Article: Winter gardening on the urban farm: An inspiration as always!

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Image Winter gardening on the urban farm
By bit bit on October 23, 2011

A big part of self-sufficiency is being able to provide for oneself all year, not just when the weather's nice. And, with the right planning and preparation, it's entirely possible to harvest all winter in most climates. If you've thought about growing some food in the colder parts of the year, read on for tips and tricks.

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Imagestormyla
Oct 23, 2011 11:57 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Bit, Thanks for the wonderful garden tour! Thumbs up I love seeing your urban garden in all it's seasons. Your threads and articles have been a great help to me and I hope to see a lot more of them. Big Grin
ImageZanymuse
Oct 23, 2011 12:39 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
In an era when most people do not even know what country their food is from it is great to see that it is possible to grow your own and know the fresh tastes and quality of ones food. Thumbs up on a very good article!
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Zany's Playpen
Imagenap
Oct 23, 2011 1:51 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
I agree Zany took the words right out of my mouth.

But make it easy for me, please. Just exactly how big is 1/8 of an acre??
Imagebitbit
Oct 23, 2011 3:09 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Nap, hmm... it's a standard lot size around here, though a lot of suburbs have 1/4 acre instead. I've never measured my gardens specifically, I just know the lot size from the tax bills Glare According to Google (I had to look it up), 1/8 acre is 5445 square feet or 505.8 square meters. My house is covering about 1300 square feet, plus the garage, driveway, and a big area under trees that's too shady to grow veggies, so I probably have about 2000 square feet of garden-able space in all. Some of that is still lawn despite my best efforts, and the rest is divided up between rows, walkways, and some large hedges.

Thanks for the encouragement, guys! I didn't want to bore people with an article too similar to my first one, but I've learned so much about winter gardening that I just wanted to share. So, is anyone else here growing food over the winter this year?
ImageZanymuse
Oct 23, 2011 3:27 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Bore us Confused I don't even garden anymore and I am not bored! I learn something new with each article. For instance, I knew Saffron comes from a flower but I didn't realize it was such a pretty flower or which part is used. No wonder it is so expensive to buy!
Playpen of Graphics FREE graphics, FREE Jigsaw puzzles!
Zany's Playpen
Imagebitbit
Oct 23, 2011 5:19 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Zany, the main cost of saffron comes from the fact that it can't be harvested mechanically. In the home garden, taking tweezers to each flower doesn't seem too inconvenient, but in a commercial operation, it means very high labor costs.

I don't grow much for looks, but I really do love seeing the little saffron crocuses this time of year, when most flowers have finished blooming.
Imagestormyla
Oct 23, 2011 5:29 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Bit, Saffron is one of the spices that I haven't replaced since my fire and I'm dreading looking to see what it costs today.

Here's a soup recipe to help you use up some of those greens and saffron.

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/11/north-african-chickpea-...
Imagebitbit
Oct 23, 2011 5:39 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Thanks, Stormy! I don't need much help using up the saffron - a "generous pinch" may be all I grow in a year now! The bulbs seem to be dividing themselves nicely, though, so I'll have enough for soups and paellas in a few years.
Imagenap
Oct 23, 2011 5:46 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
Back to the size of your garden, wow - by my puny garden, that's a very good size! I'm glad to see you are making excellent use of it!
Imagesallyg
Oct 23, 2011 6:33 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Nicely written and illustrated.
Another plus is the lack of bugs when it gets cool! I'm seing a revival in my stuggling greens.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
ImageSharon
Oct 24, 2011 12:07 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Excellent article, Bit!
Very informative, thank you.
Imagebitbit
Oct 24, 2011 6:37 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Thanks, guys!

Nap, that was a rough estimate; I definitely don't grow food on all of that space. I still have a bit of lawn, but my goal is to garden as much of the property as I can. I've been impressed since I started gardening here how little space it really takes to feed ourselves.

Sally, I'm still waiting for it to be cool enough for the cabbage whites to go away. But you're right, that is a major benefit of winter gardening that I forgot to mention.
Imagesheryl
Oct 24, 2011 7:54 AM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
You really are an inspiration. So far, I have Bright Lights chard in, onions and leeks. I have *no* idea when to harvest this stuff, but I feel really productive, lol!

Great article, Bit, nice writing, too.
Imagevalleylynn
Oct 24, 2011 12:04 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
A truly inspiring article about providing food year round.
Sadly I have become lazy as I get older, but we did all of this when raising our children.
ImageMuttim
Oct 27, 2011 2:27 PM CST
Name: MuttiM Morgan
Gainesville Va
I love the tour and well written article. The posters above captured it, bore us! My little garden is closing down for the season, maybe I can catch some of your inspiration and set up a winter garden. I was looking at my little patch the other day wondering if I could create something to cover it. I just heard that we are getting our first frost tonight, here in Northern Virginia.
MuttiM
[Last edited Oct 27, 2011 9:28 AM CST]
Quote | Post #781607 (15)
Imagestormyla
Oct 27, 2011 2:41 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Us too Muttim. I'm trying to decide whether or not to go out and pick the rest of my tomatoes now. Confused
Imagebitbit
Oct 27, 2011 2:51 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Hi Mutti! I was wondering when I'd see you around here Smiling

No frost in the forecast for us yet, tonight's low is only down to 50! It's amazing how different the climate is within the same state.

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