Author Topic: Offgridliving's Garden 2012  (Read 7330 times)

Offline Offgridliving

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Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« on: April 15, 2012, 02:57:51 PM »
I know I haven't posted a lot here, and I apologize for that, but I've been so busy reading all of the great posts on this  forum that I haven't had a chance.
I wanted to share with everyone a few photos of my 2012 garden. It is all square foot and container gardening. This is my third year to work on this garden.
I am trying to grow at least 40% of the garden from Heirloom seeds this year. I'll let you know how it goes.
I took advantage of the unseasonably early warm weather that we experienced here in Arkansas and began planting on February 28 with some snow and snap peas. I pretty much had everything planted by the end of March. I usually don't even start thinking about planting things until the beginning of April.









There are several new things that I'm trying this year, such as planting potatoes in 5 gal. buckets and planting corn in a container.
Thanks for looking!! :)

Offline average_joe

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 04:19:11 PM »
Wow that is nice! That is a beautiful garden, please don't hesitate to post more pics!

Offline RationalHusker

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 04:34:46 PM »
That looks really nice.  Good example of what can be done in a small space in an urban/suburban setting.  Looking forward to seeing your progress this growing season - you're off to a great start.

Offline Herew

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 07:05:17 PM »
Looking good! I'm so jealous of people who can plant already. I can't put anything in the ground until the beginning of May.
What do you have growing in that blue barrel?

Offline Rockhill

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 07:20:34 PM »
Now that is one hell of a nice urban garden, good job!   ;)

Offline Offgridliving

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 07:25:36 PM »
The blue barrel is my strawberry barrel that I started this year. I took a 55 gal. plastic barrel, cut two rows of 5 3"-inch holes about 12" apart around 3/4 of the barrel and put drain holes in the bottom. I took a 4" diameter PVC pipe, cut to the height of the barrel and drilled 1/2" holes in various places so as to allow drainage. I filled the pipe with gravel and placed it vertically in the middle of the barrel. Next, I filled the bottom 2" of gravel in the bottom of the barrel. I then filled the rest of the barrel with potting soil, planting strawberry plants as I fill the barrel. When I reached the top of the barrel, I planted 6 more strawberry plants around the pipe. The pvc pipe allows you to water the plants by just running water down the pipe.
Sorry for the long-winded answer, but thought I'd share the directions with you guys.
Thanks everyone for the great responses!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2012, 09:33:04 PM »
I am envious of your trellises. What heirloom varieties did you plant?

Cedar

Offline Offgridliving

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 06:32:45 AM »
Cedar,
I bought all of my heirloom seeds from Baker Creek and the ones that I planted are:

Golden Giant Amaranth
Cherokee Trail of Tears Pole Bean (Black Bean)
Contender Valentine Bush Bean
Old Homestead (Kentucky Wonder) Pole Bean
Purple Cherokee Tomato (bought locally)
Bradley Tomato (bought locally)

I bought some other heirlooms, but will have to wait and plant those next year. I bought some varieties that need to be started inside from seed and got them too late to plant this year.
Next year, I'm hoping to plant a lot more heirlooms and less hybrids.


Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 08:16:52 AM »
That's a beautiful looking garden, Offgridliving!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 08:20:09 AM »
Golden Giant Amaranth

Might have to see if I can talk you into a trade.

Cedar

Offline Offgridliving

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 06:42:13 AM »
Cedar,
I plan to let one of the amaranth grow to seed, so I'd be happy to do some trading once they're harvested.
Thanks again!

Offline Offgridliving

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 08:13:04 AM »
Wanted to update everyone on our progress in our garden. It's been 16 days since I first posted pictures of the garden and wanted to post some new ones.
Everything has just exploded in growth over the past two weeks.

The Sunflowers, Giant Amaranth, Cucumbers, and Heirloom Trail of Tears Black Beans are doing great!

The Winter Squash has escaped its box.

Carrots and Bush Beans are also doing great.

The Summer Squash and Zucchini are coming on good.

Looks like we'll being eating this one before too long!


The tomatoes and peppers are doing awesome.

Small harvest of Snow and Snap Peas, along with a couple of radishes picked this morning.
We had a neighbor over last night and they asked about the brick pavers and I thought I'd share that story with you, too.
Ten years ago, a neighbor was re-claiming the wood off of an old house that was slated to be bulldozed down and he asked if I was interested in the brick. My son and I jumped at the chance and was able to "harvest" over 3500 brick from the old home before it was demolished.
Thanks again for all of the kind words that you all have expressed in the past.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 08:16:39 AM »
You guys down south, you know you are making me feel so behind in my garden already  :'(

Make sure to eat those extra squash blossoms!! If you have not tried them before, you have no idea what you are missing. I started dehydrating them now to cook with in the winter.

Cedar

Offline Offgridliving

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 08:21:17 AM »
Cedar,
I'll definitely have to try the squash blossoms. Never would have thought of that.
BTW, still going to be sending you some of the amaranth seed when its time. :)
Thanks!!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 08:32:21 AM »
Squash Blossom Soup

1/4 stick butter
1 onion, sliced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound squash blossoms (about 4 cups)
1 cup half and half
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grated Anejo cheese (for garnish) (I used some other kind of cheese)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Saute the onions, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook about five minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 to 12 minutes add the blossoms and cook 5 minutes longer.

Transfer soup to food processor and puree until smooth. Strain soup back into saucepan. Pour in the half and half and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated anejo cheese, a dry, crumbly Mexican cheese somewhat like parmesan, which can be used instead, for a somewhat different taste.



Squash Blossom Hush Puppies
Dry Ingredients:
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Wet Ingredients:
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon drippings

Vegetables:
1/4 cup minced onion
8 to 10 squash blossoms, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels

Olive oil for frying

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Beat lightly with a fork to blend.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a deep-fat fryer or a large, heavy pot (to a depth of about 3 inches.) When ready to cook, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the vegetables. Mix until just combined. Drop by spoonfuls into the hot oil and brown on all sides, which should take 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

NOTE: Hush puppies should be golden and crisp on the outside, and tender and moist inside. If the first batch turns out too dry, moisten the batter with more milk.




Both of these recipes are a KEEPER for me!!!! Make sure you have a medium high hot oil. Not too cool and not too hot. I forgot the oil in the recipe and I used regular whole milk. Tastes LOVELY! WARNING!  If the oil is too hot the corn will try to take your head off as it pops in the oil.

Cedar

Offline Offgridliving

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 08:34:56 AM »
A couple more pics!


First year trying 5-gallon bucket potatoes and container corn.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 08:36:18 AM »
Your garden is a pleasure to look at. You could get just about anyone to get behind a garden that looked like that.

And yes I know that is not the most important factor, but sometimes I have to jump through some hoops to get things approved by the family.  ;D

Offline Offgridliving

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2012, 08:37:19 AM »
Cedar,
Those recipes sound awesome. :) Can't wait to give them a try.
Thanks!
Nicodemus,
Thanks for the kind words!

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2012, 08:55:47 AM »
 :popcorn:
Just bookmarking this thread so I can enjoy the view.  The last two nights were the first time in a week it didn't hit freezing overnight here, so seeing a beautiful garden in full bloom is inspiring.

Offline Rockhill

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2012, 08:33:29 PM »
OffGrid, how long did it take the sugar peas to grow and bloom to that size and bloom? That looks wonderful great job!! ;)

Offline Offgridliving

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2012, 12:25:24 AM »
Rockhill,
The Snow and Snap Peas were the first things that I planted this year, back on February 29. Almost a full month before I usually start my garden. So, to answer your question, just over 9 weeks.

Offline ShannonB

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2012, 01:02:25 AM »
This thread makes me jealous!

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: Offgridliving's Garden 2012
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2012, 07:32:30 AM »
Wow, that looks beautiful!  Great (and creative) job. 

Quote
Make sure to eat those extra squash blossoms!! If you have not tried them before, you have no idea what you are missing. I started dehydrating them now to cook with in the winter.

Sorry to go a bit off topic-but Cedar, which squash blossoms do you pick & dehydrate? The extra males?

Jenn