Earth Deeds-Today I Planted My Garden~ A Small Step Towards Independence and a Big Step Towards Leaving a Smaller Footprint

in earthdeeds •  13 days ago  (edited)

Creating Abundance, Gaining Independence and Decreasing my Footprint

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Growing your own food benefits the environment in so many ways. You are not contributing to the waste of industrial processing, no packaging is needed and many gallons of pollutants are not being released into the air for transport. Of course, then there's the personal gains implied by the title.

My garden planning has been three seasons in the making. Last fall I decided to go with Hugelkultur Mounds as the best no-till method to grow my own food. I put in a few days of hardwork that'll pay off for up to 25 years. I published a how-to article showing you the process here.

I live in the U.S. Hardiness Zone-5, so it's common practice to plant after Mother's Day. It's after this date that we're unlikely to get frost, but this spring has been a bit colder than usual. When I say 'usual', I mean 'ever'.




The extreme swings in temperatures have lasted much further into Spring than at any time I can remember and we even had snow just nine days ago. It's as if the seasons this year has been pushed back by a month. We are getting April rains now and still waiting for most of the flowering plants to bloom.




This is why I am just now planting my sprouts outside. I'm hoping the weather has levelled out, so there are no issues. Of course, I am building mini-greenhouses to cover the mounds, so I'll be able to deal with any frost that comes my way and to extend the growing season this fall.




This is the first year I've planted this much, so it's a bit of an experiment for me. Some of the produce I've planted are cantaloupe, kale, spinach, snap peas, green peppers, broccoli, cilantro, oregano, summer squash, a mesclun salad mix, onions, carrots and tomatoes.

According to my mental planning it didn't look like I had enough planting space, so the first mound may have been over-planted. I'll have to decide over the next few days if I need to thin it out.




Since quite a few of the veggies are vines, the plan is to add a few posts and rails over the mounds to droop them over. I've installed cattle panels to achieve the same effect for a homesteader I helped out in the past, but it turned out to not be the best option.

The vines still over grew the space and the gridding in the cattle panels made it difficult to harvest on both sides. This is why experience is important and that we each share these experiences with the world. Mistakes and failed experiments that have already been tried simply creates unnecessary waste.

The tomatoes are Tom's baby, since he plants them every year. He has a little patch on the side of the house set aside just for them and usually tills it under.

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This year I convinced him that tilling is unnecessary and even harmful, so he let me sheet mulch it instead. I found a consistent aged manure source and trucked in five tonnes just to cover the four mounds and Tom's flat patch. It worked out pretty well and I'll be publishing an article about the technique and process in the near future.

If all goes well, I'll be canning, freezing and dehydrating goodies throughout the summer. I can't wait to get started and it was fulfilling to get my hands into the dirt.

This article is in response to @abundance.tribe's latest initiative by @elamental called Earth Deeds. Check out the Challenge here.

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Every new experience adds to the respect, wonder and awe I feel when bonding with this living entity we call 🌎.

Please make sure to take the time to get outside and bond with your environment. Your health will thank you at every level of your being and please share your experiences with the world. Personal communal knowledge is beneficial to us all, because this interaction is essential to our evolution.

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Thank you and I hope your day unfolds on your terms.

All image's and text are property of the author, except where sourced- All Right's Reserved




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It's incredibly sweet that you have created a plot for Tom too. I think that's going to be even more important for him this year.

Yeah, he should be able to keep up with it this year. Each year he always plants tomatoes, but the last two he was too mentally drained caring for Jeanie that I had to take over.

They should taste so much better this year too. Tom usually tills and adds chemical fertilizers, but this year it'll be fully organic.😀

I really agree with what you said:

experience is important and that we each share these experiences with the world. Mistakes and failed experiments that have already been tried simply creates unnecessary waste.

I think it's also very proactive to share these experiences to expedite the learning curve for noobies like myself.

I just found out about the HugelKultur Mounds and I am quite intrigued by it. I will follow up your how-to. Thank you for teaching me something new!

You are very welcome my friend. If you grow your own food, hugelkultur is the way to go.

Beautiful post!

Thank you😀

I like it very much! I'll take a couple of ideas from here. Just now I'm putting some seeds to germinate and I'm collecting others like paprika and chili, I had planted in the house where we were but we had to move and we have to start again, in this time with more expirence.☺️

Nice, yeah the first year is usually the most clumsy, but the internet makes it so much easier now.

So lovely to see your garden coming along already!
I've learned that zone doesn't necessarily equate to frost dates... We're in 4b, yet last year, we had snow on the 20th or 21st of May! Our last frost date is in June, so the tomatoes and peppers should wait another month or so - despite the fact it reached 90F yesterday.
Anyway, I hope your garden does really well this year, ours hasn't even been worked up yet. (Chickens are on the first bed right now.)

You are quite far North then. Yeah, hardiness zones don't quite equate to frost dates, just extreme minimum temperature, but I wanted to keep it simple while adding detail.

This is the first year I raised sprouts from seed and learned a lot. I definitely should have started all the plants that aren't vines earlier.

Good luck with your garden. I hope the we have a warm fall to extend the season.😀

Wyoming. So not super north, but altitude!
I've decided that seeds should be started on the equinox if you don't have huge amounts of space inside... Next year!

I share zone 5. I never plant anything that can't tolerate a frost before June 1st, unless I'll have time to cover them. Where I'm at, we routinely get frost into the last week of May.

Are you in a higher elevation? It's under 1000 ft here and Mother's Day planting is a good average, but an average none-the-less. It's all good if there's a fluke, as long as you are prepared for it.

I'm not sure of my exact elevation, but I believe it's between 900-1100ft. I'm also close enough to the Great Lakes to get arctic air currents sometimes.

Ah gotcha, you are further North. I'm in Nebraska, but am from Michigan, so am quite familiar with the lakes. Gotta love that lake effect show.😀

Awesome stuff! The tomatoes need lots and lots of water!

Upvoted

@localgrower

Our plants get huge and that area doesn't get a lot of sunlight, so doesn't dry out.

We water them good the first two weeks and then only give them water every couple of weeks. Last year we didn't give them a drink the last 6 weeks at all and they thrived.

I wish I kept the pic. That spot is 8'×25' and just 8 plants fill the whole area and over the border each year.😀

That's awesome! I'm trying to find the right balance of watering my veggies, gone through a whole 100L water butt already! Yeah keep them posted I want to see them!

Upvoted and followed!

@localgrower

Will do my friend😀

It is the time for gardens in your part of the world! Beautiful job! Many you be blessed with incredible bounty and enjoy the moments.

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I certainly hope so!😀
I've went all out to get it all started.

Thank you @artemislives and @naturalmedicine for strolling through.

I love to see people gardening! Congratulations! I wish you a lot of fruits of your effort!

Nice garden fam! We just spent all day tilling our field up and prepping it for planting. Should have my next BackYard Canna Farming episode up soon with all the details. Planting most everything tomorrow.