Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread

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Cloudfire
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Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread

 

Ok, I admit it . . . . This thread is really just an excuse to lure Plickety Cat into sharing her treasure trove of pearls of wisdom about gardening under extreme conditions  . . . . For newbies to the site, let me explain . . . . Plickety and her husband are moving to Alaska, where they intend to garden sustainably . . . . . She and hubby are both very resourceful folks with a unique ability to take in information, and use it creatively to respond to adverse conditions . . . . Clearly, they will fair well in Alaska. 

Well, on the recently intitiated Seed Savers Exchange Forum, Plickety has been holding forth about her extreme gardening strategies, and, well, I just felt that this is a subject worthy of being its own category.  In all seriousness, while Plickety's circumstances inspired the creation of this thread, it could also be the ideal place for exchanging ideas for coping with all kinds of extreme climates. 

I personally live in the temperate zone of the midwestern United States.  But, the winters here create their own sort of extreme conditions, and I can relate to the challenges of overwintering tender plants, as each year, I struggle to nurse my ornamental tropicals through the winter in a minimally heated greenhouse.  But, on a deeper level, I am intrigued by the concept of gardening under adversity, and specifically, the unquenchible spirit that compels us to do so.  So, I will open the discourse here, in which I declare that both specific information and philosophical meanderings are all fair game, with some reflections from the book that currently occupies the place of honor on my nightstand:  Defiant Gardens -- Making Gardens in Wartime, by Kennth I. Helphand (How's that for an appropriate gardener's name?)

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I have barely cracked the cover of this book, but I am already hooked. . . . The opening line of the first chapter:  "The year was 1918, the fourth year of what was then known as the Great War, which had already claimed millions of lives".  Immediately, I am struck by the fact that, within a year of the institution of the Federal Reserve, the first of the world-encompassing wars had begun . . . . . Immediately, I am confirmed in my intuition that this book's theme is relevant to the sort of gardening that we CMers find ourselves doing today . . . .

The author goes on to describe an interview with Wintston Churchill in which he maintains that "War is the normal occupation of man", only adding, after a pause, "War -- and gardening" (For those who aren't avid gardeners, the English are consummate gardeners.) . . . . . And so, here, this enigmatic man has stated in a few words that odd dichotomy of defiant gardens, "in deserts, prisons, hospitals, highway medians, vacant lots, refugee camps, rooftops, dumps, wastelands, cracks in the sidewalk". 

A turn of the page, and one is confronted with a startling, yet inspiring photo:  A circular vegetable garden, thriving in an intact bomb crater, on the grounds of Westminster Cathedral in London . . . . . So, what does that have to do with our gardens?  I would maintain that we are indeed, still at war with the same bottomless evils that plagued the world in those dark years . . . . . and gardens today are still "a revolutionary act" . . . . They free us from the slavery and insecurity of being tied into a fragile system over which we have little control . . . . and so, they are, indeed, defiant. Gardens are also a manifestation of a defiant human spirit that demands to see beauty, even in the midst of extreme ugliness, both of terrain, and of the human soul. 

There are many passages in this book that resonate with me, but one that seemed to speak specifically about our recent activities was this:  "In defiant situations, humans display a surprising resourcefulness in design and function, in formal arrangement, and in the appropriation of, gathering, and use of materials,  Recognition of our own creativity under adverse conditions heightens our satisfaction in being in such a garden."  Indeed, I recently can confirm that this is so. . . . . Let me explain . . . . .

Our suburban subdivision, after much political strife, has imposed upon us a program of road renewal, at a very heavily taxed price.  Part of the process was the removal of about fifty very large mature trees, mostly burr and swamp white oaks, as well as hickories.  As many of you may know, these are slow-growing, stately trees, with lovely grain to their wood.  Many of us were heartbroken to see these venerable companions felled.  Having recently built a new raised-bed garden on low ground from the trunks of two trees that we recently felled on our own property, it wasn't much of a stretch to imagine another, larger and more productive garden, built from these stately centenarians.

So, being the inquisitive gardener that I am, I struck up a conversation with the arborists, and negotiated with them to cut some of the victims to 20 ft lengths, and we hauled them up the street to our property.  Mind you, that this was all done in broad daylight, with full knowledge of the professionals who were on the site, and that any damage to the roads from dragging the 2 ft diameter logs was moot, since the existing asphalt was to be ground up and used as base for the new roads.

Nonetheless, one of my neighbors, who apparently remembered that I had not agreed with her "road politics" called the police.  So, in the dead of night, hearing noises in the yard, and seeing furtive flashlights in the night, I went out to chat with our municipality's finest about the legality of salvaging those logs.  After going toe-to-toe with these fellows, who, as usual, were intially intent on intimidating me into relinquishing all my rights and dignity, and having established that I was not going to be the usual submissive customer, we got down to the issue at hand . . . . And, in the glow of the flashlight, I showed them the log-walled garden that my husband and I had built . . . . Amazingly, the sight seemed to transform their attitude of "us vs. them" into one of "Wow, that's pretty cool", and pretty soon we were chatting like old friends, and joking about how petty some neighbors can be. 

My point is this:  that gardening, beyond its functions as a means of producing food in times of crisis, also provides a sort of food for our souls . . . . Food that is such nutritive value that even cynical police officers' attitudes are transformed by the concept . . . . Yes, I have a special place in my heart for defiant gardens, and I welcome any and all who would like to share their stories, techniques and philosophical meanderings. 

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ejanea
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread

 I agree with you.  

I give seeds (silver beet/swiss chard... name depends on where you're living) from my garden to any friends who are "having a bad patch" or depressed, sad or having a bad day.  I choose this vegetable because it will grow here at any time of the year,  is pretty indestructable, looks good, gives relatively instant results and is edible.  The act of growing these seeds either in the garden or even as a pot plant gives a tiny bit of responsibility for life... you have to go outside to water it if nothing else, and people can become reclusive if they're unhappy.  It makes you feel good to care for a plant and being able to produce any little bit of food gives a feeling of some control over your life, and it is a lack of control that makes people sad or depressed.

I also advocate planting potatoes if you have any yard at all... not a lot of work for the results and, once again, gives people a little bit of control over their lives.  If you have any potatoes that sprout in the cupboard, or go a bit green, don't throw them out... plant them!  Caring for plants is therapeutic...  good for both physical and mental health.

I have been saying for years that eating is the most political thing you can do every day.  You can choose to support multinational corporations or avoid them, opt out of the "money" system to a large extent,  and have considerable influence on your health. It is a political and an economic act.  And think what would happen if everyone did it!  In the words of Arlo Guthrie, it would be a movement!

I garden in a climate that has a different challenge... very dry.  But I have lived in the Canadian praries, Newfoundland, cold coastal California, tropical Australia and now inland southern Australia... none is easier or harder,  just different.  You have to look carefully at what grows well (in your neighbour's yards as well) and try lots of different plants.  Reading gardening books is good,  but not too much...  it's better to start small and look carefully at how each of your plants is doing.  By now, after a few years, I don't buy much from the shops.     http://kapundagarden.blogspot.com/

 

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PlicketyCat
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread

I've begun sending location-appropriate "victory garden" kits and a gift card for a local garden center as gifts to all my family and friends. It's just enough to get them started without being a huge commitment. Plus, it's a gift that keeps on giving... unlike cut (dead) floral arrangements or "stuff". You'd be surprised at how many local seed companies have these seed kits available lately! Some of them even include watering cans, row labels, and soil test kits. I made a big gift basket (in addition to the seed kit) for my sister as a housewarming present that included garden gloves, ergo garden tools, an extensive soil test kit, soil moisture meters, soil thermometers, compost thermometers, funky row labels in her style and a few handy books. She absolutely loved it!

I agree that it's a waste not to use materials that are just going to get thrown away. I don't get why anyone would call the cops on you for "stealing" trees that were being cut down for road improvements. What are stealing? "Trash"? Lord, but some people are Nosey Nancies and get bitter about the stupidest things!  I'm glad that you and your garden were able to subdue the officers who came out to investigate. Isn't it just the way to come out at night and try to intimidate you... forget the fact that they legally needed a warrant to search your property!!

I also agree that taking control of your food is the biggest political thing you can do on a daily basis. Growing your own and purchasing from local, small, organic farmers is the best way to get the message to the Monsatos and WalMarts of the world. They can ignore your words, but they can't ignore their shrinking profits. I'm a big supporter of voting with my dollars! I'd rather spend $5 on a pastured, non-chemically laden steak than to spend $50 dollars later on all the health problems!  I think helping each other overcome our gardening hurdles is a strong political action, and very good for the soul to boot!

Some things I have to deal with in my new homestead is permafrost, thin topsoil, extremely retarded decompostion due to cool soil and air temps, and semi-arid conditions. We have groundwater, but we have to condition any water that comes from a well because it will only be slightly above freezing which will shock the plants and lower the soil temps even more.  So, if we use well water to irrigate rather than greywater, we're going to have to run it through a solar thermal collection box to warm it up a bit first. If we can get it fairly warm that way, we may actually be able to use this to warm our soil up enough to grow some of the finicky veggies like tomatoes, corn and peppers.

Another tiny little problem we have is that last frost is mid-late May, and first frost is mid-October. Now, you can't just go out and plant your garden in May because you also have several feet of snow melting during Breakup and everything is a slushy, muddy bog... not so great for tilling and seeding. Plus, the ground is still pretty freakin' cold.  To solve this problem, we are going to design the southern half of our wraparound porch to be an attached greenhouse/sunroom. This will allow us to passively heat it from the house all winter without additional fuel to keep some of the "tropicals" alive (i.e. my dwarf citrus trees); and also to plant several flats of seedlings way before we can actually plant them outside. I'm sure we're going to have some instances of root shock and die back until we figure out what size/age seedlings work best for each plant in transplanting. We're also going to have to make extensive use of cold frames and other season extenders on the varieties that can handle the cold soil, but not transplanting. Eventually, I'm sure we'll build a proper permanent greenhouse for the tenders like cucumbers and melons.

Fruit trees aren't really an option for us. We may be able to get some crab apples to grow in an orchard, but anything else will need to be dwarf and able to be grown indoors or covered in the winter. So, we might end up with an entire mini-orchard inside a greenhouse at some point... boy, won't that be fun LOL. BUT, we do have plenty of fruiting berries all over the property and 90% of them are edible for humans in one preparation or another. So at least we won't die of vitamin deficiency! But we know we'll need those indoor dwarf citrus trees so that I can make cheese with the lemon juice (unless/until I get set up to collect/save my own rennit... gnarly process, don't ask if you really don't want to know).

Another fun little thing that most people don't have to worry about... frozen compost. Yep, even if you have a hot pile in the fall, your compost will most likely be a solid popsicle by mid-winter. It's not likely to be completely thawed by spring when you need to spread it on your new beds. Dilemma!! We're probably going to end up spreading our compost in the fall after harvest & cleanup, covering with a thick layer of mulch and then forking it over in the spring instead (deep bed/no till).  Also, winter green manures and standing winter forages aren't as good an option for us either since 1) there isn't a long enough period between harvest and frozen for most of them to establish, and 2) anything you plant in the fall will be eaten by one critter or another long before you can use it for your purposes. I don't mind feeding the moose and snow rodents, so I will plant covers and standings in the fall, but I won't count on them being there for me to use for anything in the spring!

This also causes a small problem when we get livestock. Even with cold-adapted critters, there just won't be enough standing winter forage for them... at least without risking them getting frostbite hunting around for it. So, in addition to rotational grazing, we're also going to have to practice rotational pasturing so we always have at least one pasture that's for mowing and haying while the critters are grazing on another one. If we do this right (one being grazed, one recovering, and one ready to mow), we can actually get at least 3 high-quality hay cuttings because grass grows like a demon in 24 hours of sunlight! Grains for winter and pre-natal supplementation are a bit more difficult to grow up there, so we might have to ensile or get creative... maybe seed grass, legume, and grain all in the same pasture and put it all up as hay in the fall? This is something we'll have to jigger with until we get it right I'm sure.

I feel very invigorated to be using my human brain WITH Nature instead of AGAINST her. I'm not trying to control or beat Nature into submission with my problem-solving brain... I'm using it to properly manage my garden and farm to work most effectively the way Nature wants it to. Work smart, not hard :)  Why waste man-power trying to force Nature to do what you want when it's so much more effective to use brain-power to make your life easier?!

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread

Oh yeah, and those lovely, hard-working worms in your garden and compost will freeze to death on our property every winter. Which means that we'll have to keep large vermicompost bins in our attached greenhouse and barn during the winter to add them back into the garden soil and compost piles every spring. Yes, conscious worm-farming is something that most people don't have to worry about either LOL!

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Cloudfire
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Plickety Holds Forth on Extreme Gardening
PlicketyCat wrote:

I've begun sending location-appropriate "victory garden" kits and a gift card for a local garden center as gifts to all my family and friends. It's just enough to get them started without being a huge commitment. Plus, it's a gift that keeps on giving... unlike cut (dead) floral arrangements or "stuff". You'd be surprised at how many local seed companies have these seed kits available lately! Some of them even include watering cans, row labels, and soil test kits. I made a big gift basket (in addition to the seed kit) for my sister as a housewarming present that included garden gloves, ergo garden tools, an extensive soil test kit, soil moisture meters, soil thermometers, compost thermometers, funky row labels in her style and a few handy books. She absolutely loved it!

I agree that it's a waste not to use materials that are just going to get thrown away. I don't get why anyone would call the cops on you for "stealing" trees that were being cut down for road improvements. What are stealing? "Trash"? Lord, but some people are Nosey Nancies and get bitter about the stupidest things!  I'm glad that you and your garden were able to subdue the officers who came out to investigate. Isn't it just the way to come out at night and try to intimidate you... forget the fact that they legally needed a warrant to search your property!!

I also agree that taking control of your food is the biggest political thing you can do on a daily basis. Growing your own and purchasing from local, small, organic farmers is the best way to get the message to the Monsatos and WalMarts of the world. They can ignore your words, but they can't ignore their shrinking profits. I'm a big supporter of voting with my dollars! I'd rather spend $5 on a pastured, non-chemically laden steak than to spend $50 dollars later on all the health problems!  I think helping each other overcome our gardening hurdles is a strong political action, and very good for the soul to boot!

Some things I have to deal with in my new homestead is permafrost, thin topsoil, extremely retarded decompostion due to cool soil and air temps, and semi-arid conditions. We have groundwater, but we have to condition any water that comes from a well because it will only be slightly above freezing which will shock the plants and lower the soil temps even more.  So, if we use well water to irrigate rather than greywater, we're going to have to run it through a solar thermal collection box to warm it up a bit first. If we can get it fairly warm that way, we may actually be able to use this to warm our soil up enough to grow some of the finicky veggies like tomatoes, corn and peppers.

Another tiny little problem we have is that last frost is mid-late May, and first frost is mid-October. Now, you can't just go out and plant your garden in May because you also have several feet of snow melting during Breakup and everything is a slushy, muddy bog... not so great for tilling and seeding. Plus, the ground is still pretty freakin' cold.  To solve this problem, we are going to design the southern half of our wraparound porch to be an attached greenhouse/sunroom. This will allow us to passively heat it from the house all winter without additional fuel to keep some of the "tropicals" alive (i.e. my dwarf citrus trees); and also to plant several flats of seedlings way before we can actually plant them outside. I'm sure we're going to have some instances of root shock and die back until we figure out what size/age seedlings work best for each plant in transplanting. We're also going to have to make extensive use of cold frames and other season extenders on the varieties that can handle the cold soil, but not transplanting. Eventually, I'm sure we'll build a proper permanent greenhouse for the tenders like cucumbers and melons.

Fruit trees aren't really an option for us. We may be able to get some crab apples to grow in an orchard, but anything else will need to be dwarf and able to be grown indoors or covered in the winter. So, we might end up with an entire mini-orchard inside a greenhouse at some point... boy, won't that be fun LOL. BUT, we do have plenty of fruiting berries all over the property and 90% of them are edible for humans in one preparation or another. So at least we won't die of vitamin deficiency! But we know we'll need those indoor dwarf citrus trees so that I can make cheese with the lemon juice (unless/until I get set up to collect/save my own rennit... gnarly process, don't ask if you really don't want to know).

Another fun little thing that most people don't have to worry about... frozen compost. Yep, even if you have a hot pile in the fall, your compost will most likely be a solid popsicle by mid-winter. It's not likely to be completely thawed by spring when you need to spread it on your new beds. Dilemma!! We're probably going to end up spreading our compost in the fall after harvest & cleanup, covering with a thick layer of mulch and then forking it over in the spring instead (deep bed/no till).  Also, winter green manures and standing winter forages aren't as good an option for us either since 1) there isn't a long enough period between harvest and frozen for most of them to establish, and 2) anything you plant in the fall will be eaten by one critter or another long before you can use it for your purposes. I don't mind feeding the moose and snow rodents, so I will plant covers and standings in the fall, but I won't count on them being there for me to use for anything in the spring!

This also causes a small problem when we get livestock. Even with cold-adapted critters, there just won't be enough standing winter forage for them... at least without risking them getting frostbite hunting around for it. So, in addition to rotational grazing, we're also going to have to practice rotational pasturing so we always have at least one pasture that's for mowing and haying while the critters are grazing on another one. If we do this right (one being grazed, one recovering, and one ready to mow), we can actually get at least 3 high-quality hay cuttings because grass grows like a demon in 24 hours of sunlight! Grains for winter and pre-natal supplementation are a bit more difficult to grow up there, so we might have to ensile or get creative... maybe seed grass, legume, and grain all in the same pasture and put it all up as hay in the fall? This is something we'll have to jigger with until we get it right I'm sure.

I feel very invigorated to be using my human brain WITH Nature instead of AGAINST her. I'm not trying to control or beat Nature into submission with my problem-solving brain... I'm using it to properly manage my garden and farm to work most effectively the way Nature wants it to. Work smart, not hard :)  Why waste man-power trying to force Nature to do what you want when it's so much more effective to use brain-power to make your life easier?!

 

Well, Plickety, you have certainly confirmed that my time setting up this thread was well spent.  What a treasure of adaptive thinking this post is . . . .  . I don't know where to start.  I am continually amazed at both the depth and breadth of your planning.  Aspergers, indeed!  Tell me where I can get some!

I love your idea of garden gift baskets so much, that I'm going to steal it, with your permission, of course.  Truly, having the right tools in hand is the first hurdle to getting past the intimidation of starting one's first garden.  The other day, I had a client, who has little confidence in the garden, ask me, among many other mundane questions, where and what kind of pruners to buy.  Don't get me wrong . . . .  This lady has all the makings of a first-class gardener . . . . . The passion for living things and the eye for beauty is there, but she's just hesitant to make a mistake.  I think that providing the right tools to get started is a useful way to get over that hurdle. 

Your description of the unexpected problems of gardening in such long winters with permafrost make for intriguing reading.  You are a talented, colorful writer.  Truly, I think you should keep a journal with an eye toward later publication of your experiences going "into the wild". 

And finally, put simply, I second your comments about working with, not against, nature.  That wisdom goes a long way toward the sustainability of our patience, in addition to our ecosystems.

Thanks again.  I'm so pleased to see you here.

C1oudfire

 

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PlicketyCat
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread

Anyone and everyone feel free to "steal" my garden gift basket idea... more's the better IMO!  Just remember to get a seed kit that's appropriate to their region and growing conditions :)

It was a bit difficult for me to buy the right tools for my sister because she is 6'1" with much larger hands than me (or most women), but more delicate hands than a man. I spent many an hour trying to find non-masculine ergo gear in larger sizes... longer handles so she doesn't have to bend over as far, wider grips for long thin fingers, etc etc.  And I thought buying her jeans and shoes was hard!!

The ability to assimilate and munge data is my claim to fame. Boy, if I didn't have that I would be a total mess! I think it's God's little compensation for the other design flaws ROFL.

We're blogging our adventure from prep to production, so you guys can keep track of us at http://www.jenninewardle.com . We might not have the time to stay current on the forums once we're in the thick of things, but we're hoping to be able to drive into the village and post a new blog entry once a week or so. I might get around to writing a book (or series) about it all some day.

(oh, yeah, for all those who haven't figured it out yet... when you visit the blog, you'll finally have the proof that Gungnir and I are married!)

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Cloudfire
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread
PlicketyCat wrote:

Anyone and everyone feel free to "steal" my garden gift basket idea... more's the better IMO!  Just remember to get a seed kit that's appropriate to their region and growing conditions :)

It was a bit difficult for me to buy the right tools for my sister because she is 6'1" with much larger hands than me (or most women), but more delicate hands than a man. I spent many an hour trying to find non-masculine ergo gear in larger sizes... longer handles so she doesn't have to bend over as far, wider grips for long thin fingers, etc etc.  And I thought buying her jeans and shoes was hard!!

The ability to assimilate and munge data is my claim to fame. Boy, if I didn't have that I would be a total mess! I think it's God's little compensation for the other design flaws ROFL.

We're blogging our adventure from prep to production, so you guys can keep track of us at http://www.jenninewardle.com . We might not have the time to stay current on the forums once we're in the thick of things, but we're hoping to be able to drive into the village and post a new blog entry once a week or so. I might get around to writing a book (or series) about it all some day.

(oh, yeah, for all those who haven't figured it out yet... when you visit the blog, you'll finally have the proof that Gungnir and I are married!)

 

Well, you heard it here first, folks!    Aw, but now I won't have the pleasure of feeling like I'm in on the secret . . . . .   And, , we get to know what Gungnir really looks like!  With the images he's been using to represent himself, I thought maybe he made the critters on Men in Black look normal.  It's kind of a letdown to find out that he's a pretty human sort of a guy. 

Well, I, for one, will be looking forward to sitting down with your blog and catching up.  It's a good idea, really, and maybe a good way to avoid the censorship on CM.    But, please continue to grace us here with your presence for as long as possible, Plickety [and Gungnir!] . . . . . Ah, that felt good . . . . 

 

 

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PlicketyCat
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread

Hehe C1oud! He's been letting it slip offline with members of the tactics thread so I figured we wouldn't keep it a secret for much longer. Just as long as people realize that we are two separate people, and while we see similarly on some issues we totally don't see eye-to-eye on others!

Yep, he's a pretty normal-looking guy once you get past his full jacket of old-school tattoos and his strong resemblance to a Sicilian meathead (and he's only 1/4 Sicilian!). If you meet him in daylight, he's fairly approachable; but meet him at night and he gives off a much less savory impression (which is just one of the things I like about him since I appear so utterly unthreatening most of the time).

We'll keep online as long as we can, and check in if we get some extended periods on the school's Internet connection (or find someone willing to let us camp out in their driveway and slave off their high-speed WiFi).

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Cloudfire
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread
PlicketyCat wrote:

Just as long as people realize that we are two separate people, and while we see similarly on some issues we totally don't see eye-to-eye on others!

Well, there's certainly no risk of confusing the two of you . . . You're both very unique, yet well suited to each other at the same time.  Y'all better check in occasionally, or run the risk of me turning up on your doorstep to see how you're doing!    Anyway, it's too early for so longs . . . . .  BTW, when are you making the move?

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ao
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread
PlicketyCat wrote:

Another tiny little problem we have is that last frost is mid-late May, and first frost is mid-October.

Great thread and great info.  I do wonder though if you have your dates right?  FWIW, we are considerably south of you lattitude wise and right next to a Great Lake (which buffers temperature extremes somewhat) and yet our growing season is shorter than yours ... we just had a frost in the first week of June.

 

Oh ... and ask Gungnir if he's going to plink at those bears with his 9 mm. pea shooter or get a real man revolver.

Sorry, couldn't let that one go. ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PlicketyCat
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread
c1oudfire wrote:
PlicketyCat wrote:

Just as long as people realize that we are two separate people, and while we see similarly on some issues we totally don't see eye-to-eye on others!

Well, there's certainly no risk of confusing the two of you . . . You're both very unique, yet well suited to each other at the same time.  Y'all better check in occasionally, or run the risk of me turning up on your doorstep to see how you're doing!    Anyway, it's too early for so longs . . . . .  BTW, when are you making the move?

We're heading out July 20th and should hit Fairbanks on the 24th. Wwwwweeeeeeee!

And good luck finding our doorstep without a GPS and a land nav map!

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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread

ao, I don't use 9mm, I use 40 S&W in a handgun. (Auto)

Bear Shootin' defense wise 3" 12 gauge Brenneke KO Slugs, and 3" 00 buck (Pump)

Hunting bear, 30-06, or 338 Win Mag. depending on the bear.(Semi auto, and Bolt)

Course if my gun falls in the mud, as is likely, at least it'll still work when I need it

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PlicketyCat
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Re: Gardening En Extremis, aka The Defiant Garden Thread
ao wrote:
PlicketyCat wrote:

Another tiny little problem we have is that last frost is mid-late May, and first frost is mid-October.

Great thread and great info.  I do wonder though if you have your dates right?  FWIW, we are considerably south of you lattitude wise and right next to a Great Lake (which buffers temperature extremes somewhat) and yet our growing season is shorter than yours ... we just had a frost in the first week of June.

 

Oh ... and ask Gungnir if he's going to plink at those bears with his 9 mm. pea shooter or get a real man revolver.

Sorry, couldn't let that one go. ;-)

Yes, I'm quite sure of my frost dates, but our growing season is still only 100 days +/- (July, August, September) because the ground is still frozen, too cold and too wet for about a month after last frost. We still get frosts after May, they just aren't usually killing frosts for cold hardy plants; but say goodbye to anything tender... best not to (trans)plant those until July.

And I'm the one with the HK 9mm, Gungnir has a the SW 40. I also have a .38 sp/.357 mag revolver... which I specifically replaced with the HK 9mm because it was not particularly reliable in the bush or the cold.  The sidearm ain't for bears... it's for backup and two-legged predators. My 12g shotty loaded with hot slugs is for the bears!

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