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Does anyone grow their OWN food?

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Old 01-10-2014, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default Does anyone grow their OWN food?

Just poking around to see if anyone has a bit of a green thumb like me.

Where I live, there is not much selection for fresh produce at all. What is here is very standard, and often in not the best of shape.

I also started, because due to my immune compromised self, some things (like raw lettuce and greens) that have a high incidence for being contaminated with baddies (like e. coli, etc) are not safe for me to eat since you don't cook salad greens. So I grew my own.

I stated last year, and what a trip! I recommend it to everyone. It's very rewarding and the quality of the vegetables is 100x better. I grew vegetables that I previously didn't like all that much, (although, I would eat pretty much anything... I don't discriminate, if it's edible I eat it) and ended up loving them.

There is nothing better than going out and picking a basket of whatever is ready and preparing it. Plus it's a nice hobby on top of that, relaxing and good exercise too.

Last year was a bit of a trial, but this year I am increasing my garden 10 fold nearly with a focus on getting some good winter veggies for storage which I didn't do much of last year.

Anyone else garden?
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:57 PM   #2
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I love my gardens and am already planning them! I also belong to a winter CSA and buy 90% of my produce from local suppliers. A few years ago I added a dehydrator so I can save all the summer yumminess for winter stews. It makes a big difference for us.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:00 PM   #3
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I never thought about dehydrating.

Nothing beats a carrot right out of the ground... In my opinion it's not even the same food as a storebought carrot.

We don't have much around here for local food, we have a farmers market but it's mostly prepared food, and there sometimes are people selling tomatoes and potatoes but that is about the end of it.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:09 PM   #4
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I'd really like to get my crap together this spring and have a garden of some sort. I did manage to keep some herbs alive last summer at least and that was nice! I have the area planned out, and I plan to do a bit of vertical gardening on the side of my fence to save some space as well! We do have a wonderful farmers market in the summer and even though it does cost a bit more, it just can't be beat. I can easily spend 20 dollars on a huge bag of cherry tomatoes and have them nearly finished in a weekend! They are the best snack! This year, I'm going to try growing my own, hopefully save some money while I'm at it!

Those who garden, what are you top 5 veggies to grow at home and why!?
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:10 PM   #5
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The heat/humidity has killed everything I've tried to grow except peppers. I keep meaning to give it 'one more try' but to see growing then wilting/dying plants kills me
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:48 PM   #6
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I was on quite the zucchini diet last summer. (too many plants--lesson learned! LOL) I even made a zucchini cake this week from some shredded zucchini I kept in the freezer.

This spring I'll be starting a small plot in our yard. I kept some seeds from last summers crop of beans, cucumbers, etc. so I am excite to see if they actually grow.

I would like to try growing sweet potatoes. I've never done that. Anyone have any tips?

My top 5: peas, pumpkin, carrots, cucumber, string beans
Why: I only like peas eaten raw so it's a big treat for me. Pumpkins are fun for the kids and friendly competition. Carrots are mysterious--you only know how big they are once you pull them out. Cucumbers are eaten so fast in my family it's worth it. String beans grew well and consistently, we could have them a few times a week and freeze some too.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:01 PM   #7
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I usually grow just one hill of summer squash and one of winter squash, that's more than enough for 2 of us

We like tomatoes, climbing beans, basil, garlic, kale, and chard. I haven't had a lot of luck with peas. The weather just doesn't work with me.

I dehydrate summer squash, eggplant, peppers, greens, and tomatoes and then any fruit I can get. I just crumble the dried veggies into crockpot stews to thicken and add nutrients.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:32 PM   #8
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I just bought my seeds for the coming season. I'm so excited! I've not had the opportunity to keep a garden since I was a teen. And back then, I hated it! But mostly because I wasn't emotionally invested in it like I am now.

I'm actually putting a garden in at my mother's house. Yes, it's the garden that I HATED working in, so I think this will be good therapy for me. I went nuts on buying seeds, but I live in Central California, where so many things grow well. And I have a HUGE garden space. I know I'll be over-planting, but I also plan to sell what I don't use. First order of business is to water the garden well so I can get the rototiller out in the next week or so. I've got fava beans I want to plant.

It's a totally organic space, having never had any sort of sprays in it for the last 50 years. It has harbored gophers and snails, so I'm getting some ducks to deal with the snails and a totally organic product called GopherOut to help the gophers move out.

If only they made a product called ManChildOut, to help my 21-year-old grow up and move out!
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:47 PM   #9
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I live with my parents. They both hunt and occasionally fish. Most of our meat (except chicken) is wild game. We also have a fairly large garden and a few potted herbs.

We always grow tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, squash, onions, zucchini and leafy lettuces or spinach.

We also sometimes grow sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, and/or radishes.

As for herbs, we grow cilantro, parsley, chamomile, garlic and chives.

Sometimes we're able to get a few wild strawberries to grow near the barn and some raspberries off the creek bank behind my house.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:47 PM   #10
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Go, Gardeners! I have grown our own veggies and some fruit for years.

Now that I 'm grown up - 75 next Tuesday - I have cut way back on the craziness but still have a great raised bed behind my barn.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:29 PM   #11
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I used to be the gardener in the family, but DH took over. He loves to grow fruit. He grows tangerines, lemons, limes, oranges, avocados, cherimoyas, sapotes, goji berries, guavas, several kinds of apples. He also grows veggies. We live in Southern California.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:11 PM   #12
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I'm in Atlantic Canada, so a lot of fruit trees other than apple trees are pretty much out of the question but I would LOOOOVE to do that.

We have a short growing season here between last frost of the spring and first frost of the winter; but I have never had a hard time growing anything, just need to start a lot of it indoors.

I grow carrots, yellow beans, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes galore, lettuce, squash, etc..

This year I am going to choose some things that like a frost, things like turnips, etc taste better after the first frost (makes them sweeter - does something to the sugars in the root) so you don't pick them until after that.

I am also going to be growing a good chunk of winter squash, lots of heirloom stuff, radishes, and more different types of green. Oh, I also grow rhubarb but that stuff pretty much grows itself.

Last year I had a bug issue. I do live in a relatively urban area and I found so many icky slugs and snaily things, especially around my cucumbers. Bleeehhhh... Last year I did not use any kind of repellent but someone told me about the wonders of food grade, all natural diatomaceous earth so I'm giving that a go this year.

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Old 01-10-2014, 06:59 PM   #13
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I not a good veggie grower but i am watering some pots of herbs that my sister planted when she was here and we've got some good fruit trees. This year millions of mangos. And just coming on now are carambola. And there's the first bunch of bananas i've ever grown on the tree right now, hoping i will put a bag on them so somebody else doesn't get to them, like the white tailed rats.

I also grow sweet potatoes as a weed. Actually as a ground cover. I don't like eating these so much. they are the white ones. The ducks like them and dig them up. They make a nice ground cover. You grow them from runners. Just pick the end of a plant - about 2-3 feet long, pull off all but the end weeds and stick it sideways in the soil. Keep it watered for the first little while until it takes on enough roots . It prefers warm climates so you may only do it in summer if your climate is cold.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:22 PM   #14
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I dabble in it but I don't have a lot of time either.....I have a small rhubarb patch...I once grew lettuce and we once grew a huge tomato plant....DH had success last summer with potatoes in a big pot outside...

has anyone ever tried pumpkins??...I had a nice pumpkin patch going one summer but the growing season here is too short and the frost killed it before we got pumpkins....
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:07 PM   #15
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Living in south florida, my DH and I grow veggies almost year round. We are currently growing chard, lettuce, collards, brocolli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, tomatos, cucumbers, peppers, etc. We also have a lemon tree which is currently loaded with lemons, plenty of limes and mint (mojitos!), pineapples, avocados, mangos. Yes, I still go to the farmer's market! LOL
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