This person got 260 pounds of cherries off their tree this year. Yet in the comments on the photo (posted on Facebook) one person lamented that they got basically no cherries off their tree at all! Why is it that some harvests go well and others not so well? Here are the main reasons, and some solutions.
If you believe, as I do, that food will soon become much more expensive (and even scarce) a good or bad harvest could become a litteral matter of life and death. But that's only a worst-case scenario. I'm not saying we should all become subsistence farmers but our budgets will gain a lot of breathing room if we can all grow rather than buy as much as possible. And let's not forget how much healthier home-grown food can be. Finally, I get a lot of satisfaction that my chicken was grown in a nearby town, my bread was made from local winter white whole wheat, and my salad was from my kitchen garden: no 3,000-mile chicken salad for me!
Safewrite, thanks for all the tips. I agree that it makes sense to understand how to get consistant good yields in our own areas.
One more consideration for southern BC and probably northern Washington - long, cold springs. The end of May has always been fine to put out heat-loving plants here, but that's been changing. This year everything we put in the garden in June just sat there shivering, and lots of it didn't have long enough to mature after that before our (unseasonable) sudden, cold fall arrived. I've learned from watching more experienced gardeners that planting early under large, sturdy row covers lets plants grow vigorously through May and June even if it's cold/raining. May and June have long days and the heat builds up under the plastic. Their plants were 3 to 5 times larger than mine by the end of June. Then, when summer finally arrived, those plants started making food while mine tried to recover.
Row covers it is then - even though we never used them here when I was a child.
Thanks! I have bee learning about gardening through trial and error. Your writeup is awesome! My tomatoes this summer got leaf curl virus, which I hear is transmitted by a little white fly. Someone told me about making a mild vinegar water solution and spraying it on leaves as an insecticide. Have you heard anything about this idea?
When I read about Aquaponics here on this site I was extremely intrigued.
See, I was able to keep the tomato caterpillar damage in check this year. (BTW - Marigold flowers do seem to keep lots of bad bugs away and the spiders don't seem to mind them.)
but some of my plants developed fungus and mold issues b/c of all the rain we had here this summer. It seems like we got almost everyone else's rain here at the coast. Even though the temps topped 100 several days, my tomatoes still split from over watering (the rain). That is in stark
Sorry for the abrupt cut off of my message. The iPhone had a hiccup and I posted before I finished the post.
The point I was trying to make was, one year was too much water, the next year too dry. Bugs, poor soil and other challenges.
What I have seen with Aquaponics is that you can have more control with the inputs and control the outcomes better. There is a little more attention that needs to be paid to the process and a little more initial expense, but, it appears that you are less at the mercy of the weather.
Now, without a greenhouse, this system may not be viable in the northern latitudes but there are reports of many successful systems as far north as BC, Canada.
But what does this mean for us? It is a way to compress growing needs into a smaller space, extend growing seasons and become more resilient. Yes, Aquaponics does bring with it a level of complexity and dependence on electricity (to run pumps) however, let's be realistic, how "food resilient" can you be with a small backyard garden?
A resource for planning for & reacting to the unexpected (storms, natural disasters and other shocks)
Members to support one another in investing endeavors
Preparing those people on Ise Lodge (Kettering) Northants, interested in the future post fossil fuel.
A meeting place for all who are interested in building or sharing a resilient lifestyle up here in the North.
A group to form alliances for survival