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Archive for the Garden Category

A Distrubing Trend

Being that it is Tuesday and on Tuesday I talk about gardening I have a rather disturbing story to tell.  Last weekend I went to the farmers market to get veggies etcetera for this weeks meals.  I stopped off at my favorite hole-in-the-wall breakfast place and off I went.

I make my way down to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market, located off Yorkmount road in Charlotte NC.  I love this one, it one of the bigger farmers markets in the city and it is certainly the most popular.  As I walk around I see all shades of green.  Bok choy, asparagus, collard greens, beans and so on.

As I make my way down the rows, navigating the crowd I see out of the corner of my eye.  There it was, a vendor taking strawberries out of mass packed plastic containers and dumping them into these green cardboard buckets.  They then took these and placed them in their stall labeled “LOCAL NORTH CAROLINA PRODUCE”.

The way it is setup you can walk behind the stalls so I walked over and took a peek at these plastic containers.  “product of Mexico, packaged in the USA”.  Local washing is where you brand items as local produced when it is not.

As I walked around I found this to be the case for so many and not just strawberries, it was practically everything.  I found one guy who grew asparagus in his garden in Charlotte and I gladly handed him my four dollars.

I began to think about how this came to be or why this came to be.  I realized that smaller farmers simply cannot produce enough to meet the demands and the variety that people want.  This is why I think they have to buy mass produced items and sell them.  But I find that they lie and brand them as local is objectionable

What do you all think about this practice?   Do you see this at your local farmers market?

DIY Garden Project

Tonight I will be sharing a little project I have been working on for my garden.  Come check it out!

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Urban Homestead

Here is one of my favorite inspirations for gardening.  They are the Dervaes family is an impressive group, producing thousands of pounds of produce on only 1/10th of an acre.  You can see their website here

Gardening in a Small Space

So when you search for “small space gardening” or “gardening in a small space” or anything to that effect, I am so tired of only finding container gardening. While it works (to a point) I am always left wanting for something a bit more creative, something out of the box than the normal response of container gardening.

I have been doing container gardening for a while now and I keep on running into one big issue, plants being pot bound. It stunts their grown significantly on some plants, others it is fine. Now somethings should be kept in containers, mint for example, will take over you whole yard if you put it in the ground.

Parsley is a good example where it limited its growth. It was doing okay in the container I had it in (about 12 wide, by 8 deep in good soil) then I took it out and dropped it in the ground and it took off! If you are working in a small space, this may not be an option, you will have to contend with the drawbacks of container gardening, but it is better than nothing.

But still I long for some more diversity, the way most container garden is also not efficient.  How can we get more out of out containers? and  What else is out there?

Here is a portable option, taking tubing, semi permeable agro plastic and encasing dirt with it you have tube gardening. The best part is this is easily watered from downspout of gutters.

What about going to the dump and grabbing someone old gutter?  Powerwash them, attach to a wall and bam, you got yourself a pretty nifty garden on the cheap!

One thing I have been wanting to branch out into is apple trees.  But they tape so much room, most trees ask for 30 feet in diameter spacing!  Well what about flat apple trees?  I am so fascinated with these.  You take what ever young tree you want.  You simple train and prune it like you would a grape vine and eventually it is flat!  More info

Like I said before, people aren’t always thinking how they can maximize the space with container gardening,  In a tiny house I preach, “use the vertical”  meaning if we take a square foot on the floor, we are going to make it as tall as we can.  Here we have a string of pots hung vertically.  So instead of taking a few square feet on the ground for one pot, we instantly triple out production in the same space.

Here is a neat little gadget, basically it is a spring loaded pulley.  You can hang a pot very high, out of reach, remember, use the vertical.

Finally this is nothing new, but I thought it still deserved to be included, when gardening in a small space, you could consider vertical gardens.

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