This year we chose to do a smaller garden that we usually do, and make the most impact with fewer types of plants. We planted our usual heirloom peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos which provided months of salsa and salsa verde! We focused more on enriching the soil and planting perrenial medicinal herbs, flowers and bush plants. We added three new raspberry canes which surprised us by fruiting the first year, a white grape vine and we transplanted a tree to the corner of our backyard to provide shade within the next couple of years. We follow pesticide free, no till gardening and encourage bugs because they help our soil and feed our birds! Instead of fertilizer or sprays, I prefer to enrich our soil using homemade compost from our bin and grass and leaves as mulch to protect the roots and earth from overdrying. We are teaching our children how to grow food from seed and at the end of the season to harvest the fruit and seed save for next season! I teach them how to preserve food to not only be more sustainable, but by reducing packaging, reducing costs and to protect our environment. We left our yard to grow wild with white clover to encourage bees to come for a visit and left mullein to flower. We loved to watch the bees and butterflies this year circle our yard and saw many bird species that we usually don't see like cardinals and blue jays. We left wild growing plants in two separate flower beds to provide seeds for birds and I let our plants overgrow against the fench for shelter (small animals, birds). We added a bee waterer, in addition to our bird bath, o they can rest and hydrate. Next year we will focus even more on adding more bird friendly plants and trees as protection to add to our bushes.