Four season gardening and canning

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Four season gardening and canning

Post by coco » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:10 am

How does the old fashioned gentleman save money by gardening in depressionary times?
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Post by Brigid » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:52 am

This old-fashioned gentlewoman grows herbs. In theory, she cuts up the herbs with a little oil and freezes them in ice cube trays.In reality she hasn't had to as she hasn't killed the plants yet. Though the rosemary is looking tetchy.

I'd like to grow vegetables and have a couple fruit trees. One rental house had an apple tree, that was nice.

I hear you can also regrow some foods from kitchen scraps.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

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Post by Hovannes » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:39 am

He plants a winter garden if the climate will allow. Properly puning the fruit trees for optimum yields and maybe contemplate a new graft or two for more variety and possible enhanced pollination. Canned fruit from last years garden adds a little cheer and sweetness to winter dessert fare. The old stalks and leaves are gathered into compost heaps to await being turned back into the soil in the spring and maybe chickens let loose to forage (free range :lol:) in the old garden to contribute to the fertility.
Shovels, rakes and hoes are given some token attention---sharpened and wiped with oil to prevent rust and preserve the wood handles) will improve performance and make them last longer. Egg cartons collected (in anticipation of starting seedlings)
When the willows down by the river start new shoots, collect some cuttings and make a hormone rich tea of them for starting new plants.
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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Post by Trekon86 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:54 am

He saves all compost material (including coffee ground and tea leaves), plants perennials and heirlooms rather than modern GMO quasi-plants that you have to buy new every year.

Saves seeds from his plants at the end of each growing season so that he can start fresh the next year.

Experiments with various types of boxes, buckets, hedgerows, arbors, and other space-saving container gardening techniques to maximize output.

Experiments with gravity-fed irrigation (roof and rain barrel based rainwater collection and filtration works well) and has alternative means of procuring drinking water such as a hand pump for his well.

Has hand tools to fall back on in case of gasoline price hikes or scarcity or long-term power outages.

Learns how to pick the kinds of fruits, veggies, and grains that will grow best in his climate and which ones to avoid. Sometimes this is as simple as consulting a USDA zone map and sometimes it requires experimentation. Some soils will work fine with one plant and be death to another (clay in particular).

Knows the values of roots and tubers in hard times.

Knows the value of herbs, both for cooking and for medicinal purposes, and harvests some each year before the winter die-off.

If the winters are not too cold, he will find ways to move his gardens indoors or put walls and glass around them. Old glass screen doors work well for this. Use your imagination.

Builds a cool cellar to store his produce in.

And last but most important (and potentially unpleasant):

Spends an adequate amount of time weeding his garden so that they do not become swamped with invasive plants.

(Of course, sometimes invasive plants are very useful. Check a plant ID guide to see what they are).

PMZ
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Post by venator260 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:00 pm

I'll be watching this thread and seeing what I can adapt to the tiny little city yard I'll be owning in a month.

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Post by Hovannes » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:30 pm

Maximize your plantings by knowing whats available in local farm markets. As an example, I can grow my own onions and corn, but I can buy excellent onions and corn from the farmers market so cheap it isn't worth my effort to plant those crops---therefore I can use the plot of soil in my garden to plant crops which would be more costly to purchase at the market and save some $$ (such as eggplant, asparagus and peppers)

Also, recycle materials. When I replaced the fence several years ago I saved any good posts and pickets and used some of them to build raised planters. While they aren't as sturdy as some purpose built planters, but they've held up for quite a few years now and I've got plenty of old lumber left to replace or rebuild them if neccesary. Scraps of concrete reinforcing mesh scrounged form construction sites makes a fine trellis, btw. Old 5 Gallon plastic buckets have a wealth of uses.

Search out nearby stables or race tracks. They'll often let you take manure and old bedding for the asking---this makes good fertilizer(when rotted,) compost, etc...
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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:17 pm

I've been known to do some gardeing and canning in my days. Before I tell you my own unique methods, let me comment on some of what has been said so far.
Brigid's ice cube tray idea is a great one. It also works well with homemade pesto. One caution: frozen herbs and pesto will stain the hoooey out of plastic, so buy extras at a yard sale and boil them first.

Hov's chicken idea is great for spreading compost, but if you aren't allowed chickens where you live, a pitchfork is awesome. In fact, a fork is the first tool you should get. It has a thousand uses. As for his winter climate comment, there is no such thing as not having a good winter climate. There are vegetables that grow in desert and in freezing temps. More on that later.

Trekon, I am THE plant ID guide. :wink:

Venator, there is a magazine called Urban Gardening you should look up.

As for Hov's last post... the best way to save money is to not spend it. Figure out what plants you can grow really well, and then go to those same farmer's markets and trade for what they grow really well. I co-oped (kinda) with a guy for ten years. I grew killer onions and garlic and his sucked. He grew amazing tomotoes and I couldn't. Trading is the best way to save money.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

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Post by Trekon86 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:24 pm

Irish-Dane wrote:I've been known to do some gardeing and canning in my days. Before I tell you my own unique methods, let me comment on some of what has been said so far.
Brigid's ice cube tray idea is a great one. It also works well with homemade pesto. One caution: frozen herbs and pesto will stain the hoooey out of plastic, so buy extras at a yard sale and boil them first.

Hov's chicken idea is great for spreading compost, but if you aren't allowed chickens where you live, a pitchfork is awesome. In fact, a fork is the first tool you should get. It has a thousand uses. As for his winter climate comment, there is no such thing as not having a good winter climate. There are vegetables that grow in desert and in freezing temps. More on that later.

Trekon, I am THE plant ID guide. :wink:


Venator, there is a magazine called Urban Gardening you should look up.

As for Hov's last post... the best way to save money is to not spend it. Figure out what plants you can grow really well, and then go to those same farmer's markets and trade for what they grow really well. I co-oped (kinda) with a guy for ten years. I grew killer onions and garlic and his sucked. He grew amazing tomotoes and I couldn't. Trading is the best way to save money.
I will have to pick your brains sometime then:D
I'm curious about growing a few different types of fruit trees but I'm not sure if they're cold-tolerant enough to survive the winters here. Right now all we have are apple trees.
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Post by coco » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:26 pm

Irish-Dane wrote:...Brigid's ice cube tray idea is a great one. It also works well with homemade pesto. One caution: frozen herbs and pesto will stain the hoooey out of plastic, so buy extras at a yard sale and boil them first...
We love the pesto ice cube thing
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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:37 pm

Trekon86 wrote:I'm curious about growing a few different types of fruit trees but I'm not sure if they're cold-tolerant enough to survive the winters here. Right now all we have are apple trees.
PMZ
Where do you live? Fruit trees are a tricky thing.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

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Post by Trekon86 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:52 pm

Eastern Pa, LV area.

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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:53 pm

Trekon86 wrote:Eastern Pa, LV area.

PMZ
For reals? (What is LV?) I was born in Bethlehem.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

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Post by Trekon86 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:57 pm

Lehigh Valley:)

So yeah, where you were born, or near to it.

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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:14 pm

So cool. My parents met at what was Penn Wesleyn University, got married in Allentown, and moved to Bethlehem right before I was born.

Back to the thread, Pear and cherry trees grow really well in that area.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

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Post by Trekon86 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:26 pm

Yeah there was a pear tree in our yard when great grandpa lived here but it died I think.

Lots of wild black cherries but they are almost impossible to snag cherries from (the birds get the fruit first).

The trees I want to grow are:

Paw-Paw ("Prairie bananas.")
Persimmon
and

Pomegranate.

I highly doubt the Pomegranate would survive the winters, but a friend who lives in SE England said he has some in his garden. The winters there have snow sometimes.

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Post by Del » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:19 pm

I would like to learn how to garden.

This thread is great, but I need to find a local mentor who understands Wisconsin gardens and weather.

Fortunately, there are several good gardeners nearby. A family on the other end of the runway even keeps chickens.

Depression-Era families lived on potatoes, onions, and eggs.
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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:35 pm

A lot of folks wrap their fruit trees in burlap in the winter.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

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Post by Hovannes » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:34 pm

"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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Post by venator260 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:00 pm

Irish-Dane wrote:
Venator, there is a magazine called Urban Gardening you should look up.

I'll have to look it up. Thanks.

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Post by Hovannes » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:35 pm

Tomatos and zucchini are easy crops in most of North America. Potatos are great in cold climates and a dwarf apple tree won't take up much room (or encrouch into controlled airspace for airport dwellers :wink: )
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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