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A Challenge!


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Posted (edited)

I have been enjoying reading the back posts on the Urban homestead forum, partly as a sort of refresher course and partly because my growing area has been shrinking due to age and disability.  Urban and apartment farming fits my abilities better now.  I am amazed at what Dogmom4 and others have been able to grow in small and unusual areas.  So now I am challenging myself to see how much I can produced in the areas I have to work with.  


I will be using a lot of the ways learned from my own experience as a ‘country homesteader’ but also many of the tips and ideas learned here and on the internet for Urban back yards, decks, patios, apartment balconies, and inside. 
 

I really don’t want to do this challenge alone.  Who wants to join me?  The idea is not to see who grows the most but to challenge ourselves to see if there are ways, that fit our individual circumstances, we can save on our grocery bills while producing some healthy food to nourish our bodies.  
 

Who wants to take the challenge?  Can I see a show of hands?

 

Mother—————- :wave:

Dee—————-—- :wave: 

Becca Anne ——-—:wave:

Dogmom4 ———-—:wave:

Joyfilled———-——:wave:

MidnightMom———:wave:

Annarchy—————:wave:

Little Sister———--:wave:

Pioneer Woman——:wave:

SusanAnn———-—:wave:

SnapshotMiki———:wave:

Pauline——————:wave:

Kappydell—————:wave:

Euphrasyne————:wave:

Mommato3boys——:wave:

 

 

Edited by Mother
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I'm in and waving like mad.   Do you see me????:wave::hapydancsmil::wave::hi:

 

I have very few ideas yet on what I'm going to do but I still have a couple of weeks to decide.  I know this year; I'm planning to try tomatoes in 5-gallon buckets on the south side of my new (yea!!!) garage.  I may have to move them if they get too hot.  Time will tell!   We have acres upon acres of land here so I'm not sure there's any particular reason to use buckets, but I like trying new experiments and this is one I've chosen for this year. 

 

I've never grown potatoes in containers either, although I've seen many videos of people doing it.  That might be kind of fun too.  Plant seed potatoes and when they grow some, add more soil again and again.  Cool sounding, huh?

 

This is fun!

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Posted (edited)

:wave:  I’m putting you down, Dee.  I will really be looking forward to your projects.  Especially your potato one.  I’ve wanted to try them in a fence cage with straw around the inside but was not brave enough.  YIPPEEEE.  
 

Now who is next? 🥬🥦🍅🌶🫑🧅🧄🥔🍠

 

🐇🦆🐥🐓🦃🐐.  🐄???  Those are produced too, aren’t they?  Okay the cow might be too big for an apartment but just saying if someone is trying any of those animals in an urban setting or very small footprint area come join the challenge.  

Edited by Mother
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7 hours ago, Mother said:

🦆

 

I was trying to borrow your duck, Mother.  Yeah, our duck project won't be Urban.  Our pond is as big as some parking lots.  We've pretty much got it down to least effort for our old bodies.....but not until they're fully grown and KNOW HOW to come into the duck house every night.  Not looking forward to that training without our old Pappa Goose that used to train the new ducklings.  Need to brush up on my wrist rocket skills....cuz we shoot rocks just on the far side of them to SHOOO them towards the trail up to duckhouse.  Maybe our lab will get the job this time?  :unsure: 

 

I'm going to TRY to do tomatoes in buckets too.  On our porch maybe.  Only cherry tomatoes have much chance to produce here.  And I'm trying a better mix of compost....using some duckie shavings and stuff.  Our assured date of not returning to winter is ....late May? 

 

MtRider  :AmishMichaelstraw:

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Mt_R, You definitely have an unusual setting with your short growing season.  Your duck project might be rural but your porch ‘farm’ would Fit the challenge, which is to see what you can grow in small spaces and in your case short times.  
 

Should I put you down for the challenge???  Come on, raise your hand!   😁

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Mother you can put me down. I have already planted my strawberries in my flower bed and my garlic. I am planning a smaller garden than I had hoped due to exhaustion but will for sure put in some tomato plants. All my seedlings didn't make it so I decided to scale back. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yahoo.  Got you down .Becca.  👍 

 

We have our big planters built but not filled with soil.  We might need help with that but I do have some seedlings ready to go out as we get them filled.  The rest I will direct seed.  

 

Mt_Ruder…..  can I put you down?  Your 🦆🦆🦆🦆might live in the country but you tomatoes 🍅🍅🍅🍅are going to be growing like urbanites!  :happy0203: :wave:

Edited by Mother
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Posted (edited)

I’m definitely in! I have quite a bit started but really only harvesting strawberries at the moment. I’ll try to post pictures this weekend.

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Edited by dogmom4
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We are VERY slow getting the deck planters filled.  Hopefully this week.  We are going from fifties to high eighties.  The weather is definitely going to be a challenge.  

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Our weather has been a bit schizophrenic lately. Yesterday it was 90 degrees...today the high was 65. Lots of days like that...

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Posted (edited)

I’m appreciating my strawberry harvest this year. I’m picking a bowl every other day right now. Usually I buy extras from my local farmers market...yesterday 3 baskets of strawberries were selling for $18! Last year you could get a whole flat for $20...

 

The slugs and pill bugs are fighting hard for them though....

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Edited by dogmom4
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Those strawberries are beautiful, DM4.  The slug, not so much.  We have snails. Yuk!  
 

It has been in the 90’s here but today it was 74°.  We finally got the big deck planters and the smaller containers almost all filled.  Today I planted seedlings and seeds in some of it.  Pictures coming soon.  

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Ugh on the slugs but glad you are getting berries Dogmom! I have my new tomato cages but still need to buy the plants. Will do that this week. My strawberry plants are in but no berries yet. Since they are brand new plants I don't expect to see too much until next year. But it's a start! I was going to rototill today and then it was lightning and some smattering of rain so I thought better of it don't want to end up extra crispy LOL.

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So...I'm not sure I'm understanding the challenge correctly, but let me see if I am: challenging to grow something where you have it, even if it's small, indoors, on a ledge, porch, etc?

 

We will have a larger garden this year, and we are hoping for a lot of produce. Probably will all be ready right at wedding time, haha! But I think I can still participate in the challenge!

 

We are wanting to keep some plants indoor for multiple reasons, and it's always been a challenge for me. Does that work? Lettuce and some herbs, mainly.

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Posted (edited)

I do believe it works Joyfilled. I will put you down. 
 

For those wondering, this is the challenge.
 

On 5/1/2022 at 11:12 AM, Mother said:

The idea is not to see who grows the most but to challenge ourselves to see if there are ways, that fit our individual circumstances, we can save on our grocery bills while producing some healthy food to nourish our bodies.  

 
It will be interesting to see how each of us challenges ourselves and how it is working out. There’s room for more, lots of room.  (Still waiting on Mt_Rider cause she has so much going on in her life right now but hopefully she will be joining us soon with her bucket tomatoes challenge) 

Edited by Mother
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Posted (edited)

Oh, good! Yes, growing stuff indoors will save on our grocery bill. We love eating salads in the summer months, and hubby likes to blend lettuce and spinach with orange juice and blueberries. It's an acquired taste, trust me, haha! He buys those tubs of greens, but growing our own will be so much cheaper!!

Edited by Joyfilled
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UPDATE:

 

We finally have my handicapped deck farm up and going though there are still things to do, like move piles of soil and various building supplies.  We also still need to put steps in on one end and the railing needs to be painted for those and the ramp and installed. 
 

 

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That is awesome Mother. I'm so happy for you now that you have a new deck with a safety ramp! Gardening will be so much easier and better yet, doable.   :thumbs:

 

 

Dang it. It posted too soon again. I must be hitting a button on the computer that does that.

Anyway what I was trying to say was you have a lovely house there!

 

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Joyfulled, try beet greens.  DH likes them better than spinach.  Less bitter taste,plus, you get beets.  Great sliced thin, fried or boiled, among other things.

 

Nice to see you have access outside Mother!  I’m looking forward to seeing what else you do with that space.

 

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The wooden planters are just deck boards and 4x4 frames with two heavy duty totes in them.  The totes have drains that can be hooked to hoses.  When I get my worms in them they will become combo planter/worm farm.  I will be able to tuck peelings etc into them and use the resulting worm tea that will drain out the bottom as fertilizer for pots and etc while the worm castings feed the plants in that bed. The excess worms could be fed to chickens if we get them, fed to wild birds that eat bugs to naturally control unwanted ones, or put into the ground soil to enrich it.  Or so my theory goes. We are already having critters (raccoon we suspect) digging into the beds so will have to stop that before adding worms.  
 

The worms probably will not survive our winters so we will bring a start for next year inside to a worm garden there.  We will use the tote lids to cover the beds during the winter to make sure the nutrients aren’t leached from the soil from rain and melting snows and they should be ready to plant early in the spring again with very little work.  The totes, if needed, can easily be emptied, removed, and replaced.  
 

We also have two large commercial self watering raised grow bed that you can see near the ramp and various sizes of containers, three ‘Grow Boxes’ and various containers and pots.  It’s amazing how much you can get on an 8’ x 30’ deck and still have room to set. It is a pretty ambitious project for us so we’ll see how it goes. 
 


 

 

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18 minutes ago, Mother said:

We are already having critters (raccoon we suspect) digging into the beds so will have to stop that before adding worms.  

 

I used to garden on those west Pacific islands when we had long projects there. They were rat infested due to our WWII military shipping containers bringing them in. All the food scraps had to be buried daily. I finally switched to covering the soil with hardware cloth as the peelings broke down. Only took several weeks and kept the rats out. You might come up with some ideas as a spin-off to what we used to do.  :thumbs:

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Thanks, Homey.  It was back again last night and dug up the only area not covered which was plants. Grrrrrr.  Might have to go with baskets or milk crates to cover plants or live trap whatever it is and remove it.  We live on the edge of fields and wooded areas though so I’m sure we will need to find a more permanent solution :shrug:

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1 hour ago, Mother said:

Might have to go with baskets or milk crates to cover plants or live trap whatever it is and remove it.  

 

We keep opossums out of our beehives by adding carpet tack strips around the edges. I think they're around 3-4' long and can be found wherever carpet is sold.  :whistling:

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