Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees!  

 

Welcome  backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, beekeepers & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 165
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, plant & prune, grow food & flowers, or sit and watch as someone else does your landscaping, you'll find something here to discuss!

Selected topics, in no particular order:
Moon Phase Widget here. Moon phase topic here.
What's your gardening style?
Frugal gardening.
Backyard Chickens here. here. here. here.
Growing Fruits
Wild Parsnip - It can burn skin.
Why buy locally-grown plants?
Squirrels.
bees.
Cheap gardening.
Buy locally grown plants to prevent blight transmission here.
Grow lots of fruits in a small space, by backyard orchard culture.

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Comment by Plinius on July 27, 2013 at 1:15am

I love the Spokane pictures, Joan, it's so beautiful.

I have to go by old family stories to tell about my grandmothers, they died when I was very young. One grandmother had a garden and a small shop and library next to my grandfather's smithy, she let rooms and sold meals to passers-by - all this in a very small village that disappeared when that part of the country was tarmacced. She was always in debt, but she fed everyone who happened to be there and people loved her.

The other grandmother was taught by religion that there is no good in the world, so she never saw any good. No garden, just hellfire. Her family starved in the 30s crisis and again in WW2; most of them survived TBC.

My parents were 21 when the war began; my father was well off in the farmers' community where he lived, but my mother was starving with her family. She and her sister decided to leave; they walked 200 KM, begging and bartering, working for a meal - one of the family secrets is about a broken off pregnancy -  and at last  found food, shelter and work in the village of my other grandmother.

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 27, 2013 at 12:33am

Spud, I just now remembered you telling us of preparing your soil and had started your melons in pots. Sorry, I forgot. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 27, 2013 at 12:21am

My home is located on top of The Columbia Basin basalt flows, deep layers of a fine, grained, igneous black rock . The basalt is lava flows that cooled and hardened, layer upon layer just as a layer cake.   These magnificent lava floods occurred on a scale unequalled to anywhere else around the world because of the build up of the Rockies and Cascade mountain ranges. These basalts are part of the flows of rock formations called “Columbia River Basalt Group” which covers nearly all of Eastern Washington from the Cascades and south of the Spokane River and up through the Grand Coulee Dam.

The geology of the area was also impacted by the last Ice Age that extended farther south than my home. During the end of that era, the melt water created huge floods which scoured out the Spokane River valley. 

All these forces of nature also impacted the Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR area because the Spokane River flows into the Columbia river which empties into the Pacific near Vancouver/Portland. 

We have many sub climes all along these river channels and many different kinds of crops. 

For a quick look at the varieties of landscape in this part of the world, these pictures show not only the granites (Mt. Spokane) that can be found, but also the Glacial Lake Missoula and the Ice Age Floods,  the  limestone cavern in the state with stalagmites and stalactites which originated when the Spokane area was part of an inland ocean and the rich farmlands that formed all along the way throughout time.

Down to Earth - Seven wonders of Spokane

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 26, 2013 at 11:54pm

Spud, I am really interested in how your melons do by the end of the season and how they produce. With properly prepared soil, they will be happy growers. Do keep me up to date on them. 

Chris, how did your grandmother manage her food? Did she grow a garden? My relatives in Belgium of my generation do not garden, however their parents still do. My relatives who were children and adults during WWII had terrible food shortages. Our families sent the packages but I can't remember what was in them. Too busy being a little girl, I guess.  What generation from yours was living and working during WWII? How did they manage? 

I was never able to grow good melons in my south Spokane garden. Our elevation is too high. In the Spokane River valley, they grow outstanding ones. 

Sentient, can you grow the midget cantaloupe in pots and get good fruit? 

Comment by Sentient Biped on July 26, 2013 at 10:46pm

Spud, my watermelons are barely growing.  They are at about 4 leaves.  Not very promising!  Okra doing the same thing.  So much for breaking the rules!

The Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe might be getting somewhere.  The vines are about 18 inches long and have some flower buds.  In a similar vein, I have cucumbers at about about 18 inches long and with flower buds, too.

Comment by Plinius on July 26, 2013 at 9:50am

I'd like to see your watermelons, Idaho, any pictures? I hope you get everything done before the frost starts!

I remember my mother preserving food, Joan, but it wasn't home grown, just bought when cheap. Perhaps I'll start learning how to preserve, I found a book on wildplukken - gathering edibles in the wild - not that there is much WILD around here, but a friend and I will make some walks to gather elderberry and things like that. But I'll study the subject first; this part of the country is one big urban area and more than a bit polluted... green dreams are ok but a sensible approach comes first.

 

Comment by Idaho Spud on July 26, 2013 at 9:31am

Joan, I thought my post was a little confusing about growing watermelon in pots.  

I meant that I had planted seeds in pots for later transplant to the garden when they were of the right size.  However, it took me so long to modify my soil that they have grown much too large in the pots and even started producing fruit.

I will transplant them to the garden on Sunday or Monday and see what happens.

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 26, 2013 at 8:56am
Sentient, your fruit plate looks so fresh, You have planned well.

Chris, I am impressed with your variety and quantity in your small roof garden. I enjoy your posts.

Spud, frost coming so soon? Oh dear, the summer goes so fast. I look forward to hearing how your melons turn out. I've never tried to grow them in pots and am anxious to learn how that works. My farming families grew theirs on the barn manure-straw heap outside the barn doors. The melons had plenty of rich nutrients and, they dedicated hoses to the heaps.

Randall, your yields look great, Some fine eating awaits you. Do you plan on preserving beans and tomatoes? Your neighbors don't know what they are missing with your fresh grown produce.

As a girl, one of our major chores of the year was growing and preserving foods. Today's shoppers miss the fine flavors from carefully grown food with lots of good nutrition in healthy soil.

There are several huge slugs that seem to favor one sunflower volunteer from my bird feeder station and they ate every leaf on the poor thing. I spread diatomacious earth around it and it is now getting some leaves. It is only about 16" tall while the other sunflowers are 6' tall.

Organic Gardening - Pest Control
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFxB5-W9Qkw
Comment by Randall Smith on July 26, 2013 at 6:37am

As soon as I "hang up" here, I'm freezing sweet corn (off the cob). It's been a banner year. I put 2 doz ears on a table by the road, to sell for $4/doz, but I didn't have one single buyer in 2 days. There must be a glut out there in Hoosier land. Or people are too much in a hurry to stop. More for me to freeze.

Of course, green beans, zuc., tomatoes, kale, etc. are coming on like gangbusters. Brocolli, too! Yum. The fruit trees are so loaded, I'm sure to lose limbs--nature's way of pruning (I don't). One week to peaches and yellow transparent apples. Oh what fun this time of year is!

Comment by Idaho Spud on July 26, 2013 at 6:10am

Sentient, how are your watermelon doing?

I can see the light at the end of the ground-modifying tunnel.  I should be through Sunday and will plant the rest of my poor root bound plants in pots just in case the frost comes late this year.

There are two 4-inch watermelon and one 5-inch muskmelon growing on the potted plants.  I don't expect much from them, but I do have one pot that I planted short season watermelon seed in just 2 weeks ago, so the plant in that pot is just at the right stage for planting in my modified soil.

The long-season watermelon that I planted quite a while ago is looking great.  It has vines going everywhere, the longest is 10 feet.  There are a few half-inch melons and one 2-inch.

Frost will be here in 6 to 9 weeks, so I'm not getting my hopes up for watermelon, but I've been eating raspberries, and the blackberries are just starting to ripen.

 

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