Mobile Gardening, My New Favorite Way to Garden

Mobile Gardening

 

 

Anyone that knows me and knows where I live, understands the constant battle to try and be self-reliant. I live in an area where the growing season is very short, the temperatures are chilly at night even in the summer months, and as wonderful as the abundance of wildlife is to watch, they raise much grief in the garden. They also know that my husband and I are very much opposed to waste. Why buy something when something someone else was discarding could be repurposed. This is a lifestyle from our childhood that has carried over to our adulthood. Being industrious because you were poor is now fashionable green living.

For Mother’s Day this year I got the best gift ever. My husband took an old rusty boat trailer and some galvanized construction headers that had been discarded at a construction site and some cattle panels and repurposed them into a mobile garden.

I’ve been using Earth Box self- contained planting systems from Earthbox.com for many years now to grow my lettuces and herbs and such but once they are full of soil they are really heavy and hard to move to mow around and if we got hit with frost or hail in June or even July it was a scramble to get everything covered.

Earthbox

This mobile garden is 6’ wide x 12’ wide and has 15 Earth boxes which will provide us with the fresh produce we will eat all summer. There won’t be enough for all my canning but I’m sure that we will make something larger if this pans out.

So far the benefits of the mobile garden are many. I planted a month early since I was able to pull it into our pole barn to keep it out of the frigid temperatures. I’m hoping to extend the harvest season the same way. The Earth Boxes each have a water reservoir so I don’t have to worry about under or over watering and there is almost no water wasted since it all goes to the plants. I don’t have to string out hoses since I can take the garden to the water source. I was able to plant the seeds, and pulled the few weeds that grew without stooping over. No bending to harvest either. If bad weather, strong winds or heavy rain is in the forecast, pull it into the pole barn. Best of all I pull it in to the pole barn at night so it’s not a salad bar for the deer and other critters.

The climbers were planted next to the attached cattle panels, and I used companion planting to maximize my limited space. I have special deep Earth Boxes designed for root crops.

We have pole beans, 2 varieties of tomatoes, Dill, snap peas, summer squash, table cukes and pickle cukes, zucchini, onions, parsnips, beets, red, yellow and green bell peppers, cilantro, parsley, basil, rosemary, 2 types of carrots and strawberries.

I added some bee balm to attract pollinators.

Below are pictures of the progression

The Plan

 

Mobile garden

Starting to grow

We have a winner

This is 6 weeks out and everything is starting to bloom nicely.

6 weeks out

We have a winner!!!!

Stay tuned for a update on the harvest…be green and peace out!

 

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UPDATE:  So far the harvest is awesome and much earlier than normal especially since everything was started from seed directly sowed outdoors.  I will have to rework my companion planting, though as my squash shaded out my peas so I was unable to get a second bloom from the peas.  NEXT Project? How about a mobile greenhouse!!

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Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

 

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Ode to a Curious Mind: Ginger Root as a Houseplant!

Ode to a Curious Mind: Ginger Root as a Houseplant!

 

The greatest gift one can have is a curious mind. The person with a curious mind is never bored and happy to find new adventures and discoveries and even re-discoveries. Industrialization had caused artisans and craftsmen to fall by the wayside but curious minds will never be out of style!

For me a simple thought of “I like bread” can lead me on a remarkable journey! 1. Learn to make bread. 2. What’s in bread? Flour, Water, Oil, Sugar, Salt, Yeast! 3. What kind of bread has simple ingredients? Sourdough! Starter, water, flour, sugar, salt. 4. Can I make my own starter? Yes Flour and water and time. 5. Can I make my own flour?……. and so on and so on….

My Daughter-in-law was here recently and I shared with her the ginger bug recipe from Wellnessmama.com. While she was here she made homemade ginger ale. YUMMY and refreshing!

Ginger ale is just Water, sugar, ginger root, molasses, lemon juice, ginger bug and time. So this started me thinking (can you hear the gears turning). Why can’t I grow my own Ginger root? After all, it’s a rhizome just not a hardy rhizome.

Ginger needs to be above 50 degrees year round and I live in the Upper Midwest so we only have about 3 months a year where it almost never gets below 50 degrees and it takes longer than 3 months for Ginger to mature. So I immediately thought “Why not make it a house plant?” Houseplants help keep the air in your home fresh. Ginger is therapeutic, has medicinal properties, as well as culinary benefits and frankly I LOVE THE SMELL. So it’s a WIN WIN WIN situation. And here the journey begins!

Growing your own ginger root indoors as a consumable houseplant:

Purchase a fresh ginger root from your food co-op for grocery store.

Cut off a Knob of ginger that has buds protruding from it.

Soak the knob of ginger in water for 24 to 48 hours.

Prepare a large pot with drainage rock and potting mix.

Bury the ginger knob just below the surface bud side up, put in a window with diffused light and water.

Don’t overwater, care for it as you would any other houseplant.

A ginger plant can get up to 4 feet tall. When the plant becomes mature, remove it from the pot (Save your dirt just add nutrients and reuse) and propagate a piece of the rhizome to start another plant. Start one every couple of months and you’ll never need to buy ginger again! Just remember that Ginger is slow to mature and the rhizomes you produce in you pot will not be as large as those commercially grown. You will most likely need a large space to keep several plants. See photo progression below.

Ginger root

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

 

Reduce, Reuse, Regrow

I live in the Upper Mid-West which is zone 3- 4 for planting which basically means that if I want to grow anything that takes more than a couple of months to mature I need to do a lot of planning and prep work. I’m starting my vegetable and annual herb plants that take 90 days or more to mature in a mini green house with a small heat lamp hung inside that I turn on to keep my plants warm on nights when the temperature is below freezing. Setting the heat lamp to come on with a thermostat set to 40 degrees works great (no worries if the temp drops when I’m fast asleep). I like this method better than starting the plants indoors because the young plants get conditioned early and don’t get shocked as easily when transplanting them into the garden. Today happens to be April 21st 2017 and even though we are in a fruitful period we are in the last phase of the moon (lunar cycle) so it’s fruitful for below ground crops. I’m experimenting with planting above ground crops during this fruitful time because I will be controlling the water table for my plants since they are contained. I’ve modified some used plastic containers (water bottles) from my recycle bin to try and keep it out of the landfill for a bit longer.

I cut the bottom 1/3 off the water bottle, removed the cap and inverted the top portion into the bottom. The bottom will store the water the inverted top will house the soil. I packed dirt into the neck to form a soil plug. This will act as a wick and pull the water below into the soil above as the plant needs it. This will help provide a more consistent moisture level and help prevent damping off of the sprouts. I take the top 1/3 of another water bottle with the cap removed and use it as a mini greenhouse. When the seedling reaches the top of the dome it’s time to remove the top.

Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 1
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 1
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 2
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 2
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 3
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 3
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 4
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 4
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 5
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 5
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 6
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 6
Heirloom Corn Seeds - Figure 7
Heirloom Corn Seeds – Figure 7

I planted my heirloom corn today because heirlooms take longer to grow than hybrids. I will be planting corn again on 4/29/17 because that is another fruitful period but we will be in the first phase of the lunar cycle and that is great for above ground crops. I want to compare the difference growth between the two lunar cycles.

 

I hope to post updates with progression photos to this post as the season move forward. Hopefully, I will be able to capture it all the way through to the harvest of next years’ seed.

I also used come yogurt containers to start my Bloody Butcher tomatoes!!!!

Bloody Butcher Tomatoes in Chobani Containers
Bloody Butcher Tomatoes in Chobani Containers

 

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worth Sharing

Hello I'm Donna
Hello I’m Donna

I read this post and thought it was so worth sharing. I couldn’t have stated this any better. Instead of judging others we need to be uplifting to others.

 

Most people don’t want to hear it but that doesn’t change the truth.  God loves a gay man as much as a straight man. God loves a prostitute as much as He loves a preacher. You see, Jesus didn’t come for some sinners; He came for all sinners. At the end of the day, we are ALL the same… Sinners in need of a Savior. So rather than kicking someone while they’re down, how about helping them to their feet. Can you imagine the difference we could make in people’s life if we will quit reminding of their failures & start guiding them towards the One that can give them victory. Remember, it’s Love that changes people.


“God is love.” (1john4:8)

Indestructible

A tribute that left me speechless….You never know how you’ve touched someone’s life…I’m blessed

tdyelle's Blog

“Life is short”

This expression has always struck me as an overused cliché. Life isn’t that short. For most people, life is long and can be incredibly fruitful, filled with road trips, weekends at camp with your friends and family, and trying to understand the human condition while finding the beauty in your day-to-day grind to make ends meet. However, life, and its circumstances can change very quickly and it is in these moments that it seems awfully short. It is in these moments that one is forced to come to grips with how precious each day is. One is forced to appreciate and cherish each morning their husband pours their coffee, watching the morning news with a loved one, driving to work, doing laundry, making dinner, and setting the alarm to wake up early enough to do it all again the next day.

My grandmother, or Nanna if you…

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Strength and comfort thru Faith

Hello I'm Donna
Hello I’m Donna

Faith, for me, is following Gods plan not knowing where it will lead or how I’ll get there but knowing it will lead to something wonderful!

2 Corinthians 1:3-6

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

Life is a Journey…Remember to stop and enjoy each moment

Hello I'm Donna
Hello I’m Donna

Life is a journey that has many roads and detours. Some paths are shorter than others but it’s not about the length of the journey but the quality of the experiences along the way. I’ve been blessed with the love of family and the warmth of friends, the richness of a fruitful life. I’ve been given the opportunity to stop and enjoy the rewards in life that really matter and have come to realize that there are many lives that I have touched in an amazing way.

My holistic roots and familial longevity have afforded me good health. So I embarked on a path to share the benefits of a simpler life with those who would dare to try it.

I must now warn you, don’t let healthy habits and great health lull you into a false sense of security. Get those check-ups. They really do make a difference. You see, even though I’m exceptionally healthy I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s right CANCER…the great equalizer. I always felt great and never got sick so I just felt like those check-ups and screenings were just not all that necessary. That’s where I went wrong. Cancer doesn’t discriminate.

There is no family history for me, no genetic defect but there are many environmental hazards that we cannot protect ourselves from.

So as I amble along this new path, I’ll share my experiences along the way, hoping to enlighten, encourage, and inspire.

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”