This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he always thought the garden was his. Even though I do all the work, he always stood by me. I'm located near Boston (in USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and try to grow all of my family's vegetables.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Juha's challenge

Juha is a new gardener who lives in Finland. A couple weeks ago we helped him by recommending gardening books for a beginner. Not being so familiar with gardening books myself, I gave him this advice,

... messing it up is a way of learning, as long as you don’t get disappointed. And there are many ways to grow every food crop. You may find a new one that works best for you by just getting into the dirt and trying.

Most important is soil preparation, water and sunlight. Make sure your location has full sunlight. Mark it off. (If there is a chance it has toxins in the soil, like lead from flaking house paint, do a soil test.) Bring in a load of rich compost, enough so you can spread it 2 inches thick over the garden space. Turn it under, rake it smooth, then plant. What and when you plant depends on where you are located. Check the back of the seed package or buy seedlings. Ask when you buy if the seedlings can be planted yet. Check the seed package or online to see how much space you need to leave for the plant (I always put them closer than is recommended because my space is small).

If you have deer around, put up a 5 ft fence; rabbits or woodchucks, a 3 foot chicken wire fence. No fence will keep squirrels out of your garden. They run all over my garden and don’t usually do too much damage, except to eat ripe tomatoes if the weather is dry.
Anyway, I wanted to post an update, since Juha sent me an email today about his progress.
Hey Kathy! My gardening project is going well. Today I got all of my seeds planted. Just in time, since the weather is starting to warm up here in Finland! I devised a little challenge for myself. My goal is to prepare a meal for my family using produce from my garden and the wilderness :) To add some pressure I made it public on my blog http://www.juhakardo.com/food-sovereignty-challenge/ -Juha
I always love to hear about garden projects. This one sounds fun. I would also like to try the challenge of making a meal completely from items I have grown, foraged or caught myself too. I'm looking forward to doing some fishing this summer, and of course, lots of gardening. Maybe I should try some fermenting too if I'm doing an entire meal....

My reason for doing this would be that it reduces my ecological footprint, the food tastes better, and mostly - it is personally satisfying.

6 Comments:

Blogger icebear said...

that's quite a challenge for such a new gardener. i hope he succeeds!

May 11, 2013 5:46 PM

 
Anonymous Marian (LondonUK) said...

My goodness, that is a challenge and a half! I felt quite exhausted reading the list of anticipated achievement. I would fail on the hunting part, there isn't much hunting to be had here in East London, unless you count the odd squirrel or two in the garden! But if they put on their, "I am only little and fluffy" face, as I was aiming at them, that would be it ... no Squirrel for dinner.
Marian(LondonUK)

May 13, 2013 2:37 AM

 
Anonymous Juha said...

haha.. yea I know. I hope I'm able to pull it off :)

May 13, 2013 5:25 AM

 
Anonymous Dave said...

That is a great goal. If I tried that where I live I'd have to get particularly creative with edible weeds. Good luck, Juha!

May 14, 2013 12:59 PM

 
Blogger Cary said...

Very exciting! In summer we live near the sea so hunting up clams and fish are on the docket. For now, salads galore from the garden. Best of luck to Juha!

May 15, 2013 6:22 AM

 
Blogger Pam said...

"My reason for doing this .... it is personally satisfying" Yea, an honest woman! We give so many practical reasons for doing what we enjoy doing.

Kathy, your gardens look better every year. I hope it's easier to grow in the enriched soil too.

Last year, I started a new kitchen garden to see if I could grow vegetables in windy conditions closer to the house but > 200' from the Bay. The new garden was more successful than expected so I doubled size of the beds this year. Huge amount of work, not done yet. Pete built frames for the beds so I'm committed unless a tropical storm causes major flooding.

Have a great gardening year!

May 28, 2013 2:11 PM

 

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