Grow Your Own ... Self-Serve Produce Market

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posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 09:41 AM
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... where the fruits and vegetables are Garden-Fresh and the prices are Dirt cheap.


Just thought I'd share some pics of this year's effort. It's a labor of love and something that provides more than just the fruits of one's labor. I find that having one's feet firmly planted in Mother Earth can be quite stress relieving, as well.

From the top of the garden:


Various tomatoes: (2 red, 1 yellow, 1 plum, 2 grape)

The three on the right are called "World's Largest", and they're from seeds that a friend's father has kept going since the 60's. Each year we keep and dry the seeds for the next year's planting. They just seem to get bigger and bigger. The plum tomato also comes from similar seeds, and the fruit is closer in size to a large pear than a plum. They're great for sauce, but most of these will go into this year's Salsa.

Grape tomatoes: (close up)

Thin-skinned and super sweet. These look like a friggin' vineyard at the moment, as they're simply loaded with fruit.

Cucumbers, Zucchini, and Tomatillos:

We've gotten dozens of cukes and zucchini so far, but the tomatillos have a while to go before they'll be ready. We have both slicing and pickling cukes, and so far have put up 5 quarts of Garlic Dills and several more of cucumbers and onions in a sugar and vinegar brine.

Tomatillos: (close up)

They're interesting in that the husk starts out like a chinese lantern which the fruit eventually grows to fill. They make an excellent cold soup that is thinned to desired consistency using heavy whipping cream. I first had it while working for a caterer in San Antonio years ago. They're also very good in Salsa and many other mexican-style dishes and recipes.

Corn: (nothin' but corn)

A few dozen ears of the early sweet corn so far, but this (silver queen) has a week or so until it'll be ready for picking. Oh, but when it is ... there's nothing better. Slather with butter and pass the salt and pepper. Mmmm.

Green Beans:

Probably harvested about 10-15 pounds so far, and they just keep coming. Eat some, freeze some, give a lot away.

Pumpkins: (Giant type)

These are fun to grow, if only to see just how big they'll get. We had one the other year that was over two feet in diameter and had to be rolled as it was too big (bulky) to lift and carry.
They make for some awesome jack-o-lanterns, too



From the bottom of the garden:


Various sunflowers: (Giant and mixed colors)

Last year the giant ones grew taller than the peak of the roof, with heads that measured over a foot across. We'll roast the seeds from a couple of them, but the rest get hung to dry and are then placed outside come winter. They make for excellent natural bird feeders.

Just a random shot off the back deck:


Various peppers: (green, sweet green, habanero, jalapeno, green chile, and anaheim)

There's cilantro, peppermint and spearmint in the above as well. Most of these will be used for Salsa ... I love salsa.


So there you have it ... our own personal produce market.

Any other gardeners out there? Care to share Your efforts?

[edit: to add - 5:45 p.m.]
In hindsight, I truly hope that the "Care to share Your efforts?" didn't seem a bit pretentious. (?) ... it certainly isn't/wasn't intended in that manner. My thoughts simply being that it IS that time of year in many members' locale, and that perhaps we could share the "fruits" of our labors.

THAT ... and or the dishes/foodstuffs made from such.


/edit

[edit on 29-7-2007 by 12m8keall2c]




posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 10:06 AM
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Very nice garden you have there.

A lot of hard work went into that. Congratulations!!! On your work well done. I personally do not know one person that gardens.



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 12:44 PM
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That is WONDERFUL!

I wish we had the soil and water for that kind of thing! But we have fun on the smaller scale. We've been eating our tomatoes. The taste of homegrown is just fantastic!

Congratulations! Well done!

Here's a picture of our "tomato tree". (Don't mind the dog butts)





[edit on 29-7-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 02:30 PM
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I need guard dogs from my garden too..!

Nice work 12m8keall2c.
Silver Queen is a great variety of sweet corn. We used to grow rows and rows of staggered plantings..From Garden to stove in 5 minutes. Can't beat that for freshness.

Any issues with deer?



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
Nice work 12m8keall2c.
...
Any issues with deer?


Thanks.

No. I haven't had any problems with deer, but the damn rabbits and Canadian geese have demonstrated their voracious appetites from time to time. When the corn first comes up, the geese will pull up the plants to get the remaining seed kernel below.
... leaving behind their tell-tale signature of a cast aside rootless plant. The rabbits, on the other hand, seem to favor young bean and pepper plants ... not this year, though.

In the past, I've gone so far as to enclose it in 2' high lattice and wire fencing to thwart their efforts. This year I was a few weeks behind in planting the corn, but it worked out well ... the geese had already hatched their young and moved on. Gone are the days where they Actually migrate.


 



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 08:00 PM
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Great looking garden! It brought back memories from when I was a kid and my parents had a place with a big enough yard to have a garden like that. Best corn I ever ate.

And speaking of corn, I think you need to watch out for He Who Walks Behind the Rows.



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
And speaking of corn, I think you need to watch out for He Who Walks Behind the Rows.


I have and do ... right now it seems to be those consarn Japanese Beatles.
.. seemingly with the sole intent of hindering output.

Nasty l'il critters, they are.

 

Thanks, MM.


 



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 08:23 PM
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Do you use chemicals, or do you use biocontrols exclusively? There may be some nematodes or something good for those beetles.

I just dashed over to my favorite pest control site.

And as I suspected ...



By far, the best way to deal with Japanese beetles, especially if you want to do things the Green way, is to target the grub stage. Two products which are well suited to taking out the larvae are Bacillus popilliae, also know as milky spore disease, and parasitic nematodes, specifically the Heterorhabditis bacteriophora species.


Check out the site, they have the best service, and have the goods as well.



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 09:03 PM
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12m8, GREAT looking garden. Makes me pine for a large one meself

I do grow a few things edible, my cukes are on the fence and are slowly ripening, very slow this year, lack of rain, most likely. (I still water, but it's not the same.)

RE: Milky spore
We used it last year for grub control, but still had the blasted beetles easting my roses lately.
Of course, I sent a few of them to bug hell....bwa ha ha ha ha

While we may not have grub damage, the beetles fly in from the neighbors



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 09:21 PM
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No chemicals whatsoever, MM ... aside from a dose or two of Miracle-Gro™ here and there.

The beetles are temporary, and they ultimately represent little more than a nuisance ... though they DO "rain on my Golden parade" in the meantime , if you will.

... they make good fish bait, though



 



posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 02:48 AM
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damn your garden is hella sic!! i wish i had a big area to grow my own veggies and fruit!!! MmMmM



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 09:41 PM
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Thank you ALL ... for the kind comments and such.

We're having a bit of a family get together tomorrow evening. Many ears will be eaten, I can assure you ... along with several other garden-like niceties.


'tis been a good year ... with the exception of having to water things on a daily basis.



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 06:50 PM
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Zucchini bread!!!!

Mmmmmmm.... zucchini bread..... *drools*


Your garden is beautiful!! (And I'm glad someone else asked about the rabbits, cuz I saw the lack of fencing in some places and... I just can't imagine NOT having a fence... between rabbits and cats, the garden would be a pile o' dirt!)

Due to the bass-ackwards circumstances this year, I didn't get my garden going. (This is why I started the thread about growing indoors... Okay, that and the Seed Savers Exchange catalog which has me just itching for spring to get here already!)

Question: Are you starting your crops with heirloom seeds?
(I only ask because, as I found out from the book below, if you save genetically modified seeds, you can get into trouble!
)

My venture is to go self-sufficient. I refused to water my flowers this summer, and they've done reasonably well. I will not use fertilizers (beyond coffee grounds, crushed egg shells, and mulch), and I'll set up camp if beetles or mites come by...

While I'm thinking of it, check out Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingslover. "Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingslover and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it." I'm about half-way thru, and now I really really want spring to be here already!


And if you're nutty for weird foods, check out the Seed Savers Exchange. Free catalog filled with so many food that I've never even thought of... purple carrots, yellow tomatoes, pepper plants that grow in pots with little iddy biddy peppers all over! (it proves that God tested his stashes...
)


Any chance we gardeners might get our own forum?



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria
Zucchini bread!!!!

Mmmmmmm.... zucchini bread..... *drools*


Ahhh .. too bad you couldn't have been here yesterday.


Jeanie made 5 loaves of zucchini bread, 6 banana (1 for me with black walnuts), and 7 strawberry. The zukes were from the garden and the strawberries came from a local "pick your own". Of course, the bananas were store bought and left to ripen ... near rot. Talk about good. I'll see if I can sneak you her recipes, otherwise I'd find myself suffering from lackanookie ... if she found out.



Your garden is beautiful!! (And I'm glad someone else asked about the rabbits, cuz I saw the lack of fencing in some places and... I just can't imagine NOT having a fence... between rabbits and cats, the garden would be a pile o' dirt!)


No fences needed, if you spritz a bit of fox "cover scent" urine around the perimeter during the early stages. Once the plants have matured a bit, they don't seem to bother them as much. (?) Odd, that. My "problem" is more with the damn so-called Canadian geese. They don't migrate anymore and seem to love pulling up the corn as it germinates .. just to get at the leftover seed kernel.



Question: Are you starting your crops with heirloom seeds?
(I only ask because, as I found out from the book below, if you save genetically modified seeds, you can get into trouble!
)

them. The various tomatoes are from seeds that have been kept going since the 60s, thanks to a good friend's father. The rest are either one's that I've kept from year to year or from seed that I buy from a local grower.


My venture is to go self-sufficient. I refused to water my flowers this summer, and they've done reasonably well. I will not use fertilizers (beyond coffee grounds, crushed egg shells, and mulch), and I'll set up camp if beetles or mites come by...


The only thing I use to promote growth or production is minimal applications of Mirale Gro from time to time.


While I'm thinking of it, check out Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingslover. "Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingslover and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it." I'm about half-way thru, and now I really really want spring to be here already!


Thanks for the heads-up, I'll be sure to give that a once over during the upcoming winter months.


And if you're nutty for weird foods, check out the Seed Savers Exchange. Free catalog filled with so many food that I've never even thought of... purple carrots, yellow tomatoes, pepper plants that grow in pots with little iddy biddy peppers all over! (it proves that God tested his stashes...
)


I try to have as diverse a variety as "room" and time will allow, but there are certain staples that just go without saying.



Any chance we gardeners might get our own forum?

I'm all about that.


I've setup a propane heater and gro lights down in shed so that next year I'll be able to have everything started well in advance. Can't wait.

Thanks for your post, Diseria. 'twas most informative and appreciated.



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 09:04 PM
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Originally posted by 12m8keall2c
Ahhh .. too bad you couldn't have been here yesterday.


Jeanie made 5 loaves of zucchini bread, 6 banana (1 for me with black walnuts), and 7 strawberry. The zukes were from the garden and the strawberries came from a local "pick your own". Of course, the bananas were store bought and left to ripen ... near rot. Talk about good. I'll see if I can sneak you her recipes, otherwise I'd find myself suffering from lackanookie ... if she found out.


Always a day late. :shk:

18 loaves of bread?! ...how does she store them all? (That's another topic that we need to start up -- food preservation!)

If sneaking causes lackanookie, then that's not an option.
If nothing else, put it to her this way: An unknown-to-her apprentice would very much like to learn how to make these breads right, rather than wasting the time, effort, and ingredients (not to mention watering-mouths) using standard cookbook recipes. I shall not call them my own, but always "Jeanie's such-and-such bread". Can even add "world famous" if she likes...
(If she's into kung-fu, exchange "apprentice" for "grasshoppa"
)

And if that doesn't work, I can always have WO take a pic of me on my knees begging, big puppy-dog eyes...
(I'm not sure I'm cute enough to pull that off, and I don't think it'd work. But it's an option!)



I've setup a propane heater and gro lights down in shed so that next year I'll be able to have everything started well in advance. Can't wait.


Are you planning on growing anything over the winter? I was debating some herbs, maybe a few other pot-growing plants (beans, peppers, if I can find my big bucket I'll do some taters), but these things are always more fun when you've the knowledge that others are doing it too.



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 09:22 PM
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Not that big a deal, they're more a personal-sized loaf. 6X4X3 roughly. They seem to come out better that way. Fully cooked, yet still remain moist throughout. IMO, there's nothing worse than "cookie dough" like innards, when it comes to these types of breads.

My son, Jonathan (13), took a loaf out for a slice or two, a snack, and ended up eating the whole darn thing. "I was hungry and it was good", or similar, was his response when asked where the rest of it was.

I was teasing a bit with regards to "sneaking the recipes", though she did give me "one of those looks" when I mentioned such.

Keep an eye on your inbox over the next few days, she works all three.


On a side note:
Did you know that you can "can" breads? Later, they're as fresh as the day you made them.
Wide-mouth quart mason jars are the ticket. They can even be shipped.


 



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by 12m8keall2c Not that big a deal, they're more a personal-sized loaf. 6X4X3 roughly. They seem to come out better that way. Fully cooked, yet still remain moist throughout. IMO, there's nothing worse than "cookie dough" like innards, when it comes to these types of breads.


I know that in theory you can make a big loaf of banana bread. In theory. In theory it works... in practice, well, I wouldn't know.
They came out better (meaning: more of it was edible than last time) when I kept them small...



I was teasing a bit with regards to "sneaking the recipes", though she did give me "one of those looks" when I mentioned such.


uh-huh.... yeah, see, that's why I made mention that it'd forever-more be known as her recipe so as to keep you from suffering "the look". My mom is still giving me "the look" when I ask for her roladin (sp?) recipe... (took me 4 years to drag the drunken pork chops recipe outta her... wasn't even hers! Made me feel cheated...)

(I love how "the look" is universally known!
)



Keep an eye on your inbox over the next few days, she works all three.


Ooooo..... tell her I said Thank You!!!! in advance! (And, of course, Thank You for typing 'em up!)



On a side note:
Did you know that you can "can" breads? Later, they're as fresh as the day you made them.
Wide-mouth quart mason jars are the ticket. They can even be shipped.


No way.... *eyes mason jars*.... I did not know that. I think I'm gonna need more jars the way they keep coming in handy! I'm gonna hafta look that one up...

And did you know (speaking of mason jars): After the first use of the lid, they say you're supposed to get a new one because it won't create a good enough seal. I say "Humbug" to that! Use wax paper. Lay it across the mouth of the jar (after you've put all the goodies inside, of course), and then put the lid on top. Screw it down and voila! a good seal.
(In theory, you can use wax paper for almost any jar. Haven't tried it, but I've a few spaghetti jars that I've been wondering how to re-use. This might just be the ticket.)

[edit on 20-8-2007 by Diseria]



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 10:09 PM
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I've reused lids twice for years with no problems whatsoever. The wax paper "approach" does make perfect sense, though. Guess I'll be getting an extra season or so outta the lids from here on out.
I'm not sure that I'd "push" it more than that, the potential loss of "efforts"and or a trip to the hospital certainly wouldn't be worth such. They're quite cheap, anyway.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 03:19 AM
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12m8keall2c FANTASTIC!! To say the very least. I have a huge garden too, 8500 squ/meters. Lovely place to have a veggie garden, but know what - i don't have any green fingers or thumbs. Tried once and it all went to hell. I also am kinda lazy when the thought of redoing something like that comes up.

I am in awe with yours and would LOVE to get the seeds of those different peppers/chillis. I have tried our local guys but no one carries that stuff in South Africa. You CAN get them but not the exact sort you want. *sigh*

Ah well, back to garden dream land for me.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 06:54 AM
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Due to the number of pictures on this page, and considering load times for dial-up users I'm gonna bump this thread over to page two before I post my pictures.





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