• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Beau M. Davidson
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • Timothy Norton
  • Nancy Reading
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Christopher Weeks
gardeners:
  • Tina Wolf
  • Saana Jalimauchi
  • thomas rubino

Nikki Aims to Grow 100,000 Calories

 
gardener
Posts: 767
Location: South Carolina
452
homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Update (April 2023): Priorities have changed for this year, so I won't be growing and tracking a million calories. My current goal is 100,000 calories this year.

I'm pursuing the PEP BB to grow one million calories over the course of one calendar year.

One million calories is a lofty goal, considering I've barely gardened for the last 3 years and gardened on a much smaller scale for 9 years before that. I'm reclaiming an old garden area that's around 1/6 of an acre, along with a handful of smaller areas around the yard. I figure even if I don't reach a million, I may accomplish the 100,000 calorie goal, so I'll be working on requirements for both.

My expectation of main crops (For the 100,000 calorie goal, I need 12 crops with at least 2000 calories from each):
1. Watermelon
2. Muskmelon
3. Dried bean
4. Pea
5. Fig
6. Winter squash
7. Pumpkin
8. Okra
9. Pecan
10. Beet
11. Sweet potato
12. Potato

Along with (need at least 30 total crops):
Asparagus
Green bean
Ridged luffa (Chinese okra)
Lettuce and various greens
Zucchini and summer squash
Cucumber
Radish
Daikon radish
Kohlrabi
Raspberry
Grape
Blueberry
Goji berry
Ground cherry
Passion fruit
Prickly pear cactus
Tomato
Pepper
Corn
Garlic
Onion
Fennel bulb
Jicama
Sunchoke
Chia
Flax
Sesame
Sunflower
Oats
Herbs – including chives, parsley, mint, rosemary, basil, sage, etc.

And these since they're required:
Broccoli
Carrot
Rhubarb
Stinging nettle
Horseradish
Comfrey
Rye
Sweet clover
Crocus
Daffodil

I've never grown some of these, including flax chia, and sesame. Others, I have limited experience with, unsuccessfully growing them a couple of times, such as broccoli and carrots. I have a few strawberry plants that were given to me late last year, but any harvest from those won't count as it doesn't fit the requirement of plants that were already there or were started from seed.

I grow other non-food crops and support plants that aren't listed as well, such as flowers and medicinal herbs.

Other requirements:
  • Perennials, biennials and annuals are fine but foraging is not
  • Can not be used for animal feed
  • No inputs from more than 500 feet away (tomato starts from the big box store aren't allowed) except for seeds
  • For reference, an American football field is 360 ft long.
  • Potato tubers and sweet potato slips are allowed as long as there is 5 times more produce than "seed."
  • All systems are polyculture systems
  • All plants' roots must be in contact with at least 3 different species
  • No more than 30% of an area is one type of plant, preferably 10%
  • Half the food is grown without irrigation
  • Irrigation from a watering can during seed establishment is acceptable
  • All food needs to be grown in the same calendar year.
  •  
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 7
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    A bit about where I'm at:

    I have clay soil with a little sand and a lot of rocks that are softball size or smaller. I'm told this land was all cornfield a number of years ago, and I assume conventional methods were used.  Most of the 1/6 acre hasn't been touched in 3 years or more, and it's beginning to transition to a forest with small oak and sweet gum trees.

    I am in US growing zone 7b. Summers are humid and generally dry, with a couple of months with little to no rain and temperatures up to 100F (37C). Winters are usually wet and raining for a month or two, and temperatures may get down to 10F (-12C). Most winter days stay in the 35-55F (1-13C) degree range. Average last frost is April 12-18. Average first frost is October 30-November 5.

    December and January are my "Persephone Days," when there is less than 10 hours of daylight. The longest days in June get a little over 14 hours of sunlight. The eastern side of the garden is in partial shade from the neighboring forest for a couple of hours in the morning. The western side of the garden is in shade for a couple of hours in the late afternoon. The rest of the garden is in full sun.

    My main pests or problems with growing food have been deer (my biggest problem, especially since they're losing a lot of their land to developers), flea beetles, squash vine borers, Japanese beetles, and fungal diseases from high humidity. Rabbits, squirrels, stray cats, and other bugs are problems some years, too.
     
    steward
    Posts: 5632
    Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland. Nearly 70 inches rain a year
    2670
    4
    transportation dog forest garden foraging trees books food preservation woodworking wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
    • Likes 7
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Brilliant Nikki - good luck with your efforts.
    I'm afraid I will have to work out a PEN - Permaculture Experience according to Nancy, since Paul's climate is just too different for me to have much chance of growing some of the list : melon, 3 sisters, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, and grape would all be a push here, although there is nothing about using protected areas, so maybe my polytunnel area could count? I'll have to ask a question to find out!
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 358
    Location: Hamburg, Germany
    116
    • Likes 5
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I think the 100,000 calorie goal would be interesting this year, though I must agree that the crocus and daffodil requirements are odd.  Daffodils aren’t poisonous - ETA a quick Google says that’s wrong! - and I inherited a few from the previous owner, but crocuses are not a thing I would plant in my garden on purpose.  (There is a colony spreading along my neighbors’ gardens that I’m keeping an eye on) I guess I might order a couple saffron crocuses to plant in a known controlled location…
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 6
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Nancy, it seems like plants grown under a tunnel would count as long as they meet the diversity criteria, but I'm curious to see the official answer, too.

    Morfydd St. Clair, fortunately I already had daffodils. Crocus wasn't something that I had planned to plant before this challenge, so I settled on saffron crocus to have some sort of harvest. It sounded like it would be an interesting addition to show other people when they visit my garden.
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 10
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    BBs are meant to be done alone, without help from others. I'm gardening with my toddler (Roo), and I'm assuming the "help" she offers is acceptable.

    Roo and I have begun sowing seeds -- a few perennial herbs and cold hardy veggies. I'm not planting by the moon cycles, but this will be the first year that I track if it makes a difference, comparing seeds planted on different days. I'm using the Farmers' Almanac planting calendar as a reference.

    Of the 1/6 acre, I used to garden in about 1/3 of it. My husband and his grandfather managed the other 2/3 for a couple of years, planting some and letting some go fallow. My husband has stopped gardening since then, and his grandfather passed away a few years ago.

    I tried to get a handle on a small part of it in 2020. I weeded and mulched around some perennials, installed a trellis, and added a few annual veggies and some personal touches.


    2 weeks later, I found out I was pregnant, and fatigue, heat intolerance, and all-day nausea kept me from the garden the rest of that season.

    2021, postpartum recovery was rough, and my plans to baby wear while in the garden fell through.

    2022, I was still recovering but made it a priority to get outside with Roo. I chopped and dropped a small area so that she could get to the raspberries.


    Now I'm working on chopping and dropping the whole area. Here is a before photo and some of my progress.
    PXL_20221118_221030580-2.jpg
    Before chop and drop
    Before chop and drop
    PXL_20221229_202417932.jpg
    Working on chop and drop
    Working on chop and drop
     
    gardener
    Posts: 1864
    Location: Japan, zone 9a/b, annual rainfall 2550mm, avg temp 1.5-32 C
    913
    2
    kids home care trees cooking bike woodworking ungarbage
    • Likes 7
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Your experience may differ, but I have found that trying to document the calorie projects means extra planning needs to be taken.

    Set up your scales and storage before harvest. Double check the requirements. Get a camera ready.

    Make sure your documentation procedures are future proof. Do you have necessary dates logged? Do you have photos of the growing area while everything is growing.

    Also the sourcing requirements of seeds and plants is quite strict, so especially for the 1,000,000 calorie where there's no forgiveness outside of 1 year, make sure your plants meet the requirements.

    My calorie counting has fallen off, but since the 100,000 badge bit is a bit more forgiving I'm not too stressed out - just trying to enjoy the food we grow is pleasure enough for me for now.
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 7
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Good points, L. Johnson. Thanks for the advice!

    Planning is rarely my forte. I love to brainstorm and make lists and try out lots of ideas. When it comes to finalizing a plan and working out the details, I end up winging a lot of it. I can see how that could work against me in this case.

    I need to get in the habit of taking my phone to the garden more often and taking photos. Since I've been leading Roo not to use the phone outside, that will need some working around.

    How can I count the calories that we eat while harvesting or playing outside? I've been known to eat a meal out there, and Roo is following my example.

    I need to make a bigger effort to eat from the pantry and chest freezer so that we have room for an influx of summer produce, and I'm likely underestimating how much space I need for winter squash and sweet potato storage.

    A warm week has caused weeds to grow prolifically, so I started feeling overwhelmed in the garden this morning. One step at a time. Even if I don't meet the 1,000,000 calorie goal, I expect to have more produce for my family and me this year, and that's the main goal.
    PXL_20230111_172431743-2.jpg
    Sorting through some cool season veggie seeds
    Sorting through some cool season veggie seeds
     
    steward
    Posts: 10637
    Location: Pacific Wet Coast
    5729
    duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
    • Likes 5
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Nikki Roche wrote:I need to get in the habit of taking my phone to the garden more often and taking photos. Since I've been leading Roo not to use the phone outside, that will need some working around.

    It's a balance of short and long-term goals, and I would see teaching a child not to be "phone dependent" high on my priority list! Have you considered asking around to see if anyone could loan or sell you second-hand a dedicated digital camera for the year?

    And wrote:

    How can I count the calories that we eat while harvesting or playing outside? I've been known to eat a meal out there, and Roo is following my example.

    The only way I could see would be to have a weigh scale out in the garden and make a game of weighing what you pick and eat. I wouldn't be too rigid regarding Roo's "picking" because I expect it will be pretty hard to get Roo to pick into a basket that isn't a mouth!
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Ha! Jay, you're right about Roo's picking. I'll be surprised if any raspberries make it into my calorie count.

    Great idea about a digital camera. It would be an extra couple of steps, uploading to my laptop instead of directly from my phone, but that could be worth it.
     
    Jay Angler
    steward
    Posts: 10637
    Location: Pacific Wet Coast
    5729
    duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
    • Likes 5
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Nikki Roche wrote:Ha! Jay, you're right about Roo's picking. I'll be surprised if any raspberries make it into my calorie count.


    OT - Story Time

    One summer, my sister went to another province for a summer job. My father commented that he'd been planning to remove the raspberries in the back yard, because they hadn't produced any berries, and now, all of a sudden, this year they were doing really well. I looked at him quizzically and said, "That's just because Ann isn't here to pick them."  My sister used to go jogging every morning and then stop by the raspberry patch for breakfast! She was *very* thorough!
    Staff note (Nikki Roche) :

    Ha! That's funny.

     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    While this challenge is to grow 1,000,000 calories, my deeper goal is to improve our health with homegrown foods. So on top of calorie-dense foods, I also want high fiber and nutrient-dense crops like colorful, antioxidant-rich produce and potent herbs.

    With that in mind, I've found these threads to be interesting:
    Growing herb and spice substitutes  
    Staple crops
    Favorite crops for a survival garden

    Defining Parameters
    Here is how I'll be meeting some of the requirements.

    "Perennials, biennials and annuals are fine but foraging is not." Sometimes there is a fine line between foraging and gardening. I'm using Paul's definition of forage gardening. The passionfruit vines that I dug up from our property and planted at the forest edge falls under foraging. They have zero protection, fertilization, etc. If deer eat them to the ground and the plants die, that's ok. However, the Deer Detour section that I'm planting for the deer, I count as gardening instead of foraging. I don't expect to get a harvest from it since it's not protected, but I will mulch some, make strides to improve the soil, and protect young perennials from deer until they get well established, all with intentions of turning the area into a cultivated food forest in the future.
    I'll count any harvest from the volunteer elders that I've pruned and cultivated around but not the ones growing in the wild edge of the forest.

    "No inputs from more than 500 feet away (tomato starts from the big box store aren't allowed) except for seeds." So perennials need to be already there or started by me from seed.

    Since I'm on family land that's been in my husband's family for a few generations, I'm not sure what counts as "already there." Some things were planted by my husband, some by his parents, and some by his grandfather. Some of the plants, no one remembers how long they've been there or how they ended up there. I'm counting the harvest of whatever was there before we moved back to this land and I took over gardening tasks (or said I would take them over, even though reality took a different turn).

    What won't count: The mulberry, paw paws, or cherries that I planted a while back from saplings, or the elder that I purchased and planted in the garden.  Strawberries from the plants that I was given last year and the lemon thyme plant that I bought also won't be included.

    Here's a Zoom Earth view of the area that I'm working with. I didn't label everything.
    InShot_20230111_120548443.jpg
    Zoom Earth view of my growing area
    Zoom Earth view of my growing area
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Today I harvested my first radishes of the year.

    There is a corner in the garden where I planted seeds of black-eyed Susan quite a few years ago, and it's reseeded itself ever since. Even when the garden was completely overgrown, it was nice to see the cheery yellow flowers through the tall weeds.

    I sowed a few radish seeds around the small black-eyed Susan sprouts. Roo and I have also been munching on chickweed from this spot, and there is vetch and purple dead nettle throughout it.

    I'm not going to calculate calories until I have more to add, but I did weigh my meager harvest. I shredded the radishes and diced the leaves and mixed them with shredded potatoes for hash browns. My family approved.

    Radishes - 39 g
    Radish leaves - 18 g

    My favorite part of the radish plants are the seed pods, but I can't figure out how to calculate those calories when the time comes.
    PXL_20230127_203325868.jpg
    My 3 radishes
    My 3 radishes
    PXL_20230127_204605748.jpg
    Radishes
    Radishes
    PXL_20230127_204645682.jpg
    Radish Greens
    Radish Greens
    PXL_20230127_203134859-2.jpg
    Radishes among the black-eyed Susan and "weeds"
    Radishes among the black-eyed Susan and "weeds"
     
    master gardener
    Posts: 1606
    Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
    713
    6
    forest garden trees chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking homestead ungarbage
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Nikki Roche wrote:
    My favorite part of the radish plants are the seed pods, but I can't figure out how to calculate those calories when the time comes.


    I wonder if using sprouted radish seeds is a good guestimate. It seems like roughly the right green-to-seedmass ratio. For that I’m seeing 16 Cal/cup.
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Christopher Weeks wrote:

    Nikki Roche wrote:
    My favorite part of the radish plants are the seed pods, but I can't figure out how to calculate those calories when the time comes.


    I wonder if using sprouted radish seeds is a good guestimate. It seems like roughly the right green-to-seedmass ratio. For that I’m seeing 16 Cal/cup.



    Thank you! You might be on to something there. I just looked up green bean calories compared to bean sprout calories, and they were pretty close. I use radish seed pods in place of green beans in winter soup, so that comparison makes sense to me.
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Asparagus time! I forgot to weigh and photograph a couple of the harvests, but here is some. Our favorite way to cook it is drizzled with oil, sprinkled with salt and garlic powder, and roasted in the oven at 425F until desired tenderness. We used to cover it with mozzarella cheese, but I can't tolerate dairy at the moment.

    I've also been harvesting plantain and sage leaves, and I regularly help my daughter find bright yellow wood sorrel flowers to eat.

    Hurdles - Rabbits have returned, and it looks like rabbits are what ate the tops of my Brussels sprouts. Some perennials bloomed or sprouted too early thanks to an extended heat wave, so blueberries, figs, and others ended up with frost damage and will likely have reduced yields.

    Going well - It's been a wet spring, so I haven't needed to water anything. Potatoes are growing well and aren't showing any ant damage like they have in past years. I think it helped to briefly root them in a pot before planting in the garden. I also replaced the broken corner of the garden fence where deer were easily coming in.

    Totals:
    Radishes - 39 g
    Radish leaves - 18 g
    Asparagus - 301 g
    PXL_20230406_220735626.jpg
    206 grams of asparagus
    206 grams of asparagus
    PXL_20230327_194340198.jpg
    95 grams of asparagus
    95 grams of asparagus
     
    Morfydd St. Clair
    pollinator
    Posts: 358
    Location: Hamburg, Germany
    116
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Nikki Roche wrote:

    Christopher Weeks wrote:

    Nikki Roche wrote:
    My favorite part of the radish plants are the seed pods, but I can't figure out how to calculate those calories when the time comes.


    I wonder if using sprouted radish seeds is a good guestimate. It seems like roughly the right green-to-seedmass ratio. For that I’m seeing 16 Cal/cup.



    Thank you! You might be on to something there. I just looked up green bean calories compared to bean sprout calories, and they were pretty close. I use radish seed pods in place of green beans in winter soup, so that comparison makes sense to me.



    Interesting!  How do you use the pods in winter soups - wouldn't they be dried by then, or do you freeze them, or?
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Morfydd St. Clair wrote:
    Interesting!  How do you use the pods in winter soups - wouldn't they be dried by then, or do you freeze them, or?



    If I time the plantings well, I can have fresh radish seed pods into early winter with little protection. There are not normally steady hard freezes until December or January in my area. But yes, I freeze the pods, too. I hope to dehydrate some this year, to see how well they rehydrate in soup.
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I've documented a few small asparagus harvests. My harvests right now are more like the first photo -- small amounts of a few things that I quickly pick right before cooking, so I haven't been weighing them to document.

    Temperatures have felt like a true spring the last couple of weeks. They're expected to rise this week, with highs in the 70s-80s and lows in the 50s-60s (Fahrenheit).

    Going well: it's still been raining in good intervals, and temperatures have felt like a true spring. Surprisingly, there are a few unripe blueberries on the bushes even after the hard freeze when they were blooming. Herbs are doing well, with harvests of chickweed, plantain, rosemary, sage, and oregano.

    Hurdles: Deer crashed through the metal wire of my fence. They ate the tops of some asparagus, one of the tomatoes, and most of the green beans and sugar snap peas. Interestingly, while the yard is surrounded by blackberries, the deer seem partial to the blackberry plants that have invaded my garden. I wonder if they sense a difference in nutrition with the materials that I've sporadically added to the garden over the years.

    Totals:
    Radishes - 39 g
    Radish leaves - 18 g
    Asparagus - 654 g
    PXL_20230413_211456163.jpg
    A quick harvest of chickweed, asparagus, and parsley for a frittata
    A quick harvest of chickweed, asparagus, and parsley for a frittata
    PXL_20230417_221941331.jpg
    114 grams of asparagus
    114 grams of asparagus
    PXL_20230424_213309998.jpg
    88 grams of asparagus
    88 grams of asparagus
    PXL_20230428_212422904.jpg
    66 grams of asparagus, diced for roasting
    66 grams of asparagus, diced for roasting
    PXL_20230504_151859216.jpg
    85 grams of asparagus
    85 grams of asparagus
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I harvested 1/4 cup of chocolate mint and baked chocolate mint muffins. I couldn't find a recipe that uses fresh leaves and figured I would piece a recipe together on my own. On a whim, I asked ChatGPT (artificial intelligence) for a recipe, and it came up with one that was really close to what I would have created myself. The only problem that I see is the baking powder -- I think 1 Tbsp is too much.

    Totals:
    Radishes - 39 g
    Radish leaves - 18 g
    Asparagus - 654 g
    Mint chocolate leaves - 15 g
    PXL_20230607_211015528.jpg
    Part of the month chocolate that's taking over its section in my garden
    Part of the mint chocolate that's taking over its section in my garden
    PXL_20230607_212655046.jpg
    15 g of mint chocolate leaves
    15 g of mint chocolate leaves
    PXL_20230608_120852419.PORTRAIT.jpg
    Mini mint chocolate muffins - tasted good!
    Mini mint chocolate muffins - tasted good!
    Screenshot_20230604-071902.png
    Mint chocolate muffins recipe from ChatGPT, part 1
    Mint chocolate muffins recipe from ChatGPT, part 1
    Screenshot_20230604-071912.png
    Mint chocolate muffins recipe from ChatGPT, part 2
    Mint chocolate muffins recipe from ChatGPT, part 2
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Obstacles: Nearly all of my potato plants suffered and died in the cool, wet spring. I'm glad we're not fully reliant on the garden for food, or that would really stress me out. However, it was nice to feel like we had a spring, instead of straight to hot, dry summer weather.

    Going well: Herbs are thriving! Not calorie-dense but high in other benefits and nutrition. I joke that I just need to grow a garden full of herbs and find veggies gardeners to trade with.

    I harvested lemon balm leaves and added them to two batches of lemon balm bread. Everyone that's tried it has claimed to love it.

    Recipe:
    2 cups flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 packed cup of lemon balm leaves
    1 cup of "wet" ingredient -- in one batch, I used yogurt. In the other, I used grated zucchini. Both worked well.
    1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar, depending on desired sweetness
    2 eggs
    3 Tbsp lemon juice
    scant half cup of ghee, melted (3.75 oz) -- can substitute melted coconut oil or 1/2 of butter
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp lemon balm extract (optional)

    Mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another. Mix wet and dry together. Bake at 350 or 375 until the top of the bread springs back when touched.

    I baked one in a loaf pan and the other in an 8x8" pan. Muffins work well, too.

    Totals:
    Radishes - 39 g
    Radish leaves - 18 g
    Asparagus - 654 g
    Mint chocolate leaves - 15 g
    Lemon balm - 57 g
    PXL_20230609_152500035.jpg
    Harvesting lemon balm
    Harvesting lemon balm
    PXL_20230609_161730463.jpg
    23 grams of lemon balm
    23 grams of lemon balm
    PXL_20230506_133443080.jpg
    Lemon balm bar, cut from the 8x8" pan
    Lemon balm bar, cut from the 8x8
    PXL_20230504_151516117.jpg
    34 grams of lemon balm
    34 grams of lemon balm
    PXL_20230610_151234185-2.jpg
    Slices of lemon balm bread
    Slices of lemon balm bread
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 262
    Location: Western North Carolina - Zone 7B stoney
    70
    hugelkultur dog forest garden trees cooking bee wood heat homestead
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Paw paw is delicious, and I should have grabbed more seed when I was living in south Carolina.
     
    William Wallace
    pollinator
    Posts: 262
    Location: Western North Carolina - Zone 7B stoney
    70
    hugelkultur dog forest garden trees cooking bee wood heat homestead
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Nikki Roche wrote: I'm glad we're not fully reliant on the garden for food, or that would really stress me out.



    Imagine hundreds of years ago, when a bag of seed could determine if your family lives or not.  There's some powerful feeling that I get when I hold a bag of assorted seeds, because as if can feel the importance (even though we are disconnected from that life by the grocery store).  
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    William Wallace wrote:

    Nikki Roche wrote: I'm glad we're not fully reliant on the garden for food, or that would really stress me out.



    Imagine hundreds of years ago, when a bag of seed could determine if your family lives or not.  There's some powerful feeling that I get when I hold a bag of assorted seeds, because as if can feel the importance (even though we are disconnected from that life by the grocery store).  



    I admit that I took seeds for granted. So far, I've been able to acquire whatever seeds I've been looking for, and I currently have more than I'll use. Thank you for the perspective shift. I'll see the seeds with more gratitude next time I pull them out.
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Blueberry season is wrapping up, and we surprisingly had a few berries even after the hard frost damage. My daughter ate some straight from the bushes, but I was able to get photos of a few others.

    43 + 19 + 27 + 68 + 49 g = 206 grams

    Totals:
    Radishes - 39 g
    Radish leaves - 18 g
    Asparagus - 654 g
    Mint chocolate leaves - 15 g
    Lemon balm - 57 g
    Blueberries - 206 g - 117 calories

    Calorie calculator sources: NutritionValue.org
    PXL_20230609_153711515.jpg
    43 g of blueberries
    43 g of blueberries
    PXL_20230606_235401130.jpg
    19 g of blueberries
    19 g of blueberries
    PXL_20230605_163026480.jpg
    27 g of blueberries
    27 g of blueberries
    PXL_20230612_231954238.jpg
    68 g of blueberries
    68 g of blueberries
    PXL_20230615_201453670.jpg
    49 g of blueberries
    49 g of blueberries
    PXL_20230612_230321082.jpg
    Blueberry bush
    Blueberry bush
     
    Nikki Roche
    gardener
    Posts: 767
    Location: South Carolina
    452
    homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Adding some tomatoes to my total.

    I don't expect to add more to this thread this season. I'm feeling defeated at the moment but won't dwell on it after today. I'm trying to accept, regroup, and move on.
    Deer broke my fence last night and took full advantage of the buffet. They ate sweet potato and okra, topped some pepper and tomatoes, and decimated all of the cucumbers, melons, and winter squash. I had tulle over their favorites just in case (sweet potatoes and okra), and they moved the tulle aside like it was no big deal. I've tried a number of deterrents, but the deer here are aggressive, curious, and obviously hungry. Back to the drawing board for me.

    Totals:
    Radishes - 39 g
    Radish leaves - 18 g
    Asparagus - 654 g
    Mint chocolate leaves - 15 g
    Lemon balm - 57 g
    Blueberries - 206 g - 117 calories
    Tomatoes - 589 g
    PXL_20230721_205058551.jpg
    589 g of tomatoes
    589 g of tomatoes
     
    Jay Angler
    steward
    Posts: 10637
    Location: Pacific Wet Coast
    5729
    duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Sorry to hear the bad news - with our worse than usual drought, I'm dreading finding the same situation on my land. I keep telling Hubby that from the stress perspective alone, I want a "Fort Knox" garden space. #2 Son wants to build a house on part of our land. I told him I'd like it designed for a full load of soil on the roof - that way I could garden without worrying the deer could get to it!!!  Yes - it would be much more dependent on watering, but I'm having to do that with any annuals I grow anyway, because that's the only way I can have the plants in "protective custody."
     
    What's that smell? Hey, sniff this tiny ad:
    100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
    https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
    reply
      Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic