About

Gardening can help extend your budget and pay back dividends on very small investments, or it can break the bank and drain all your free time.

Which plants produce the most calories, or cost the most to buy them?  What grows well in my area, and what is just not worth it?  Which techniques are worth the upfront investment in time and labor?  What are cost-effective ways to feed your plants?  How can you avoid draining your soil’s long term productivity for short term gain?  Will that trendy new garden thing pay off, or fizzle in my climate?

This blog explores those issues and more.  We’re not afraid of math, not afraid to poke a stick at a sacred cow and not afraid to get dirt under our fingernails in the pursuit of a bountiful (and cost effective) harvest.


Nicole Castle has been gardening since she was a toddler both in the southeastern US and in California. She gardens with a mixture of practices she calls “organic-ish,” and believes that success in gardening doesn’t come from following a recipe, but in applying careful observations of the land and your plants to an understanding of the fundamentals.  Gardening is both intensely personal and also an activity where the success is best shared with friends, family, and those in need.

She lives in Madison, Alabama with a cat, a dog and a very tolerant boyfriend, and is also a photographer.  You can see her work at http://www.finchhollowphoto.com

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11 thoughts on “About

  1. Love your photos. Thanks for stopping by my Blog and for the tip about drainage trenches. In your “about” you ask a lot of the same questions I’ve been asking myself over the past year. It’s exciting to start to put some of that thinking into action!

    • Thanks for coming by! There’s nothing wrong with gardening as a hobby and for fun, but I felt there was a lack of information out there about home-scale growing where the goal is to reap financial benefits first, so I am trying to fill that gap a little.

  2. Stumbled upon your blog and found it very interesting. Do you perchance offer or know of any ‘hands on’ foraging classes? I recently became excited about discovering the staghorn sumac & it’s medicinal uses so I would really enjoy learning how to identify other plants in the local area. BTW kudos to you for bringing the California drought to the forefront. I agree that now is the time to prepare because I too suspect our local food supply will be affected by this drought.

    • Cheryl, if you are in the North Alabama area, I do — send me an email (recessiongardening@outlook.com) and I will give you the details. If you are in northern Florida, check out eattheweeds.com — Green Deane does edible plant walks in the area.

  3. Nicole, Glad I found your blog! I live close by and look forward to the information you share. We are working on gardening, seed saving, etc. but have so much to learn still! Be well and keep on! – Heather

    • Thanks for stopping by, Heather. I’m pretty sure “having a lot to learn” is a permanent state in gardening (and I am no exception), so I hope you will comment and share your own knowledge from time to time.

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