Do you have a Victory garden?
Fightingback Envious –
Sounds like you’re in Britain? Any community gardens nearby? Any community land that might be turned into garden space (negotiating with your local councils)? My husband’s cousin in Islington in London can walk to her allotment in a community garden, and was instrumental in a group taking over a derelict railway line ravine and turning it into the garden – part allotments and part nature reserve. With all the traffic noise all around, the birdsong in there is heartwarming. Here’s her and Graeme in her allotment:
Yes! We bought some space, about 100’ x 125’ in 1990. For many years a single wide mobile home occupied the site, but since 2017 the land has been vacant. In 2018 I planted a couple of tomatoes there, (yes, only 2), but too late in the season to amount to anything. In 2019, knowing that Deer pass through daily, my son and I drilled 42 post holes by hand and strung 7’ Deer fencing around the perimeter. We were thrilled when we discovered the single roll of fence we had bought was enough to enclose the whole garden — with 2 extra feet to spare. I grew tomatoes, Jalapeño Peppers, Cabbages and Collard Greens with success, and also a ton of Kale, which we canned and froze. One big challenge last year was not having water on site: I carried water in pails from home, and did hand watering exclusively. Halfway through the season a neighbour kindly offered me the use of her garden hose, but this required me to run it across the road, which was an annoyance.
This year, 2020, the SARS-2 Corona Virus has changed everything. All of my paid employment has disappeared and now all of my time is my own. Fortunately for us, our house and garden space is paid for! A boon for me has been receiving help from one of our 20-something sons — who has also been left high and dry by the pandemic — but who has been keen to help out with garden related construction. Working together, we’ve dug a 4’ x 30’ trench for a waterline and connected to Village water. We now have unlimited water running at 86 psi. This will make irrigation possible and should reduce the need for hand watering.
We were amazed how easily the digging went; it took us only a day to dig the entire trench with access pits at each end. We even invented an excavation technique that we called “The swing shovel”. By rigging a strap around the head of a long-handled spade, two of us working together we able to dig a > 4’ trench without having to widen the trench beyond 10 – 12” or so.
With that job done, we moved on to the task of soil fertility. We dismantled a poorly built sun-deck and used the salvaged lumber to build 4’x 4’ x 4’ compost bins permanently installed at the street-facing front of our garden. Last fall, I set out a sandwich board sign offering people a place to dump their leaves, clippings and organic wastes. I set the sign out again this Spring and have been pleased to receive a continuing stream or greens and browns.
It took me the better part of an afternoon a couple of weeks ago to fill up out first bin with alternating layers of browns and greens. Yesterday, with so much more organic matter being dropped off, I decided to turn the contents of the first bin into the second. It took me about an hour and a half working alone to turn the bin. Tomorrow, I’ll have Bin #1 ready to fill up again. I mean make the production of compost a high priority — I think it’s not really possible to have too much finished compost — so I will continue to accept all donations of organic matter without restriction. I will allow the overall flow of raw organic material to dictate the rate at which I turn the piles, so Composting will continue to be a priority right through this growing season.
4/24 Garden Updates
Hope all the gardens are going well. Here are some pictures of our backyard metro Vegas garden:
Hanging/inverted tomoto plant in Sam’s club water bottle experiment…
Yesterday’s strawberry haul….
There be tomatoes now!
They say the old folks used to bury their valuables in the ground outside their bedroom window………
Swimming pools, movie stars….
Gone to the dogs…
Any other garden updates?
Jim..in the control group..Vegas.
Things are doing well here in Backyard Vegas and it is starting to heat up. Some update pics..,
Week 7 update pics:
I do, in a community garden. But if things get bad it will be raided so I also just got this on the recommendation of a gardener friend. It’s going on my balcony. (Mine, all mine!)
There’s a few different tower gardens around – I like the compost aspect of this one, and the compost tea (which will go on all my plants). I will either move it inside for the winter or I’ll set it up inside with veggies that require less light.
Peggy – looks like a great idea! Any idea of the weight, fully loaded, for guessing how much one’s balcony can take?
I have a Victory garden growing lots of leafy greens, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, many varieties of beans, herbs and potatoes. I’m using the Square Foot Gardening method and have complimentary plants growing together. I’m doing as much as I can to do this Permaculturally. I have a mealworm farm, rabbits and quail. We go out daily foraging for the rabbits (and ourselves) and we’re experimenting with fermenting the quail’s feed with great results. They’re going through the feed much slower due to the probiotics. We live at a mobile home park in the motorhome we were travelling in before the pandemic and the owner of the park is kind enough to let us do this, he even seems to enjoy it! I even got my brother and Dad to do the same back home in Colorado!
I put in a larger garden this year than I have in years, and more “calorie crop” type foods. This phto is almost a month old, it is 2 48 sq ft beds of potatoes, with a large Hudson Golden Gem apple tree in the background
Hard to get overall photos of the garden, here is one view, looking back to the house. There are 14 48sq ft raised beds, in 2 columns. There are Grapes and Kiwi on the trellis over the deck.
View the other way, from the deck over the garden, background is a few fruit trees, a pear tree and blackberries
Well, I’ve heard the only people who buy zucchini during zucchini season are those who don’t have friends. I’m thinking it may be just the opposite. During this season, only your best friends will take that zucchini off of your hands!
We left town for 3 nights and came back to this harvest in our victory garden… Some of these are 3 pounders. Almost too big to eat… but are great as zucchini bread or baked in olive oil and seasoning and served with marinara sauce.
I’m thinking of all of the ways one can prepare zucchini. Kind of like Bubba’s shrimp list in Forest Gump… remember that?
It’s zucchini season!