S.L. asks from Lakeside, CA on April 05, 2007
Farmers Markets, Gardening Etc...
I've been trying to garden for years and never had tons of luck. It takes a lot more than just sticking the seed in the ground and watering...DUH LOL. Anyway, every year I learn more and get better. This year I'm learning about hydroponics and setting up an indoor grow room. I'm hoping to learn to produce a nice large crop year around that will replace all the veggies I buy in the store and allow us to eat fresh and organic all year long. Anyone else doing anything similar with a greenhouse or grow room or backyard garden?
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much for all the suggestions :) I'm coming right a long and trust me when it comes to miricle grow, I won't use it. I've already fortified with mushroom compost and I bought rabbits so that I can add their potty to my compost. I have 3 composters, one in my kitchen that is heated and stired every few hours. The other is in the back of the property and just left to the elements. And one is a worm composter. I always have a lot of good stuff to put in the garden. I'm currently adding another good compost that is nice and black. I get it all trucked in.
My hydroponics and my grow room is what I'm most excited about. It's coming right a long :)
J.W. answers from Oklahoma City on April 13, 2007
Hi S.! I've been an organic gardener since I was a child. I had two wonderful grandmother's who both gardened, and I was always around to help. All you really need is a patch of soil--the size depends on how much you are growing. Dig down at least 12 inches, mix in several bags of manure, compost, and peat moss. These agents enrich the soil, help with drainage, and attract the "good" insects. Follow the instructions for planting and watering on your seed packets, then sit back and watch your garden grow! If you have animals, it is important to make sure you protect your garden. Animals are notorious for thinking of the garden as a bathroom...I don't need to tell you how unsanitary that is! Also, if you are planting a food crop, it is important not to use "miracle grow" or other common fertilizers found in the garden section of Wal-Mart. After you enrich your soil with the amendments I listed above, there will be no need to fertilize again. If you do want to add chemicals, visit the local farm coop or a true greenhouse for products.
Also, you can visit: www.oklahomafood.coop. I hope this helps! Have fun with your garden!
1 mom found this helpful
K.K. answers from Kansas City on April 13, 2007
Yes, to all your questions, except regarding greenhouses/grow rooms. We garden in our back yard (with mixed results) using raised beds. Each year we plant kale, chard, basil, peas and beans; we fence it all in to keep the rabbits out. We also plant enough tomatoes to have some to "share" with the squirrels. Sometimes we add some brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, pumpkins, peppers and beets. I dream about one day building a greenhouse and we certainly have enough space in our backyard to build several :-)
We live close enough to walk to the Farmers Market in downtown O.P. I take my 3 year old daughter almost every weekend to buy local stuff and listen to the music. Once in a while, we go to the City Market, mainly to visit Planters Seed Company and the ethnic grocery stores.
We don't buy alot of organics because of the cost, but do get organic milk, eggs and flour from Hy-Vees health market. They are often cheaper that Whole Foods, etc.
Some resources in the Kansas City area to consider:
1) The Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, on the southwest side of Swope Park (http://www.kccg.org/) for plants, seeds and workshops
2) Family Tree Nursery for seeds and helpful advice
3) Deana Rose Farmstead and Old Shawnee Town for the gardens kept by the KC Master Gardeners http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/johnson/hort/m_gardener/mgdeanna... and http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/johnson/hort/m_gardener/MGhmpg.htm
5) Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City http://extension.missouri.edu/gkcmg/
Best of luck with your garden this year... let us know how the hydroponics project goes!
T.K. answers from Kansas City on April 06, 2007
We've had a garden for the past 10 years. We didn't plant THIS year though...we're hoping to move this summer and have ENOUGH to do!
When it comes to organic shopping-- I don't really bother.
It's so much more expensive, for less product, the "whole food/organic stores" are all too far away, and honestly, I don't think the product is too much different than what's on a regular store shelf anyway-- and many consumer studies have confirmed that.
But, I LOVE going to the farmer's market!
For the most part, our gardens have been very successful. But, honestly-- we've very RARELY started from seed-- that's probably a big part of the reason you've had some problems.
Starting from seed takes much more work and time and you LOSE so many of them UNLESS you have a nice little indoor greenhouse. When we first started having our own garden we tried started from seed and really didn't have much luck.
We lost quite a few seedlings before we could ever transplant them outdoors. Then, when we finally got them in the ground-- we lost almost every single one to squirrels, rabbits and frost. One late frost and those still weak seedlings are gone!
So after the first couple years of trying from seed, I just bought little starter plants from local greenhouses. They're much farther along--stronger and sturdier than seedlings.
We've always had great gardens since we started doing it this way. But, for reasons of trying to be more "self-sufficient", I really should try to start from seed again-- just try to learn how to do it more successfully.
I'd love to learn about the hydroponic method! Believe it or not, I first learned about it at Epcot Center in Disney World about 17 years ago! They had a real, indoor hydroponic garden, where they were actually doing real research and trying to perfect the method. The plants were beautiful and prolific -- tomatoes coming from everywhere! If you do it-- let us know how it works!
D.T. answers from Tulsa on April 06, 2007
My husband goes to the Farmer's Market across the street from work every week. We buy eggs directly from a chicken owner and I stick to fresh veggies in the market but I don't necessarily look for organically grown. We're slowly expanding our own garden. Every year I blanch and freeze the bounty. This year I'm going to get a stand alone freezer for my goods.
We're pretty much pesticide free here because my husband wants to encourage the birds to share. A few things he's taken to doing is letting the weeds grow around the tomatos and squash to prevent sun burn/blisters on the fruit. We're putting in fruit trees this fall. He hasn't planted the grape vine but he will soon.
I know that hydroponics is great but other than growing ivy in the medium I have no other knowledge except don't mix it into soil. We use our studio as a greenhouse in the winter for our tropical plants and plan to start our seeds in there once we get the room organized and the bookshelves built. I grow orchids in there year round. They love it since there's no AC in there but we do have heat.
R.C. answers from Kansas City on April 06, 2007
I buy at Farmers Markets. I would love to Garden where I am but I have lots of squirrels and not enough sunlight.