so you don’t even need to bend over!

Planting More Than Food

We knew that I was beginning a new season of life after home schooling and I loved my flower gardens.   Could we grow (pun intended) this idea and pool our gifts as a family into a viable business to help others?  I loved educating others in all aspects of health.  We had always used our property for recreation fun with larger groups. Could we start to combined things we loved doing?  As we talked through the importance of physical, emotional and spiritual interconnectedness of a healthy lifestyle, the four categories of Nutrition, Exercise, Recreation and Inspiration best described our hearts.

What’s In A Name

We needed a name for our new venture. I really wanted some form of “wellness” to be part of the name. We love surrounding and incorporating large stones in our garden beds. Stone also represents the building material for any solid foundation. Steve remembered an old well they had as he was growing up being lined in stone. There is also the representation “wells” give for life-giving water and refreshment. I have always loved the biblical story of the woman at the well.   We decided to put the two words together to create “WellStone”.   Steve designed and built wonderful raised beds, and I filled them with beautiful, organic vegetables, herbs and flowers – instant “Gardens”.

Inspiring A Lifestyle

Our gardening section is meant to inspire and encourage others to understand anyone can grow your own produce for the health benefits not only to eat them, but for the additional benefits of being outside working and enjoying the beauty of nature. I love enjoying the hummingbirds, butterflies and honeybees in our gardens. Join us in the fun!

Garden Blog Archive below:

Garden Update – Part 4

New Addition As Spring rolls into the heat of summer, I wanted to continue sharing garden progress. We added new gates to our garden arch. We have to use something at the arch to keep the chickens (which we love to have free ranging because they give us delicious eggs) out of the garden.  I [...]

Family Fun Day Reflection

Photo album of an absolutely magical day at WellStone Gardens, releasing ladybugs, butterflies and watching bees.

Garden Friends and Fun

     When working outside in any variety of gardens, even front porch container gardens, there are more species of life participating than just plants. I also find it fascinating to look for personal life analogies outside in my gardens and my yard. This week we are getting ready for our Family Fun Day activities, including [...]

Springtime Garden Update 3

I want to continue to give on-going garden updates to encourage others than anyone can try new and creative ways of growing a variety of food. Garden Update The Tilapia fish in the tank in our little greenhouse are growing nicely (even though we have lost a few) and our first try with Hydroponics is [...]

Spring Life Update

I know this is going out on April Fool’s Day, but I don’t have any fun way to play a joke on you all, so you’ll have to be creative on your own. (One year my kid’s placed a small rubber band around the sprayer on the sink so that I got sprayed when I [...]

New Life In The Spring: Under Construction

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. It always seems full of new energy, new hope and promise. I love the beautiful sounds of the birds and smell of fresh air that jog childhood memories of Spring. Today I heard my first turtle dove and I saw a majestic bald eagle flying [...]