Category Archives: Container

Grow Your Own Ginger and Turmeric

I bought some freshly harvested ginger and turmeric at the Farmers Market today. It has been delicious in the past and I am looking forward to eating and drinking it.   

I had a discussion about growing it with a gardening  friend and the vendor at th market. I have grown garlic before and have propagated an avocado plant from a seed but am curious about growing these 2 rhizomes.

I have done a little research { played with th  google machine} and found that there are a few simple steps to take.   Now this doesn’t make it easy nor fast but it seems quite simple.

A. Find some seed stock [rhizome with eyes] 

B. Prepare soil in a 12″ or bigger pot, and make sure the soil is rich and alkaline and drains well

C. Place in warm area , with adequate sun

D. Water as needed and be patient

I found a few useful links:

Some easy basics. –     http://m.wikihow.com/Grow-a-Ginger-Plant 

Some more info for garden planting  – http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-ginger.html

And another for growing in a pot or pots…- http://balconygardenweb.com/how-to-grow-ginger-in-pot-growing-ginger-indoors/

     TURMERIC

Growing Turmeric is very similar as noted in the link here-

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/how-to-grow-your-own-turmeric-indoors-its-easier-than-you-think/slide/3

Enjoy the journey and the food.

Great food and great medicine……
@martyroddy

Sprouts- ‘Baby’ Food that is Easy to grow and Get Healthy With.

I have experimented with packets of sprouting seeds and a few days of twice daily rinses and watching the taisl pop out and then the baby leaves and then DIGGING in.

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/05/23/edible-garden.aspx

   ***  HOW TO Grow sprouts for Healthy Food and Life

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/606515-how-to-grow-sprouts/

Alfalfa Sprouts– (procedure similar for others)

http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/home-and-gardening/headlines/20130313-see-how-to-grow-alfalfa-sprouts-in-your-kitchen.ece

Late Start in a New Garden – Late Spring Early Summer

This post is for gardening fans that move to new quarters in late spring or early summer but want to have some GARDEN FUN this year. If you move into a place where the previous tenant had a garden then…..  BUT if you move to a place with a virgin lawn what are your options?

  You are in luck if you live in a region with a nearby farmers market and/or a number of local CSA’s ( Community Supported Agriculture) to purchase a supply of seedlings for the garden late in the season. And have access to some expertise to ask a few questions as the season goes on.

If you do get a late start what ar your food options? The most popular summer plants are: tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplants. These are all great options for a new soil planting or straw bale gardens that are started in May or June.

What are these options:

NEW SOIL PLANTING-       Image

  1. Purchase Top Soil/Garden Soil- 40# bags at garden center
  2. Place several sheets of newspaper/or a sheet of cardboard on grass and wet thoroughly
  3. Cut an x in back of bag place on paper/board
  4. Cut large hole or several smaller hole on the top side of soil bag and plant 
    Image

    Veggies planted directly in Soil bag

  5. END OF SEASON- Prep for next year
  6. Lift bag and leave soil in place and add compost, manure, leaves cut grass to season in the winter for use next spring

HINTS/TIPS-        Some plants may need deeper roots – so using a box cutter or spade to puncture the paper or cardboard may be necessary.

STRAW BALE GARDEN –

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  1. Purchase several bales of straw and a few bags of garden soil or composted manure.
  2. Place in garden area on side(with open straw-string is usually along the other edges)
  3.  For 3 days wet the bales thoroughly
  4. Days 4-10 add a mixture of water/liquid organic fertilizer(High Nitrogen)
  5. Days 11-14 add water and finally soil/manure     
    Image

    Straw bales seasoned with water/fert- and soil READY to PLANT

  6. Make holes and plant seedlings with appropriate spacing [i.e. a standard bale  could support 4- 6 tomatoes/peppers….etc..  
    Image

    Just Planted Straw Bales

BAG OR SACK GARDENING –

This can be with commercially available planting sacks or “socks” or burlap bags commonly available from coffee roasters and other food processors.   

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Burlap bags filled with growing medium and providing a bountiful harvest

Natural material bags are filed with planting medium – soil/compost/manure and are placed in garden area- wet thoroughly and plant. The prevent weeds and are easy to water and maintain.  

####                        LONG TERM CONCERNS and PLANS  ( next year and after)

*** Testing the soil, Drainage, Tilth, Smell, Soil Life

  1. Soil Test- Can buy a kit or submit to local extension agent
  2. Drainage- dig a 1’ x1’ hole- Fill with water and time the drainage time  .4-6 hours is too slow and needs organic matter to speed  up and make it softer and ,2 hours it is too thin and needs more organic matter.
  3. Tilth – how firm is the soil- will it hold in a ball when wet, but break apart easily, or crumble with no resistance?
  4. Smell- Is your soil fresh, earthy or rotten and putrid?  ( may need to learn THIS ONE)
  5. Soil Life- Shovel full of soil-  How many worms and other visible organisms?

https://twitter/martyroddy

Hugelkultur -Raised beds for True Permaculture and Long term Production.

I love the idea of hugelkultur and have tried it a few times with some success- I expect it to increase with time as the underlying logs break down.
Hugelkultur –
http://permaculturenews.org/2010/08/03/the-art-and-science-of-making-a-hugelkultur-bed-transforming-woody-debris-into-a-garden-resource/

logs and scraps for base of Hugelkutur bed

logs and scraps for base of Hugelkutur bed


Fallen trees and branches and logs used as base for raised beds that will ultimately be fertile and require less water than traditional beds- especially after 2-3-4 years.
Logs and branches and leaves topped with soil/compost to grow..

Logs and branches and leaves topped with soil/compost to grow..


Huglekulture Inside

The next hill I hope to make is when I help some friends build at least one good sized herb hill or herb spiral. The hope is to make a medicine and tea garden as well as supply the the neighborhood bees with food.
May do a basic circle or spiral but I am thinking that a keyhole setup will allow for easier planting, weeding and harvesting.

Keyhole setup for hugelkultur and Composting.

Keyhole setup for hugelkultur and Composting.


U shaped Hugel - raised bed. Utilize a lot of wood and produce a lot of herbs and greens.

U shaped Hugel – raised bed. Utilize a lot of wood and produce a lot of herbs and greens.

Found these great images online and will add more as the real hills get assembled and used.
**Building
**Loading
**Planting and then long term as the wood breaks down and feeds the soil for years.

Compost bin Construction- Pig Pen gone and Compost on the Way

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New compost bin- 1st section ready, loading up

I recently helped friends start a new multi-bin composting system. The above is the way it looks now as 1 bin is ready and getting loaded. Eventually It will have 3 bins for Compost in 3 stages. (green- starting, half way and ready for the garden).

 

The footprint for the bin started the day as an old pig pen, all of the pieces have been reclaimed and many will be used in other projects around the house and yard. The old nails were too rusted and damaged to reclaim but will be sent to recycling.    

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Pieces and debris removed from the Pig Pen for Compost bin location.

The reclaimed HT (heat treated) wooden pallets will make a solid frame for the collection and creation of the black “gold” that will feed the garden and plants for years to come. The mountain soil in this are is very fertile but also heavy with clay. Additions of alluvial/sandy soil from the stream, leaf mold and compost will keep it strong for years to come and fertile as the garden of Eden.

There are plans to complete the full 3 bin system as well as a Hot compost drum- to speed up the process for the garden as to “spike” the other open compost bins . It will look something like this: Image   

 

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Ultimately the bins will look like this. 3 bins with a pallet base- covered by burlap coffee bean bags.

More plans and more work for the 2014 garden..

 

Link

SPROUTS – Tiny Explosions of Taste and Nutrition

SPROUTS – Tiny Explosions of Taste and Nutrition

I have loved sprouts since the first time I scooped them off the salad bar into my plate. later enjoying them in stir fry and other meals.

Then I read about sprouting seeds in a jar and eating the young sprouts, seeds and roots. At that time I learned that there are dozens of seeds and plants available for sprouting and eating- all are economical sources of nutrient rich food.  

Many of the “sprouts” have a greater nutritional impact- bang for the buck- many have a different impact. All are fun because you can grow and watch them form AND then eat them.

Many can be used in smoothies or juice(especially wheatgrass/barley grass) and they have a great nutrient impact. 

Add a few baskets and trays and jars for a full rotating crop of greens and beans and other young veggies to keep you well fed and entertained.

# # http://alliemoonraw.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/20121004-190935.jpg 

Some information on choosing seeds and growing sprouts for food.

*                       http://www.efoodsdirect.com/blog/sprouting-how-to-choose-seeds/

You can save money om food by growing inexpensive sprouts – You can even make money sharing or selling sprouts and microgreens-

 

**             http://hubpages.com/hub/Growing-and-selling-Microgreens-An-example-of-a-commercial-urban-agriculture-operation

 

Potato Towers are coming Along Nicely for 2014

After the Potato Tower has been set up with soil/compost and Straw- seed potatoes set in the soil and topped with soil/compost-

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Potato Towers with soil/compost and straw- ready for seeds.

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Allow for the plants to get started and as the leaves spread and vines grow to about 3-5 inches add a mix of compost and soft-sandy soil as well as a ring or straw around the framework-Up to the bottom of the leaves.
Water well again and **

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Potatoes planted-March 2014- leaves poking out

-Allow to grow 3-5 more inches and repeat the process 1 or 2 more times and then let the tower and all of the plants to grow and spread out the top and sides of the tower.

Keep it well watered BUT not too wet. Fertilize with aged manure / compost and an organic fetilizer. Fertilizer should have good mix of Potassium and Phosporous and lower Nitrogen . Too much Nitrogen and you will have a great collection of green and leggy plants but lower output of potatoes. Using any fertilizer with high phosphorus-potassium to nitrogen content will do them well. N-P-K – 5-10-10 or 8-24-24 are good mixes.

If adding fertilizer- make sure to scratch it into the soil and not in contact with the plants growing in the tower.

Option 2 ( add more seedling potatoes)

After the Potato Tower has been set up with soil/compost and Straw- seed potatoes set in the soil and topped with soil/compost-

Allow for the plants to get started and as the leaves spread and vines grow to about 3-5 inches add a mix of compost and soft-sandy soil as well as a ring or straw around the framework-Up to the bottom of the leaves.
Water well again and **

-Allow to grow 3-5 more inches and repeat the process of adding soil/compost and straw and add more seed potatoes and cover with 2 inches of soft sandy soil up to the bottom of the established leaves. you will now have 2 sets of plants growing .
***repeat the fill and cover process 1 or 2 more times to the top of the tower and allow the plants to grow and spread out the top and sides of the tower.

Water and fertilize as before.

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