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Old 05-12-2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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Default Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet

Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet

By Rosalind Creasy with Cathy Wilkinson Barash
motherearthnews website

Quote:
If more Americans grew a little food — instead of so much grass — our savings on grocery bills would be astounding.

The Objective
I took a 5-by-20-foot section of garden bed by my tiny lawn to see how much I could grow in just that 100 square feet. I wanted to produce a lot of food, and because it was part of my edible landscape, it had to look good, too.

The Plants
I wanted to make this garden simple — something anyone in the United States could grow. I didn’t include fancy vegetable varieties; I chose those available at my local nursery as transplants. I also selected vegetables that are expensive to buy at the supermarket, as well as varieties that my experience has told me produce high yields.
....read the full article here Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:56 PM   #2
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This is awesome.

Now, if we can just get it out of Mother Earth News and into USA Today Not that I don't love Mother Earth News, but it's sort of a "special interest" publication and I just wish this wasn't such a special interest.

The Obama's should publish something like this.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:10 AM   #3
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I love their "creative uses for zucchini". I've boxed them up and sent them to willing recipients via inter-office mail, but i've never given them away as party favors before.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:17 PM   #4
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I've given zucchini away with a recipe for zucchini bread.

It was hit! Friends actually asked for more zucchini, imagine that. Of course these were all non-gardening friends. But perhaps I sparked an interest in gardening. Maybe!
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:25 PM   #5
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I'm attempting to maximize the space usage in my vegetable garden this year.

I added more trellises in order to do more vertical gardening.
I also plan to hang some potted peppers from the top of the trellises.

One side of my vegetable garden is next to a chain link fence. I plan to grow cucumbers up the chain link fence. We'll see what happens. Right now I have radishes growing where the future cucumber plants will be. It's too cold here yet to set out cuke plants. So basically I'm using the same growing space for two different things based on when it's best to grow them. Radishes during the cool spring temps, and cukes during the warmer summer temps.

Any other ideas for maximizing vegetable gardening space or crop sequencing to use the same growing space ?
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:24 PM   #6
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Well, I'm trying potatoes in bags again, but never have had much luck with that. Just put in some grapes on the south wall, hoping to cut down on sun exposure there and to jumpstart the grapes.

In addition to corn & beans, trying to grow cucumber and beans on the same tripod.

Another thing that climbs well is muskmelon (canteloupe).

I made zuchinni chips last year, much like you would make potatoe puffs; slicing thin, broiling on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil and rosemary. My boys loved them.

I have sunflowers and cosmos between the north/south rows of asparagus, but you could easily do chard or some other leafy instead, maybe even onions.

Sequencing isn't something I've gotten the hang of, yet; I just keep making it bigger, interplant carrots, radishes, etc until the larger plants get larger, much as the author suggested to do.

I do appreciate that she stressed the importance of mulch. I wonder how many potential gardeners were turned off by the "dust mulching" method?
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:25 PM   #7
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what an odd coincidence -- i just read this article today!

i really try to crush the plants in, square-foot-gardening style. it annoys me to see empty space in the garden bed!
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:22 AM   #8
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CincyGarden,
Did the Zuchinni chips taste anything like potato chips? I'm curious. That actually sounds like a pretty good snack. Thanks for sharing that bit of information.

I tried growing potatoes in large containers two years ago. The harvest method was easy, just tip the tubs over on a tarp. But I didn't get the results I had hoped for. I'm putting my potatoes back in the ground this year.

Cucumbers and beans growing on the same tripod sounds like a good idea too me. The beans would add nitrogen to the soil, and your cukes might blossom and produce like crazy. Better get ready to make a whole lot of pickles!! Let us know how that growing combination works for you, ok?

I never thought about interplanting carrots the way I do with my radishes. Hmmmm...think I'll give it a try! I actually plant quite a few carrots in my garden but they are not all for me. When a resident black bear meanders into my garden while I am working & weeding, I yank out a carrot or two and throw them as far as I can (AWAY from garden.) The bear lumbers over to where the carrot landed, picks it up, and trots back into the woods with it's prize. Hey....whatever works, right?

I plan to try an odd quirk with the 3 sisters method (corn, string beans, squash). I'm substituting birdhouse gourds for squash. The good thing is that the deer hate the taste of birdhouse gourds, so I'm hoping the birdhouse gourds will protect my corn & beans from those chow hound deer.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakhick View Post
what an odd coincidence -- i just read this article today!

i really try to crush the plants in, square-foot-gardening style. it annoys me to see empty space in the garden bed!
oakhick-
The only empty space in my garden are my walking paths. I put cardboard down on the paths and cover them with shredded leaves. I tried this for the first time last year, and it worked great! The cardboard was completely incorporated into the soil by late fall. I was stunned.

Like you, I've started placing my crops closer together over the last few years. It doesn't seem to hinder their production, and it certainly keeps the weeds in check. I no longer follow the plant spacing guides on seed packets. The seed companies must think we all have 100 acre vegetable gardens.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BooBooBearBecky View Post
Any other ideas for maximizing vegetable gardening space or crop sequencing to use the same growing space ?
Being an optimist, I think I can get some lettuce while the peas are developing, followed by tomatoes braced up by the pea grids.
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