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Muledeer

Growing Your Own: What did you grow / raise / harvest?

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Muledeer

The older I get, healthy eating and wholesome food are becoming more and more important in my everyday life.

Producing my own food gives me great enjoyment and satisfaction.  I hope to learn better gardening skills from the ideas exchanged on this thread.  It can also be a discussion for home food processing and preservation methods.   

What did your animals produce?  

What did you gather or harvest from nature?

What grew (or failed) in your garden?  Share photos of your garden or harvest.

Have you planted anything yet?

 

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teatree

The only home produce I get are the eggs from my chickens. As I have mentioned elsewhere, my four girls are older, yet they have been laying quite regularly for the past 3 or 4 weeks and are producing more eggs than I can eat. I don't know how long it will last, but I'm happy while it does! Store-bought eggs just don't compare.

 

I would like to have a garden again but haven't had the time lately. Instead I support the local farmer's market, when it's in season.

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9Lives

I don't have a garden at the moment, but I will, after my move in summer. And I am so looking forward to growing my own herbs and veggies!

 

While I was living in Turkey, I had a large rooftop terrace and I experimented a bit: I grew tomatoes and various herbs in pots. I also had a lemon tree and a fig tree that both carried fruit (not a lot, but some). One year, I tried to grow red bell peppers, but misread the label on the seed packet and ended up with a spectacular crop of chilies - some like it hot, and chilies certainly do!

The honey melon and the pumpkin didn't do so well, I believe they need more space than a pot could give them.

 

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Marrow

The only thing I grew were sunflowers, but my parents had a garden. We'd rototill it, then add mushroom compost, and then rototill it again; using fresh dead fish would also work well (carful thou, the spinal cords can get tangled in the blade). If weeds would pop up we'd use the rototiller or a hoe. Also if you start getting infestations like squash beetles or dirt fleas (the nickname we gave them) then try switching that crop out for a year or two.

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SkyenAutowegCaptain

A well timed thread. I spent this morning preparing my raised beds and planters. I've put some potatoes in. I'm planning to grow, leeks, runner beans, broad beans, Peas, tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, onions and see what space I have left. The kitchen window is reserved for chillies 

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Mocha Jo

Way too early for me to start anything yet, but I am looking forward to a garden this year gai after having missed 2 seasons due to divorce Nd the house being on the market. This year the house is finally mine and I am starting to feel settled! 

The first harvest of my year has started- maple syrup! Every time I think the season is ending due to warmer weather it snows again. So we are still going. And my chickens are supplying me with eggs- 4 older girls, but as many eggs as I can eat. I am going to get some chicks this year to come into production next year and to help keep the coop warmer next winter.

for my garden, I always do bean towers for soup beans- pinto, kidney, Indian woman (yellow smallish beans, very nice), and a red streaked Italian bean that I forget the name of. I love bean soup and chili in the winter! I also always do the tiny sweet 100's tomatoes just to eat right out of hand, and a Roma style tomato to quarter up and do sun dried tomatoes with. I always do kale- the chickens and I both like it. This year I am going to get my winter squash plot in again for pumpkins and butternut and acorn squash for winter soups, and cucumbers foe pickling. I really want to do cabbage, but had such horrible luck with it the one time I tried it that I don't know if home made sauerkraut is worth it! The green worms got to them all. I usually do a couple of jalapeño plants and red cherry bomb peppers. And I want a bigger area for my cilantro and basil.

 

oh, dear. Just reading this back makes it sound like I have my work cut out for myself, since I have always had a partner to help out before. Oh, well, once it is all prepped and in it isn't too bad.

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Muledeer

I spent a thrilling hour in my greenhouse this evening.  It was 92F inside and I just sat there and enjoyed the warmth, then hauled buckets of snow inside and dumped it on the garlic bed and also spread snow on a few possible lettuce seedlings.  The Siberian Garlic that I planted last fall has sprouted and it is at least six inches tall.   The garlic I planted outside the greenhouse is just coming up through the remaining spring snow cover and mud.  I will need to protect the outside garlic bed from creatures seeking the first green thing of spring. 

Today was the first day my home in the mountains was accessible - it is the opening day and I feel festive.  There is still some snow on the ground, but the road into my property was free of snow and heavy mud.  I will plan to spend the weekend up there (in isolation) because the phone and internet service is not yet active.

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teatree
7 hours ago, Muledeer said:

 I will plan to spend the weekend up there (in isolation) because the phone and internet service is not yet active.

That sounds lovely! I am envious....

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Mz Terry

I have a few French beans to sow, otherwise my growing tends to be herbs and flowers.  Oh, and masses of apples. 

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Mocha Jo

@Muledeer- that sounds like a wonderful way to spend the weekend! (I have greenhouse envy. I want one!

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daveb

When I get a landscaper in I'm considering the idea of planting some berry plants (not sure what kinds work well here, so I'd probably at least ask about that; but also about maintenance, like do they grow too out of control or are there are considerations, such as placement for things like sunlight/shade, thorns, etc.). We already have some sort of apple trees (2 of them, which apparently produce little green apples).

 

@Muledeer, your mountain retreat sounds (and looks) pretty cool.

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Muledeer

@Mocha Jo You should really consider getting a greenhouse.  Nothing I have ever purchased has given me more enjoyment and satisfaction.  I have had it since 2004 and used it every single year.

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Muledeer
3 minutes ago, daveb said:

When I get a landscaper in I'm considering the idea of planting some berry plants 

 

Strawberry plants are pretty low maintenance and they grow just about anywhere.  I bet blueberries grow well in Oregon too, and I don't think they have any thorns.

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Autumn Sunrise

Speaking from the  other side of the world :D I'm in the process of clearing out the last of the summer veg (some of them are still producing :P so it's a bit of a messy business). So far I've cleared two raised beds that held potatoes (very nice they are too :P), dug them over and fertilised them, and planted a mixture of seedlings, including broad beans and peas in one bed, broccoli and cauliflower in the other - all fruiting crops, so they're the beginning of a new cycle: fruiting ---> leafy ---> root crop. I've also tucked in a few white and red onions wherever I had a small corner; they're not a fruiting crop, but hopefully they won't mind, and if nothing else, the smell might deter some of the pests :lol: I've also done a lot of clearing in the zucchini bed; most of the leaves had developed powdery mildew, so I've cut all of those off, but there are some new, clean leaves and still some fruit developing. This left quite a lot of space, so I'm going to tuck in some lettuces and silver beet, and they can be getting started while the zucchini finish - I think the frost will finish them off when it comes, but it's still warmish at the moment. That still leaves several beds to deal with, but I'll get there :D

 

@daveb, I've had strawberries, both in a garden bed and in pots, for a few years now. Our climate is cool temperate: not as cool as yours, I think, because you seem to get a lot of snow, but we get a lot of frost and some snow, and the strawberries don't seem to mind; I think actually they're pretty hardy so they'd be well worth a try. It's so nice being abe to gather a handfull and eat them straight out of the garden - I don't even bother washing them (unless my hands are conspicuously dirty :lol:) I think raspberries would be worth a try too, but they do need some sort of trellis for support - a few stakes with some wire netting attached with cable ties will do the trick. The plants are slightly prickly, but nothing serious, and the taste of fresh raspberries is divine.

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Muledeer

@Autumn Sunrise Are you planting those seeds for a winter / late fall harvest or so they will come up with vigor earlier next spring?  the only things I have had success planting in the fall are garlic and lettuce, but I really haven't tried planting anything else in the fall.  It is really cool to hear about the flip side of our growing seasons from the other side of the world.  Also, are you referring to crop rotation when you were discussing the cycles of fruiting - leafy - rooty - crops? 

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daveb
7 hours ago, Autumn Sunrise said:

I think raspberries would be worth a try too, but they do need some sort of trellis for support

Yes, fresh strawberries right out of the garden are great! I had a few strawberry plants at home when I was a teen. I thought raspberry or blackberry bushes would be good down at the bottom of the garden against the back fence (it's a chainlink fence). But I'll see what the landscapers thing next month. Might also see about some raised beds for other things (including strawberry plants? and maybe some herbs and things like garlic and potatoes?).

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Autumn Sunrise
14 hours ago, Muledeer said:

@Autumn Sunrise Are you planting those seeds for a winter / late fall harvest or so they will come up with vigor earlier next spring?  the only things I have had success planting in the fall are garlic and lettuce, but I really haven't tried planting anything else in the fall.  It is really cool to hear about the flip side of our growing seasons from the other side of the world.  Also, are you referring to crop rotation when you were discussing the cycles of fruiting - leafy - rooty - crops? 

They're actually seedlings, @Muledeer - I get them from the monthly Farmers' Market near here - they always have good ones. I'm hoping for a late winter harvest but we'll see - a lot depends on the temperatures and the kind of weather we get. I'll be planting lettuces soon, and they always seem to do well for us. Yes, the cycle I quoted is for crop rotation, based on the different nutritional needs of plants in the three categories. The theory is that as you move through the cycle the later groups need progressively less nutrients - I've heard it suggested that root veg such as potatoes need very little, but I'm a bit skeptical - I fertilised the beds well before I planted the latest lot of potatoes and I got a good crop with lots of very big ones :P However I do believe that it's good to plant things with similar nutrirional needs together, and it does make sense that fruiting crops need a lot of nutrition. They also need different nutrients - potassium is important for flowering and fruiting, and too much nitrogen is great for leafies, but tend to produce lots of leaves and not much else on a potential fruiting plant.

 

I there anything special that you do with your garlic? I haven't had much success with that so far :(

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Muledeer
33 minutes ago, Autumn Sunrise said:

I there anything special that you do with your garlic? I haven't had much success with that so far :(

I use a cold climate garlic - Siberian garlic because of my high elevation (8,300 ft).  Plant it about 4-6 inches deep, pointed side up, in the late fall, and cover it with leaf litter.  Use the biggest bulbs you can find because they will make bigger garlic cloves. One little bulb will make a whole clove when it matures.  In fact, I usually use only the largest single bulbs from the clove.  You can use any garlic for seed garlic, even from the grocery store.  It just comes up in the spring and then you harvest it in mid-summer.  Harvest it when about half of the leaves have died back.   Rodents and deer love it.  I have found the garlic growers to be the most friendly bunch of vendors at farmers markets.  If they know you are buying their produce for seed garlic, they are so willing to share growing tips.  It was at a farmers market where I discovered the Siberian garlic (it is purple and hot).  I just save some seed stock from year to year so it gets better acclimated.  And I have not even bothered with crop rotation because it is fairly disease resistant.

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Autumn Sunrise

Thanks, @Muledeer, I'll give that a try :D

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Mocha Jo

Some day I will get organized enough to plant garlic in the fall. I love garlic!

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Muledeer

Yesterday, I planted all of my root vegetables in the greenhouse.  Carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips and radishes.  I spent the whole day playing in the dirt and enjoyed every minute of it.  As an added bonus, the lettuce I planted only a week ago has sprouted.  How appropriate - after all, yesterday was Earth day! 

 

Please ignore this spoiler - it was a failed attempt to post a photo.

 

 

Spoiler

Why did you look in here anyway?  I told you it was empty! 

 

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Mocha Jo

@Muledeer- ha! I frequently can't resist doing what I am told not to. Do you put your root veggies in the ground in the greenhouse? Do you dismantle the greenhouse so it doesn't get too hot later?

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Muledeer
13 hours ago, Mocha Jo said:

@Muledeer- ha! I frequently can't resist doing what I am told not to. Do you put your root veggies in the ground in the greenhouse? Do you dismantle the greenhouse so it doesn't get too hot later?

Yes, I plant everything directly in the ground  within the greenhouse.  It becomes a covered, protected garden during the growing season.  There are roof vents, floor vents, and a large fan on a timer placed in front of the back "window".  With all ventilation working properly, it stays under 110F most of the time and the plants just love that heat.  I think keeping the plants in the ground helps keep their roots cool, keeps them from drying out if I miss a watering day, and provides a connection the the earth that is beneficial.  

At an elevation of 8,300 feet in the mountains with roaming cattle, mule deer and other wildlife, (including hungry gophers and other rodents) the only way I can grow vegetables is within this protected environment.

Spoiler

IMG_20161105_163306.jpgIMG_20170315_181551.jpg

 

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SkyenAutowegCaptain

OK, I've started my small garden plantathon 

Broad beans, runner beans, mange touted, climbing French beans, red and yellow cherry tomatoes are in. Leeks, red onions, shallots, carrots and peas are going in tomorrow. Plus I've a couple of ghost chilli plants for the kitchen windowsill 

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Mocha Jo

Oh, boy- those ghost chilis are too hot for me! I like jalapeños and I am putting in the little round Italian cherry hot peppers. Nothing hotter! I did get my seeds into starter pots so I can plant the end of May. I put the hot peppers, butternut squash, pumpkins, cherry tomatoes, kale, pickling cucumbers and various beans in. I'd better get going and build my space for the squashes/pumpkins soon! The rest of the space is done and waiting for plants. 

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Guest Jetsun Milarepa

In the past, I've grown garlic, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bramley apples , victoria plums, squashes and pumpkins (although it was a battle with mice/other animals who liked to eat them), onions, leeks, potatoes, broccoli and cabbage, but right now I have what cold be described as a postage stamp outside my kitchen window, so I just have basil, parsley and chives on that window...I'm getting broody about planting though, having read all these yummy posts!:D

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Autumn Sunrise

It's around 10 pm, and the first frost for the season has come a-creeping, furring the tops of our cars. This afternoon I renewed the lagging around the pumps and ourdoor taps, and *cats* stripped out from the garden every remaining tomato, eggplant, capsicum and zucchini that looked as though it might ripen inside. I dug up the last of the potatoes a few days ago - lots of big pink beauties :P The chickens are cosily locked up for the night, with an extra thick layer of straw on the floor, and hopefully we're ready for winter :)

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Muledeer

@Autumn Sunrise Although I am aware of our opposing seasons, hearing the details from you about how the seasons progress on the other side of the world is just fascinating to me.  Up here, the harvesting you just described would be done in mid September.   Until I met you, I assumed that Australia had a much milder climate, and that snow and frost were almost unheard of down there.  I still assume that snow cover through the entire winter is rare, but how interesting to hear that you also have to take precautions in keeping your water systems from freezing.  How cold can it get where you live?  Do you live in the Outback?

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Mocha Jo

Darn- the tagging thing isn't working. Autumn Sunrise- it is so cool to hear from the southern hemisphere. When we are in winter we can read about your gardens and harvests and dream about ours.  And hopefully our gardens can brighten your winter.

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Autumn Sunrise
13 hours ago, Muledeer said:

@Autumn Sunrise Although I am aware of our opposing seasons, hearing the details from you about how the seasons progress on the other side of the world is just fascinating to me.  Up here, the harvesting you just described would be done in mid September.   Until I met you, I assumed that Australia had a much milder climate, and that snow and frost were almost unheard of down there.  I still assume that snow cover through the entire winter is rare, but how interesting to hear that you also have to take precautions in keeping your water systems from freezing.  How cold can it get where you live?  Do you live in the Outback?

Not in what we call the Outback :D We live in a rural area west of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, but not too far from various townships and a small city or two. You're right  - snow cover through the winter is rare in Australia - it's probably restricted to a few alpine regions; but we do get fairly regular frost, sometime quite severe, where we live, and usually at least one snowfall each winter. We have trouble growing citrus and passionfruit here, although we've managed to nurture a couple of oranges, a lemon and a lime; it's a bit slow, but I think they might make it now, although they're still small after a few years. (Between the climate and the horse next door, sadly the passionfruit gave up the ghost!) The upside, though, is that we can grow apples and stone fruit . . . although who knows, if climate change affects the chill factor too much :o Last night's frost was a bit of a surprise, this early; the ground was covered quite thickly and the last of it didn't melt until around 8.30. I also found thick plates of ice in the top of a couple of water buckets! According to "Weatherzone", the temperature in this area got down to -4 Celsius last night ; I don't think we'd get lower than about -7 here, through the winter. We keep pumps and outside water taps lagged because not long after we moved here a metal plate on the firefighting pump cracked during a heavy frost, causing water to spray in all directions, and had to be replaced at considerable expense.

 

@Mocha Jo I love hearing about your gardens and seasonal changes too :D

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