How does your garden grow?

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Farside
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#41 Post by Farside » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:05 pm

I picked a kilo yesterday, and another kilo today. I'll probably pick about 1/2 a kilo tomorrow and then I think I'll be done with blackcurrants.

Next up are the serviceberry / saskatoons and blueberries which are just getting started. I got one of those berry combs and a screener in the hopes that it will reduce my time picking. As idyllic as berry picking seems, around here it involves sweltering heat, mosquitos, horse flies, and wasps. I'd rather pick them quickly and sort them in the cool evening inside.

Farside
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#42 Post by Farside » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:39 am

Last night I made blackcurrant jam. In total I picked 3Kg of berries. I added 2Kg of sugar and then added another 0.5Kg near the end to adjust for taste. All up I got roughly 4Kg of jam.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#43 Post by Farside » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:43 pm

I harvested my multiplier onions the other day and I cooked one last night to see what they taste like. They are very similar to a shallot. They cook down to a gooey, mild, sweet onion that holds its texture but just not as firm as a regular brown onion. They are going onto pizza tonight so I'll let you know how that goes.

I harvested a shopping bag full of kale the other day too. The first cut of the season. I stripped the stems out (they went to the chickens) and the leaves went into the dehydrator set on low. I then put the dried leaves into the blender and cam away with about a cup and a half of course kale powder. We can add it to soups, stews, and casseroles as a nutrition booster.

Edit: yeah the pizza was great. It did have oyster mushrooms and chanterelles on it, but the onions are certainly "kid friendly" and paired well with the other ingredients. The immediate complaint from my family is that being so small, they will be a pain in the ass to peel. Oh well, small price to pay for extremely good storage qualities beyond that of a larger onion.

Farside
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#44 Post by Farside » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:16 pm

Today I harvested 65 good sized hardneck garlic bulbs and hung them up to cure. In about 4 weeks I'll be planting cloves from these bulbs for next year's crop. In the meantime, I will add add manure, bone meal, kelp, and rock dust to the bed to replace the nutrients used.

I also harvested my red onions which were growing amongst the carrots. The bulb size is quite variable, but they're all useable. There were also some brown onions and white onions mixed in. I found the white onions bolted and the bulbs divided. They still appear useable though.

I bundled the garlic into groups of 20 bulbs, tied them together and hung them from the rafters in the garden shed to dry. The onions are laying on the floor for now, and I'll hang them when I get the chance.

Tom Kleffman
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#45 Post by Tom Kleffman » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:20 pm

15 years ago I started collecting short season/cold weather appropriate seeds. Everything from upper missouri river native american crops, to siberian versions of south american annuals. Also changed my families diet to match. most of the food is dry storage with no need for processing, being long storage insect resistant C. Mochata squash, flour and flinty corns, dry pole beans and cool weather root crops (carrots, garlic and rutabaga). We grow and dry herbs, and wet-process only red sauce (tomatoes with garlic, peppers, and fresh herbs) and potted meat/fish. Also get a year's worth of apples without even trying.

Much of what I sorted through in the last decade and a half was that a lot of things are made far more difficult than it needs to be, and the first things and bulk of what goes in, is things that are going to produce pretty much no matter what. After that, you do the extras (longer season things, exotics, experiments and crosses for selection)

Historically, local area appropriate diets, with the ability to sustain them yourself without external input, are most important if you worry about breakdowns in systems due to scarcity or social unrest.

Tom

Farside
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#46 Post by Farside » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:35 pm

Well both my vertical onion growing and potato growing experiments were a bust. In comparison to the control patch, the onions were small and the yields were low. I noticed that moisture control is a challenge with this system and maybe this is the problem. I got a few full sized bulbs, but most were stunted.

I have no idea what the deal was with the potatoes. I planted some in the ground this year and they were dismal too. The garbage bag system yielded less potatoes than what I planted in the spring. I have no idea how that even happens.

Needless to say, the lesson for me here is that if we were relying on these crops then my family would be dead before spring. It took me a few seasons to figure out how to grow garlic, onions, and carrots. In fact, this is the first year I have successfully grown full sized carrots that aren't riddled with bugs.

My lesson this year is that when food gets short, it is extremely difficult to grow an instant garden. You need years (well, I do anyway) to learn about the requirements for each plant and discover what works and what is simply a pinterest illusion.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#47 Post by Farside » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:01 pm

So I wish I knew this before I started my potato experiment:
Potatoes need cool soil. And growing them in garbage bags above ground results in warm soil that will often reduce yields significantly. The most productive method of growing potatoes is still in the ground and mounding them in the traditional way. I also used soil I had made with sawdust and coffee grounds. It's amazing black soil that is packed with nutrients. Not the type of soil that produces loads of potatoes apparently as it's too fertile.

Next season I think I'll reserve the bags for growing tomatoes and peppers where warm rich soil is beneficial.

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