GYCC’S “GROW OUR OWN” PROJECT – Preparing to Thrive!

So we wanted to start a Garden….in a hurry?

8 Weeks of Quarantine… Grocery Stores Empty… Schools Closed… Businesses Shuttered…
How do we start re-opening and prepare for a future that is unsure?  We do what Humans have always done in both hard times and good ones… Garden!

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”
Audrey Hepburn

“But,” you might be thinking, “I don’t have room, time, good soil, lots of money. . .”

Well neither did we!  So we decided to try Straw Bale Gardening.

Follow along as we here at GYCC give Straw Bale Gardening (SBG) a try!!!

Like a lot of residents in Yavapai County, our property is basically giant rocks surrounded by clay.  I spent literally weeks digging out regular “in ground” beds and hauling in soil.  It was a LOT of work!

Enter Joel Karston’s Book “Straw Bale Gardens” and the glowing reviews from a co worker who shared these gorgeous pics of her SBG.

The idea of a No-Dig, Weed-Free, Self-Watering Garden was sounding pretty good!

We had an area in our back “Yard” whose only qualifications for garden readiness were:

  • Relative levelness
  • Access to a hose
  • Well….that’s it…

Here it is Before- we did clear out the weeds:

The only prep we did was to lay down card board donated from Prescott Maytag Show Room.  Thanks Maytag!

We ordered our Straw Bales from Olsens Grain in Dewey They helped us make sure we got straw: the yellow stuff, not hay or alfalfa.  They will deliver your bales straight to your home and even unload them for about $20.  (Be sure you tip well!)

During the early days of the Pandemic & lock down Straw and Alfalfa flew off the shelves as ranchers and farmers stocked up. Just another reason to start now while supplies are more secure.

We had a wonderful Volunteer make 2 trips in a pick-up truck to deliver our bales. Then Nick, my son and GYCC Volunteer, wheel barrow-ed them back to the area.

Here are the Supplies we purchased:

  • 6 T Poles to put at the end of each row of Bales
  • 2 Soaker Hoses
  • Wire and Wire Cutters
  • The Fertilizer – just regular High Nitrogen Fertilizer without any pesticide.

We may only need one soaker hose- so we’ll see.  Keep your receipts!

Now the bales are ready to be “conditioned”. For the next 10 days Science will turn these bales into mini-growing-powerhouses!

Learn more about the “Grow Our Own” Program Here!


Molly Freibott is the Co Founder of GYCC. She has a passion for organizing, managing programs supporting the Community and Faith Based Programs, especially those for under supported populations.