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May 27, 2016 10:15 PM

Networking Through A Garden

Sioux Falls, SD

Living off the land is foreign territory to many people these days, but its one KELOLAND doctor's way of life. 

Over the past few months Beth Jensen has been working on a blog for you to join her lifestyle. 
With a four season garden plus 3,000 square feet of outside garden, the Jensen's have successfully growing for more than a year. 

As a family physician, Jensen sees all ages and lifestyles. She says that's how she's realized she's only able to get so far in someone's health when their diet and exercise is lacking. 

"I also just wanted to instill in my own kids, the sense of independence and ability to be resourceful and you know, doing something for themselves and live off the land," Jensen said. 

Picking food for herself is what Jensen's daughter, Claire says she enjoys most about helping her mom.

"I like how me and my mom pick the vegetables in the garden and it's just really fun because afterwards people can compliment me that I picked those, the same thing that we're eating," Claire said. 

But Jensen is also trying to spread her lifestyle to those outside of her family. 

So in March, she launched an online blog to do just that. 

"It  just was right in front of me the whole time and I didn't realize that, boy, there's a lot of people that are interested in eating local, eating you know, organic or freshly produced produce within the season," Jensen said.  

The goal of her blog, Glean For Good, is to show others the ease of trying a new lifestyle.

"I don't think anymore you have to feel like, 'Oh, I'm a novice or I don't know anything so where am I even going to start?' Now you can basically watch a YouTube video and start any project you want as long as you're willing to take a risk and see how it goes," Jensen said. 

That's just what she did last year. 

"I knew it was about the right time for maple syrup making and tapping the trees so within two days I did homemade supplies and tapped my neighbor's trees and made homemade syrup for the first time," Jensen said.

With her blog, Jensen also wants to create a community to help those around her.

"Creating a network of people who are like minded and want to garden or have a CSA or own an orchard and then if they have bumper crops or something extra then they're able to pass that on to others in need," Jensen said. 

One-in-eight adults in South Dakota go hungry everyday and by sharing her idea of providing fresh produce Jensen is discovering more interest than she ever imagined. 

"People that I wouldn't have normally approached about any of these topics, so that was just so exciting and it's really movitating for me to keep going," Jensen said. 

Jensen doesn't just want people to try her lifestyle, she wants to share the experience with you through her blog. 

"I really want this to be a conglomeration of those who are of all different backgrounds. Those who live in an apartment and don't even have a lawn, all the way to those who own CSAs and own orchards," Jensen said. 

So far, she's enjoying sharing this new way of living with her neighbors. 

"We're exchanging plants and we're exchanging fruits and vegetables and we're giving each other ideas on how to preserve foods and it's been a wonderful experience. It was an opportunity for me to get to know my neighbors that I otherwise wouldn't have," Jensen said. 

The Jensen family likes to add new plants and animals every year and this year, they even added chickens. 

"We're thinking that we'd like to do bee keeping for honey at some point and we'd like to get a goat or two as well. But yeah, I'm not somebody that really likes to do the same thing each year, I'm always expanding and adding new things," Jensen said. 

And maybe someday she'll even add you to her garden network.

In the long-run, Jensen would like to see this blog turn into a non-profit organization.

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