for *big* savings in veggies - plant a garden!

joyfulguyMay 21, 2005

Nothing more to say.

Imagine that - from ole joyful.

Except - for city residents - maybe there's a community garden in your area. There are several in our city.

Ask around - you should be able to find whether there are ones available in your area.

Bonus: maintaining it provides good exercise.

It does tend to make you hungry, though.

Hint: Many novice gardeners tend to plant way too many seeds - so have surplus produce.

Share with neighbours (if they're not so suspicious of your generosity that they run you out of town) or a local food bank.

Happy gardening, all!

ole joyful

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I planted some tomatoes a while back. They are the first thing I tried. Now I'm hooked. yummy :o) Since then I've planted a hot pepper plant and some strawberry plants.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 5:31PM
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I don't have a lot of space, but I always have a tomato plan, a zucchini, and basil. Throw them all together, put them over pasta with a little cheese, and you have dinner!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 2:55AM
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First year, new it's potatoes in the backyard, along with some tomatoe plants, a row of lettuce and one of carrots and radish...starting small but will work my way up. Can't wait to start harvesting....I have neighbors coming over to check over what's growing....LOL...dare I also say the composter I have out back is also a subject of discussion. Bud

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 7:45PM
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Up here in Ontario, a long way from California, we say that, in winter, California-grown tomatoes that were picked green and ripened in the truck (sometimes with help from a certain kind of gas that they shoot into the truck before closing the doors) during that lo-o-o-n-n-n-g-g trip ...

... look like tomatoes, but ...

... they taste like cardboard.

Have a great weekend, all.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 1:15PM
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This is the first year in a long, long time that I have not planted a garden and I am already regretting that decision!
Since I live in the desert, I must water frequently and water is expensive here! When my water bill soared to $168.00, $183.00, etc. last summer, I decided that would be my last garden. After buying "cardboard tomatoes" and bitter squash, squishy cucumbers,and stringy greens this year, I will most likely have one humdinger of a garden this Fall! Bettye

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 1:20AM
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Hi Mama,

Some folks sink a tomato can with both ends knocked out into the ground near some plants, then pour water into the can, so the water is delivered to the plants underground.

Helps to forstall evaporation, which sneaks away with a lot of your water applied in the usual way - especially in that desert where the air is so thirsty.

Hope you've had a happy day.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 7:27PM
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Finally one raised bed 8x3--but after building it and protecting it from the deer I know it will not be cost effective this year-but what fun!! And yes, the deer have come up to nose around but we have deer netting on it and also a water sensor scarecrow that seems to be keeping them away from the plants-so far!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 1:39AM
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Well I used to enjoy planting a few veggies, tomatoes, zucchini, basil, etc. but I sank so much into pest control I finally decided to shop the local farms instead. I used to grow more than I could eat or can, what a joy. But no more, the slugs, snails, white flies, etc. took over. I guess I wasn't rotating enough as my garden space was too limited. Good luck to all you veggie growers. My last attempt was a couple of tomato plants but not enough sun in theonly area available.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 2:37AM
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Of all the reasons to have a garden - and there are many - I would not include saving money as one of them. Bulk buying at the farmers'market is usually cheaper. not as much fun if you like gardening though.
And the eggs from your own hens will be the most expensive you ever ate.
Now if you are talking taste.....

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 9:02AM
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Depending on how you garden it can be inexpensive....I did not purchase seedlings, but started my own plants from seeds (on sale) and I try to garden organically .... so no expensive sprays for me. I watch how much water I use on the garden so it is more cost effective.....but the peace of mind I get, the exercise and the sheer enjoyment of watching things grow is worth any medicine for whatever ails you. So in my mental and physical health is benefited big time.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 1:49AM
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Landlord gave me the land free.

Seeds cost something under $20.00.

It's dry this year, so I've been carrying some water about 300 feet from the barn, where I pump water for cattle pasturing there, owned by brother-in-law from first marriage of former owner, my step-uncle.

Only cost is power to operate the pump - plus some extra food to fuel my shank's mare to haul it. Actually - it might burn off some of the pot that makes it rather hard to keep some of my older, more tailored, shirts buttoned.

Actually, I forgot to turn the pump off the other day and it ran for 24 hours, more or less. Didn't either burn out the pump - or run the well dry (though the water coming up was rather a gray colour: cattle drank it without complaint). So the small amount of power to operate it for a bit of garden irrigation is peanuts.

Hoping not to need persuaders of pests to travel elsewhere for sustenance, as there has not been a garden there for some time - freshly ploughed sod, as a matter of fact.

Plus a bit of water later to wash the veggies.

Enjoy your veggies, all - as fresh as possible, whether you grow them yourselves or buy them.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 2:38PM
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Hi again, all.

People renting my landlord's field were told there was a garden in the corner of the field behind the shed.

Man came to cultivate with wide cultivator, Fri. night, preferred then as ground so dry, would evaporate less than in daytime, missed the garden by a substantial margin.

I went and rode around with him for a while, said O.K. if he went closer.

Next day other cultivator come, drill, fertilizer applicator, etc.

Before I left I wondered whether I should put some white buckets out at the corners of the garden - thought it O.K, they knew it was there.

Came home to find that tractors and equipment had driven over the garden - but they'd lifted the cultivator, fortunately.

Some stuff knocked down, but not a big deal - the wife of the renter had done it, apologized. I said that it didn't appear that much damage had been done.

This morning. a large sprayer machine with high wheels and a boom stretching about 60' wide came along, dropping small puffs of foam at the end of the boom. When he drove up across the lane from the house, I hot footed it out to cartch him.

Before I could get near him, he'd driven around behind the shed, driving right over my garden, shutting off the spray at the edge of the grass at the edge of the field. He was spraying to kill braod-leaf weeds, etc. - using Pursuiit and another spray - can't remember the name: Portan or something.

So it looks as though almost all of my garden is Kaput.

The lettuce, just nicely started, will die. I wouldn't eat it anyway. The few shoots of corn that had come up are likely fried.

The beans and peas may survive, as the stuff is more or less bean-friendly (beans for processing were planted in the field), the man thinks possibly the carrots.

It isn't the kind that kills the weeds above ground - it lies there waiting for a rain, then soaks down into the ground and kills the roots, I'm told.



And again, *drat*!!!

And a few other things, besides.

ole joyful - but less so today

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 2:55PM
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so now comes time for a re-plant huh? Just a few things so you don't have to eat the cardboard stuff all summer. My own efforts so far are coming in slowly.....who knows what is under the heads far only a few bugs...fingers crossed. So I'll think of you joyful re-planting the garden the next day or two. Say, why not go see renter's place and check out their garden...and politely suggest they share a bit of the bounty? They killed it not you.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 7:46PM
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Joyful, I just returned to read here after several days absence. I'm so sorry you've had problems with your garden! Is it too late in the season to re-plant? I've been busy picking fruit from our trees. I don't use any sprays and it is all organic, tho' not certified. I had a problem with our "helpful" neighbor spraying weed killer over the property line a few years back. I had a talk with him, shared some veggies and solved that problem. Now I have an abundance of apricots, peaches, and apples to put in the freezer this week. Keep us posted on your garden's progress.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 1:19AM
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Hi guys,

It was an outside agent that did the spraying. The guy said that when he saw me coming out with white buckets - he knew there was trouble. The chemicals were Pursuit and Patoran.

Can't replant for 6 weeks, so no garden this summer - unless I go and dig up a corner of a grassed area by hand. I feel that I may have achieved a certain reputation for a touch of laziness? And it's getting nearly too late to do that for any but lettuce, radishes - but, planted and growing in the heat, they'd be hot, I imagine - possibly peas, beans.

Beans I have may survive, they tell me.

Oh, well - not a big deal.

Just a minor inconvenience - nothing to get one's shirt-tail tied into a knot about.

Have a gr4eat summer, all.

Maybe I should plant some things in pots by the back door!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 2:26PM
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Do the pot thing Joyful....nothing like nice tomatoes off the vine with morning dew still on them. Ones in my area are now selling for 99 cents for 4 plants with blooms even! I have to go and get a few myself. Good luck with the things that survived. Bud

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 9:31PM
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I had spotty germination in the garden.

Spraying was in early June, some peas survived so I had a few recently.

Put up four sets of poles for my four bean plants, with binder twine between to hold the tendrils. Had some beans in the past couple of weeks.

They harvested the field of beans for canning just over a week ago.

Pulled out two of my trellisses, threw them and two plants to the side, left the other two standing, didn't pull the processing beans that had been planted all through my garden.

Also skipped several rows for about 70 feet behind the shed, where so many weeds had grown so high that you couldn't see the beans.

When I came home from a week vacation, I picked quite a few beans, partially processed them, put them into heavy plastic milk bags and froze them.

Early this week I went out and pulled all of those weeds, some taller than I am, with stalks as thick as my thumb. Stupidly, though there were several pairs of leather gloves available, I didn't wear any - raised and broke a big blister on my large finger.


So - yesterday I heard engine noise, looked up to see a big sprayer going past the window - hot footed it out there, but by the time I'd got within sight of the driver (machine was behind the shed) he'd sprayed all over not only the unhavested beans, but my garden (which was only beans) as well.

Said he'd been told to spray everything.

Double drat!

I'd told some neighbours to come pick, if they chose, called one, left notes for a couple of others who weren't home, telling them "**Do not pick!***.

What a shame, to lose all of those lovely beans - some had 20 - 24 pods per plant.

Oh, well.

As the Prairie farmers say when they have a bad year - "There's another year coming".

Next year - I'll have a dratted garden where it's all by itself!

Have a great weekend, everyone. Enjoy your summer.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 6:30PM
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