Growing Food – What’s working what’s not

Aug 19, 2010 by

Pro urban farming graffitti LA

Found this picture via Xeni Jardin and I love it.

I also love growing food.  Its a truly awesome feeling to be able to walk out of your front door to pick a couple tomatoes for dinner or to walk around your garden and plan what you will eat based on whats ready to eat.

But it has not all gone as planned.  Its a learning experience as I go, and I’m learning a lot.

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As you can see from the above picture, my garden is growing like crazy.  The tomatoes have attacked and are quickly taking over.  I obviously planted way too many way too close together and as they get ripe I’m going to have a hard time just being able to pick them let alone eat all the tomatoes.

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The zucchini has been growing good, but some strange mold has been growing on some of the leaves and some of the zucchini’s themselves.

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My peppers and chilis are starting to come in and those are just awesome.

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here is the attack of the tomatoes (not killer as far as I know).   I started out by adding a couple of tomato baskets I had around.  Then I added a couple more as they were outgrowing those.  Then I added 3 more.  Then some string to help hold them in the planter box.  Then 2 more tomato baskets.   Its getting nuts.

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And this is just a sad sight.  My beans and peas have died.  I’m not sure what went wrong here.  I suspect I didn’t water enough.  They were growing great and I was snacking on the snap peas while I worked out in the garden one day and the next day, they were all dead.  Very sad.

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And my corn is stunted.  I think these are done as well.  They just stopped growing and are turning brown.   Very sad on this one as I LOVE corn on the cob.

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My broccoli came in quick and then I went away for a week and came back to find it had all flowered.   Very sad.  I still have a few that are almost ready to eat, so I didn’t loose them all.

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My cantaloupes are kicking ass.  Check those out!

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And so far my watermelons are looking good as well.

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And i’m really just not sure whats going on with my lettuces.  They are all growing in tree-like configurations now.

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And the carrots are coming in nice.  My wife grabbed these to throw in something she was cooking.  I’m going to start harvesting the rest soon.  I think those are growing well, but who knows, they grow underground. Crazy carrots.

Beyond the learning experience of starting a garden and the joy of being able to walk out to my front yard to grab something to eat, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to inspire others to start a garden.  I have many friends who have started gardens and I’ve heard from many readers that they are now starting gardens as well and that makes me smile.

I love that I can share the awesome feelings that come with growing your own food.

Our food system is broken.  Our food grown and covered with chemicals that we have no idea how they impact our body or our environment.  It is then shipped halfway around the world before it reaches our stores.  Its wasteful and not that good for us.  And thats the food that grows!  You don’t even want to think about the mass produced chemical laden processed food we eat every day.

But you have a choice here.  You can buy local at farmers markets. You can join a CSA.  You can grow some of your own food.  Even if its planting a small lemon tree in your yard or creating a small garden box and throw in a tomato plant and a few herbs.   Grow something.  You will love it, and you get to eat it!

Ben…

If you’ve got a garden project send me some pics and tell me how its going.  You can email me at Ben@TrulySimple.com

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  • http://twitter.com/mabelgirl mabelgirl

    Hey Ben great article. Some things I've learned this year too:

    1. My mom says not to worry about the mold on the zucchini. She said there's nothing you can really do about it. So, when I see it I just chop those leaves off and toss them and that way it can't get on my zucchini when it starts growing. If it does get rid of it and usually they repopulate so fast that it won't really matter in the long run.

    2. My broccoli did the same not sure what to do about that.

    3. I planed all of my squash, zucchini and peppers to close together. Really learned on that edge.

    4. My friend who gardens here in LA http://picasaweb.google.com/tamargrande/EatMyGa
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?g
    really thins out her tomato plants like I've never seen before. You can see it in some of the pics in the link above. Feel free to write her to ask her advice. She's given me a ton of great advice.

    5. Awesome job – what we (including me) learned this year will just help us better next year!!!

  • Kat

    Your garden looks great! Your lettuce looks like it might have bolted – did you have a hot spell while you were away? My experience with lettuce is that it likes cooler weather better than really hot weather. (I live in Canada, and we have a short growing season, but even with that my lettuce bolted last year – and then got rather bitter).

  • http://www.trulysimple.com Ben

    yes, our summer finally arrived (very late) and we got some heat. I just
    learned about the term “bolted'. I'm learning as i go on this thing, but it
    sure is fun!!

    Ben