D&B customer Joe Mikitish has taken the trend of organic, or natural, gardening to the extreme by doubling the size of his backyard garden to a half acre. Although most back yards are not this big, the motivation might be the same as yours: he doesn’t want to mow the grass any more.

The Mikitish Family

The Mikitish Family

Joe doesn’t fit your stereo-typical looking organic gardener but his passion for it runs deep into his roots — he learned how to garden from his Grandmother in Anaconda Montana. At an early age he learned the “lasagna gardening” method, which is layering mulch consisting of unused paper from the Idaho Press Tribune, fungus filled hay he bought off of Craig’s List, many yards of compost from D&B and manure from local ranches in Canyon County.

Everything Joe does is a result of his engineering background, including gardening. All steps in his processes are timed and calculated to produce the best results. This year with half an acre he anticipates planning and harvesting over 600 plants.

Joking around, Joe also calls this his “March to June Joe Weight Loss Program”. Because everything is hand plowed and hauled in wheelbarrows, he says it has been easy to shed the 15 plus pounds of winter weight every spring. One of his employees lost over 25 pounds and plans to keep it off with the healthy goodness he helped plant and will soon harvest.

With the help from his employees at SEN Technologies, Joe and his family were able to provide garden space to harvest enough for those that wanted to help and six families in need. While teaching knitting classes at Puffy Mondaes Joe’s wife, Heidi, found families who didn’t have the money to get fresh produce, but had the time to harvest it once a week. By doubling the size of their garden this year, they hope to find more deserving but struggling families that want to help harvest the produce and provide for their families with a healthy bounty of organic vegetables.

Although a half acre is a large chunk of land for most families, even a 4×4 garden bed will be a good healthy start, and it will be eight square feet that you will never have to mow ever again.

Joe Mikitish Working his Garden

Joe Adding One More Layer to His Garden

Heidi Mikitish next to her potatoes

Heidi standing next to the "boxed in" potatoes

Mikitish Child next to tomato holes

One of the Mikitish boys getting ready to plant tomatoes.

Fresh picked radishes

Freshly picked radishes

Mikitish child digging holes

Even the littlest ones get involved

Plant Starts

The Beginning

  • Evie Walther

    Gardening the ‘old fashioned way’, was being done by my father in the 40’s thru the 80’s. He was very proud of his large productive gardens that fet his family of six. We as children have many – picking, canning and eating memories – which all began with our father being a caring man of this great earth.

    Your artical is wonderful!

  • Judy

    It’s great to see that Joe and Heidi are helping others who may not be able to afford grocery store prices, but can harvest their own food on their land. This is the “right thing to do” in more than one way!