Blossoming organic garden

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Watching a garden grow is a rewarding experience, especially if you are the one who planted it. We headed back to Angie and John Smiley’s home to check out how well their organic garden is doing.

When we first introduced you to John and Angie Smiley and their children, Ava and Aiden, they were planting an organic garden in their front yard that was back in mid April. Four and a half months later, those freshly planted seeds had sprouted into towering tomato vines. Giant okra chutes and a jungle of colorful flowering plants that hide the house from the road. Angie says the organic garden experiment has been a wonderful outdoor laboratory for her small children.

“The kids came out and helped us plant everything, so they’ve seen everything grow from seed all the way to something edible and that’s been really neat for them,” said Angie.

Ava and Aiden both really love helping with the harvest.

“The kids have gotten more involved with cooking and eating because they’re excited..like, we grew this carrot. Let’s make something with it, or they’ll just grab it from the fridge and eat it,” said Angie.

Over the summer the garden has produced small watermelons, tomatoes, a variety of peppers, onions, plenty of pods of okra, herbs, strawberries.

“It’s really been nice to just go out to the garden and clip some things for supper, use what we have in the garden to make a meal, or not have to go to the grocery store,” said Angie.

The Smiley’s garden is haven for a host of wildlife.

“We’ve seen a lot of different bees, more than we knew existed. All kinds of butterflies,” said Angie. “The hummingbird moth is a neat little creature to watch. It kind of looks like a bumble bee, kind of looks like a hummingbird all mixed into one, but it’s a moth. We’ve seen a ton of tree frogs Some look like tree bark and some are bright green.”

The garden has been certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

“We decided to get the sign to put out in the yard so that we could bring awareness and show people a reason for growing more than just grass. Grow some flowers, grow some vegetables, something and give back to the wildlife,” said Angie.

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