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A Summary of this Year's Garden

 
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:35 am    Post subject: A Summary of this Year's Garden Reply with quote

I started out this year fairly ambitious in the gardening, upping the garden's size from 1700 SF to 2200 SF, and by mid-July found that unless I cave in and start using modern gardening practices to pick up the slack imposed by my modern work schedule, the battle is lost to weeds and pests in a garden this size. Since a reproduction garden planted mostly in 18th c. heirlooms ceases to be a true heirloom garden with the use of modern expedients (IMHO), and since I only have at best 3 hours a day on average to devote to a garden, I think it best to roll the size of my garden back next year. A smaller well-tended garden is preferable to a larger one poorly tended, and will provide about as much as a larger one over-run by weeds and pests for the labor put into it.

In any event, in addition to the weeds eventually winning the war against the hoe and lack of time, our area was beset by cooler and damper than average weather through a good part of the season, followed by a late season drought, all of which conspired to disappoint by last year's standards. Nevertheless I got a passable harvest in all but my tomatoes, which were heavily affected by blight, and there were a few bright or remarkable things to come of my labor as well. My Mohawk tobacco crop through more attention to topping and suckering yielded around 70 lbs. as cut in a space of 125 SF, with the best leaves measuring around 1-1/2 by 2 feet, compared to previous years when through inattention the best leaves have measured less than half that size . My prairie restoration project became well established and extended by 150 SF, the predominant species being purple coneflower, oxeye sunflower and daisey fleabane, with additions to include Jeruselum artichoke, little bluestem and switchgrass, and was fairly well cleaned up with careful attention to weeding out non-native species. But most remarkable I think is what I learned through a few new 18th c. heirloom species I planted, reinforcing my observations made with previous species. To sum it up, relative to modern hybrids these heirlooms tend to grow and mature slower, with smaller plants yielding less in size and quantity under ideal conditions, but under less than ideal conditions their hardiness beats the modern hybrids hands down. Two new vegetables in the garden this year illustrate this well, the Jefferson "bird peppers", which were excruciatingly slow to mature into fairly small and bushy plants, that nevertheless eventually yielded far better than the hybridized cayennes I've raised in years past, and the West India Gerkins. These 18th century cukes were planted side by side with modern "Sumter" pickling cukes (different species, with no chance of crossing with the West India cukes), with both varieties having the same soil, weather and cultivation. The Sumters matured and produced eariler, bearing bigger fruit, but the smaller West India Gerkins matured and began producing prolifically about the time drought set in and all but killed the Sumters.

In any event, while this year's garden hasn't been my best in terms of edible produce, it has produced much food for thought, much of which will serve me over the Winter as I plan next year's garden. A few pics.....

Bringing in part of my tobacco harvest....






My entire tobacco crop, hung to cure....






My cucumber patch by late August..... West India Gerkins along the fence on the right, what's left of the Sumter's along the fence on the left.....


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Pit
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 139
Location: Corydon Indiana
Real Name: Michael J Goodwin

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just reading Peter Kalm and there is a ton of info in his work about preserving produce for use.I must get to reading more of it and posting some qoutes.Like your garden Jim its good to see.

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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that'd be good Pit. Why don't you start a new topic with some of his quotes? Maybe not necessarily geared toward food preservation in particular, just to get the ball rolling and see if we can't get more contributions of his work. (Food preservation's a great topic in it's own right too, though.)

Here's some more from Kalm's Travels in the following link that might make for an interesting read..... what the heck, think I'll start a new topic.....

http://historicaltrekking.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=18924#18924
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under the For What it's Worth Category.....

Just got done digging my potatos, and here's this year's results;

Planted: seed potatos, Kennebec 15 lbs., Red Pontiac 5 lbs., both non-heirloom

Area Planted: 500 SF

Fertilizer: Compost

Pest Control: None

Yield: Roughly 100 pounds, or 1 pound per every 5 SF on average. Yield exceeds capacity of 35 gallon root cellar. Gonna be eatin' a lot of taters over the next few weeks.

Factors Affecting Yield: Late season drought. Roughly 10 pounds or 10% damaged by mice or insects
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:18 am    Post subject: Fix Your Golf Swing Problems Reply with quote

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