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Victory Gardens! How-to, what to grow, and so much more!

 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1707
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Figured this is a good place to share another hugel project.

 
Posts: 6
Location: Chilean now in Northeast PA
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Hi, newbie here and also in PA!  We just expanded our backyard garden from last year.  We're going into our second season.  We do raised beds, with wood leftover from the roofing company I work for.  During the winter, we buried the kitchen scraps directly in the beds.  The beds are laid out so that we can comfortably work without compacting soil.  Keyholes are also incorporated into the design for maximizing water infiltration.  

We rent the property, so we've kind of limited how much we do keeping in mind that we might end up converting it back to lawn depending on what the landlord wants.  

These photos are from last week of March when society shut down and the garden season started up.  
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Alex Torres
Posts: 6
Location: Chilean now in Northeast PA
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These are from last week (April 23ish?) - so you can get a sense of the progress in one month.  It's been a bit cool here but things are growing slowly but surely.
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Alex Torres
Posts: 6
Location: Chilean now in Northeast PA
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And these are from last year when we started - plus how the garden looked at its peak to get an idea of where we hope to be headed with this.
The-first-beds-2019.jpg
This is the closest thing I have to a "before picture." Just imagine standard lawn.
This is the closest thing I have to a
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Taken from second-floor window
Taken from second-floor window
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intensive vertical growing
intensive vertical growing
 
Posts: 57
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Those are great pictures, Alex. It's helpful to see your setup at the beginning of the season, then all the growth! Those sunflowers are spectacular.
It's easy to see the effort and love put into these gardens.
 
pollinator
Posts: 118
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
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Alex, those gardens are absolutely brilliant! Looks like you get a ton of production out of a pretty tight space. And kudos for getting your child involved, too. I struggle with that a bit (but they are twins, so everything is a bit hairy).
 
Posts: 153
Location: Vermont, USA
27
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The pandemic has prompted buy-in from my DH, who treated my gardening and chickens as annoyances last year (until he tasted the food). Suddenly he is Mr. Self-Sufficiency and happily built new raised beds and welcomed the wood chips instead of protesting mightily. I am not one to buy a lot of soil for raised beds, so mine are filled with rotten wood, chicken bedding, leaf mold, and compost.

In addition to the new beds, I’ve added two mulberry trees, an apple and a plum tree, elderberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. And ground cherries!  Mustn’t forget them!

I’ve mulched a much larger area around the raised beds for more flowers and herbs. I’m going to plant a moringa in a container; it will have to come in the house for the winter in Vermont, but it’s worth an experiment.

DH is helping me build an arched trellis to maximize the garden space. This is all so exciting that I almost forget there’s a horrible, frightening pandemic going on. I moved to Vermont to live like this, and having his support is a big help. He has gone from calling my wood chip pile an “eyesore” to asking when we can get a new delivery. <fist pump>!
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Sorry sideways. It keeps snowing!
Sorry sideways. It keeps snowing!
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Last fall
Last fall
 
pollinator
Posts: 1286
Location: Green County, Kentucky
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For all the bad, there are some good things coming out of all of this.  My middle daughter has always hated gardening, but she and her husband built several large container gardens on their deck this spring.  I know several other people who are either starting gardens, or increasing the size of existing gardens.  And I’m milking a goat again.  I’ve had goats for most of the last forty years (gosh, hard to believe it’s been that long!), but after hurting my back a few years ago I thought I was done with that.  I got my current goats after we moved here a couple of years ago, primarily for weed control.  Really wasn’t expecting to be milking again.  But here we are!
 
gardener
Posts: 2389
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:

I’ve had goats for most of the last forty years (gosh, hard to believe it’s been that long!), but after hurting my back a few years ago I thought I was done with that.

There are lots of things people can do to change the height we need to do jobs. I've seen ramps up to raised milkers, for example, or those special chairs some dental hygienists use that support you as you lean forward. If your back hurts when milking, think about the position, possibly get someone to observe your position, and see what sort of creative ideas you, or our fellow permies can come up with. I've not milked personally, but it seems like it should be a sort of zen thing to do - not give you pain afterward!
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1286
Location: Green County, Kentucky
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Jay Angler wrote:Kathleen Sanderson wrote:

I’ve had goats for most of the last forty years (gosh, hard to believe it’s been that long!), but after hurting my back a few years ago I thought I was done with that.

There are lots of things people can do to change the height we need to do jobs. I've seen ramps up to raised milkers, for example, or those special chairs some dental hygienists use that support you as you lean forward. If your back hurts when milking, think about the position, possibly get someone to observe your position, and see what sort of creative ideas you, or our fellow permies can come up with. I've not milked personally, but it seems like it should be a sort of zen thing to do - not give you pain afterward!



It wasn’t milking itself that was the issue.  At the time I hurt my back, we were living in the high desert and buying most of our feed, and lived on a steep slope.  So hauling bags of grain and bales of hay around was an issue, and carrying water in the winter was an issue.  At the worst point, I couldn’t even get out there to take care of them - it was all I could do to get from my bed to the bathroom.  My back is somewhat better now, plus our property is mostly more level, and the climate is milder.  Those of us who are getting older, and/or have physical disabilities, have to think about those things, and, if necessary, sometimes even relocate to a different property that is more suitable for our limitations.  Another decision I made was to get smaller goats (Kinder goats instead of Nubians).  They are a little easier to handle.  I have made one adaptation to my milking stand - it is higher than the others I’ve had, because of the goats being shorter.
 
Mike Barkley
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1707
Location: mountains of Tennessee
635
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This is the same lawn smothering victory gardenish area I showed here a while back. The buckwheat is the most predominate thing so far. It grows fast. The first round of beans planted at the same time got hit with a late cold snap last week. You win some, you lose some. Have no fear. There are plenty of peanuts that haven't sprouted quite yet. With a fresh batch of beans carefully planted. Plus a round of rowdy grex beans were thrown onto it when this week's rains started. It also has an experimental sweet potato or two & sunroot seeds that look promising. There will almost certainly be a lot of relatively easy food coming from what was lawn.

Less lawn, more food. It can be done. I hope everyone who started brand new victory gardens this year is doing at least this well. The recent pix from everyone look great!!!






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Posts: 43
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Update ... harvesting greens (all sorts) and french breakfast radishes (which are super mild compared to any other radishes I've had previously).

Tomatoes and peppers mostly transplanted but off to a slow start with this cool spring and late frost Mother's Day weekend. Actually covered them with pickle jars that weekend.

Started sweet potato slips and am working on building a "window" box to grow the off the ground inside our waterfowl pen. I figure they can nibble at any greens spilling over within reach.
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Anne Pratt
Posts: 153
Location: Vermont, USA
27
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Aren't those radishes pretty!  I just planted some, and I can't wait to try them.  And the hoops!  Just beautiful!
 
These are not the droids you are looking for. Perhaps I can interest you in a tiny ad?
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