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Canadian Gardening: The joys of veggie gardening at a community plot

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Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 7, 2009
6:38 PM

Post #7144937

Given that my yard is surrounded by mature trees and our farm has some deer, antelope, muskrats, gophers (their time re gophers on this earth won't be long), and a very, very confused and lost Moose veggies are best grown by me at our renamed Yarra Community Gardens plot: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/758228/ (will have to get back to that thread...I was gone for a long time) and http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/758131/

Now at that plot (exposed to sun from sun up to sun down btw :) there is an incredibly amazing collection of gardeners. I was tickled pink to find the wife of our Director of Health Services there. She's from South Africa and was growing new to me open pollinated variety of South African squash (they eat it as a veggie and find our habit of carving pumpkins and making pies from them strange). I was happy to tell her that, while I didn't grow much winter squash this year, I do have some recipes that aren't for pies (thanks to peeps at the recipe forum here). :D (naturally I didn't tell her about my Hallowe'en obsession) :S She graciously offered some of her leftover seeds (not carving type pumpkins btw) and I'm so looking forward to growing them next year (will also send a few to my gardening buddy in Georgia and another small sample to a fellow in Ontario...just in case the growing season here stinks and that way a new supply of seeds is pretty well guaranteed). Other new arrivals there are from Cambodia and Thailand (my heart sang meeting them as I love Thai food). Recipes and produce were happily shared. My favourite new arrival there however was a young and new to gardening fellow, just arrived from China and what a joy it was to help him and see him digging in the soil. Unfortunately this year wasn't a great year for melons or squash and his 25 pound melons, native to China, didn't have a hope (would still have been tricky had we had a great year ie being able to plant out in early May and a really great growing season). He however is still fascinated and excited to grow his own food, and has some shorter season melons and squash from China, so I know we will have the joy of his company again next year. I discovered most of the new immigrants loved the taste of my tomatoes esp Sweet Chelsea and Sweet Gold so will be starting plants for them next spring.

Sadly I didn't take very many pictures but here's a leaf of a weird eggplant I grew this year (boy it sure attracted lots of attention...at a safe distance). ;)

So did anybody else grow many veggies this year (and given this was the summer that wasn't... did you have much luck?) Pictures welcome and if I can find the few I thought to take I'll add them too.

This message was edited Oct 7, 2009 12:40 PM

Thumbnail by Lilypon
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fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 7, 2009
10:59 PM

Post #7145809

I just grew the usual this year although I did have 4 different potato types-Norland ( which I have grown before) Banana , Bintje and Viking. I really like Banana and Viking.
There is a source of seed potatoes here which sells 'Foursums'! In other words 4 of any variety. Neat way to try different types and good for folks like me who really dont need to plant all that many.

My zuchini had no fruit this year! Pretty weird not to be overwhelmed and it meant I didnt do any baking last month! I planted a week or so before a stretch of really cold weather and lots did not germinate so I did replant when things warmed up, so pretty slow. My bush beans turned out to be climbers of some unknown variety ( never saved the packets of course!) so I had to give them some help and was not much impressed with the product either. I like my yellow wax beans but not this year! Carrots, beets, cabbage all very nice. For the first time I coveed the cabbage so no surprises when I cut them open. And they were very good this year. Still have some carrots and potatoes in the ground, pulled tht turnips yesterday to use for TG supper on Sunday. A few CheryTomatoes but theplants were given to me too early and were very leggy. One was Chocolate Cherry and very tasty.
Fancy of course helped herself to pretty much everything she could get her mouth on.
joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 8, 2009
12:07 AM

Post #7146083

Those eggplants are weird. I grew one too and was a little surprised with the spikes everywhere
DonM47
Grand Forks, BC
(Zone 5b)

October 8, 2009
2:39 AM

Post #7146576

We enjoyed a beautiful summer this year. Hot and Dry, but we are used to that, which meant I had to water to "beat the band". It was a great season for tomatoes. Here are some of my cherries; Sun Gold and Gardener's Delight which I started from seed.

Thumbnail by DonM47
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 8, 2009
2:47 AM

Post #7146600

Hi~~just noticed the thread on Home page--we have a community garden near here and there are some intersting variations in what people choose to plant! Most have a mix, but at least one had the whole plot in one type of hot pepper. Another had the whole thing ful of amaryllis Hippeastrum in full sun, which I thought needed some shade. You can learn a few things with the chance to observe other gardeners. Lilypon, it must be fun to meet your 'neighbors'

Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 8, 2009
2:57 AM

Post #7146630

Carol Viking and the Banana are also one of my faves...next year, if you don't mind me suggesting, try growing AC Peregrine Red Potatoes. They were a hit this year. I also grew Caribe (pretty darn good and at least comparable to Viking) and Goldrush (I would suggest not growing that one...however different growing conditions may make a difference). I wish we had a supplier that would allow peeps here to grow a mixed box collection! Re summer squash I think we were a bit warmer here (but not much) so I had some take (but nothing at all like other years). Winter Squash I had a few make it to maturity (one was from the fellow from China) and his actually grew better for me than the N.American variety I grew. Both were maximas so that helped but the winter squashes that were moschatas (his and mine) kept aborting their females (just like the zucchini you grew). Chocolate Cherry I've read is a winner and one I've yet to grow (I'm pretty sure I've got some seed of it in my stash though).

Joannabanana glad to see I wasn't the only one to try it...btw I read the spikes weren't dangerous at all but I discovered the ones near the stem sure do have a nasty disposition. :S

Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 8, 2009
3:08 AM

Post #7146649

Lovely looking tomatoes Donna and I'm sure very tasty! Sun Gold is truly a fave of mine but this year Sweet Gold caught my eye (am always willing to try something new and it was pretty darned good too).

Sally I'm pleased to meet another community gardener! :D Like you I've found what's been grown by others at the plots is truly fascinating (and sometimes strange ;). Though with my gardening practices I know many think that of me too (I shade my plants for at least a week after planting out...this year they were hardened off, brought back in, and softened so many times I sure didn't want to take a chance they'd get burned (boy did my garden ever get lots of funny looks). ;D Re the new arrivals it truly has been a lot of fun to meet them. Our base attracts pilots and families from other countries but they aren't as involved as immigrants that have come here on their own. At one time everyone here was an immigrant (and from many different countries) but up til a short while ago it was just their great grandchildren living here and all had become sadly accustomed to growing, more or less, all the same plants.



This message was edited Oct 7, 2009 9:10 PM

Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 8, 2009
3:40 AM

Post #7146723

BTW Sally next year I will be growing just one type of pepper (though not a whole plot full). Usually I plant about 25 peppers (of a number of varieties) in my plot (never know what the growing conditions will be ahead of time)...must admit even that amount has people scratching their heads. :S :D But this fall I tracked down a rather rare variety so I'm not going to risk any crosses occurring (and will bag to make sure none of my neighbours' peppers get too friendly with mine).
fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 8, 2009
2:21 PM

Post #7147768

Thanks for the potato suggestions Pam. Incidentally 2 years ago I grew a purple type and would not ever grow again, they were so mealy I ended up throwing a lot into the compost bin, nobody here liked them.

Somebody gave me Sun Gold last year - it was really good.

Community Gardening is really big here, Hort Society received 3 year funding ( from the city I think) and hired a person to coordinate and it is really taking off.
DonM47
Grand Forks, BC
(Zone 5b)

October 8, 2009
2:55 PM

Post #7147843

Sun Gold truly is a lovely sweet tomato, but it didn't give me the yield I had hoped for. The red Gardener's Delight really out performed it. Don't know if I'd grow it again on that basis. We'll see.
echoes
South of Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 3a)

October 8, 2009
3:04 PM

Post #7147868

No community gardening here, but it does sound like fun. I would probably get things done more efficiently if my garden was a destination.

I can't remember which potatoes I grew this year. I just bought a box of some red ones at the garden center and planted a few small Norland? from last year. I confess I still have to dig about half of them. A few more carrots to pull and beets if I get around to them. Not growing beets anymore. So silly, growing them and not using them, although it's a very small row.

I'm not as big into the veggies as I was a few years ago. I have a couple of box beds that I used for lettuce, carrots, grean beans, snap peas, onions, shallots, garlic, cucumbers and sometimes a few others. Tomatoes and potatoes go into the old garden section that is being taken over with roses and flowers. I love my tomatoes, but not sure it's worth canning them anymore. The lemon cukes are delicious.

We grew a lot of corn this year, out in the field and froze enough for the year and then some. I planted a few squashes with the corn and a couple of pumpkins, which did nothing. The squash are interesting, will take a pic and show you those.

Here is one of my box beds this year.

Thumbnail by echoes
Click the image for an enlarged view.

echoes
South of Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 3a)

October 9, 2009
1:23 AM

Post #7149676

Carrots and beets are now pulled, but no progress on the potaoes. It seems I have gone from thinking it is too hot out there to coming in with chills all in a matter of days. I guess I am missing a few days.

Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 9, 2009
2:38 AM

Post #7149917

Have peaked in here but will be awhile before I can comment (still hauling some plants into the house, pulling some out of their summer abodes, and throwing snowballs at my DH...who loves to let me know what he thinks of gardening at this time of year).

Echoes looking forward to seeing that squash of yours (which reminds me I better bring mine in from the porch).
drivenbonkers
Perth,, ON
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2009
2:46 PM

Post #7151132

new to me this year were pink banana squash.. (supposedly an heirloom variety),am planning on baking part of one for thanksgiving dinner...so we shall see if it will be back next year.

planted another little hybrid brightly coloured pepper-type squash... probably not again next year, they didn't 'wow' me as much as their photo on the seed package, lol...

some Italian pumpkins, very interesting shape/colour... baking one for t-dinner, too.

the purple potatoes did well, larger spuds this year than previous years.

A couple of years ago, I found a small package of 'gourmet baby potatoes' (red, yellow and purple) in the discount bin at the grocery store. It was January, and already I was thinking about gardening, lol. I grew them and have saved them for the past couple gardening seasons. This spring, my little collection of saved seed potatoes sprouted early, and by the time I was ready to plant them, they had stems over a foot long. I mounded up half-baked compost into a short row, and then layed the potato on the ground/on the mound. Then the next layer was compost, then another row of potatoe sprouts...I left the pile, thinking all I had accomplished was to repile the compost heap, but surprisingly, I got about a half bushel of potatoes from a 4 foot square of half baked compost. We're going to eat red, yellow and purple potatoes for t-giving, lol.

joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 9, 2009
9:03 PM

Post #7152465

echoes,

Have you ever tried beets that are peeled, sliced and fried in butter with fresh dill & pepper? Very yummy.
echoes
South of Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 3a)

October 9, 2009
9:19 PM

Post #7152505

That sound real good. I love the tops of beets even more than the roots.
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 9, 2009
10:40 PM

Post #7152712

As fancyvan said Community Gardens are big in Calgary thanks to the CHS and the City (and a slew of other sponsors and supporters too numerous to list). We have 17 I think but there are so many new ones each year it's hard to keep track. I recently drove by the one in Parkland and it was a car stopper! I think they are a wonderful thing and I hope more communities develop them.

Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 9, 2009
11:01 PM

Post #7152759

Carol it sounds like the gardens there are run like ours. Ours also receives funding from other places as well but the board thinks that within a couple more years we will stand on our own two feet. The chain link fencing, storage sheds, and piping were thankfully funded by our sponsors.

Donna I don't know what to say about your Sungold...it normally is quite prolific. I've not had small pickings from mine but I did have one year (out of four) where it didn't taste good (not sure why that happened either).

echoes I still have a couple of hills to dig too (not sure if that is going to happen now). My mouth drools at your list (how I wish we could still be growing). I really like your raised boxes...I'd love to grow long rooted carrots, etc., in that setup.

drivenbonkers I hope you will report back on how your various squash tasted. Your Italian one sounds like one I grew last year (mine had deep ridges, was relatively small, and was a couple of different colours and if I can remember the name I'll post a link to it. BTW those gourmet potatoes sound wonderful...I'm planning on trying to get some that way too (if they haven't inhibited sprout growth on the ones I'm eyeing).

Joannabanada I agree that sounds wonderful (wiping drool off my keyboard now). I've done a lot with beet greens but frying isn't one of them.

Dahlianut are you thinking of joining? That car stopper one sounds fascinating and I hope you will take a picture of it next year.

Well here's a mid summer pic of my rye straw mulched community garden veggie patch.


Thumbnail by Lilypon
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Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 9, 2009
11:08 PM

Post #7152781

note it hadn't sprouted its seeds yet so I didn't have a problem with it robbing moisture from my soil.
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 10, 2009
3:13 AM

Post #7153604

I do my veggies in the herb garden and greenhouse so I'm good lilypon.

Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 10, 2009
6:29 AM

Post #7153921

Ah and speaking of which a greenhouse I love visiting (meant to post this elsewhere but in a way it fits here too).

The Corn Maiden greenhouse is named after this loverly lady ( from Mexico). She does a wonderful job of protecting their crops...


This message was edited Oct 10, 2009 12:35 AM

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Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 10, 2009
6:32 AM

Post #7153923

Her helper (not from Mexico but the metal works of the sun and moon behind both of them are).

I'm so tempted to purchase more when I'm there...will try to find some pics I took there when flowers were for sale.

Thumbnail by Lilypon
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Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 10, 2009
10:32 PM

Post #7155759

I should really mention the above pumpkins were grown in one of our banana belt valleys and that area of this province must have gotten more heat than we did, because none locally would have obtained the size that they are.

Lilypon

Lilypon
Moose Jaw, SK
(Zone 3b)

October 11, 2009
4:01 PM

Post #7157687

Joannabanana I want to apologize to you...somehow I got confused and thought, prolly after reading echoes post, that you were talking about frying beet greens (I haven't fried beets either and will be trying your recipe next year).
drivenbonkers
Perth,, ON
(Zone 5a)

October 13, 2009
1:15 PM

Post #7164308

for the seed potatoes from the grocery store, I just kept them in the basement from January to about mid April. moved them to the counter in front of the window for a few days beginning of May. they started to eye up on the counter... then I moved them out to the greenhouse, left them on the bench exposed to the sun

I know spring's coming when the potatoes eye up!
echoes
South of Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 3a)

October 13, 2009
10:25 PM

Post #7165965

Here's the squash I was talking about. We ate some yesterday with our turkey. Maybe not quite ripe, but still tasty. Some of the taters underneath. This one is Heart of Gold

Thumbnail by echoes
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