Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
ER Gardeners
Old 07-02-2004, 02:35 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 802
ER Gardeners

Mrs. Zipper and I live in the Carolinian Zone of Southern Ontario which corresponds to USDA Zone 6. We have been avid gardeners for decades and specialize in perennials. We have a third of an acre but are running out of space! :P Our last frost occurs in early May and the first towards the end of October. Zone 8 or 9 would be heaven , but we cram as much into our summer as we can. We like South Florida.
__________________

__________________
Zipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-02-2004, 03:11 PM   #2
 
Posts: n/a
Re: ER Gardeners

South Florida is pretty cool. We considered the whole
state for relocation (except extreme south - never been there). Opted for Texas instead. Time will tell how good that decision was. One thing about being my age
is that you don't have a lot of time left to fix the
big moves if you see you strayed off course. In one way
it makes you more careful, but in another you might just say "Most of my life is over anyway, so what the hell!"
I have gone both ways recently.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-02-2004, 03:16 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 802
Re: ER Gardeners

I think you and I are the same age John. I was born in 1943 in St. Thomas ON. The older we get, the more we hate snow. :P
__________________
Zipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-02-2004, 04:59 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 902
Re: ER Gardeners

Zipper, I recently ER'd and just bought a book called Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew (http://www.squarefootgardening.com/). I bought the book for about $5.00 at Amazon. I saw this guy on public TV years ago and made a mental note to get his book and start a garden when I had the time. I plan to start next season. I live in Iowa, in the middle of some of the best land in the world, and I can't buy a decent tomato. I can't wait to get started.

__________________
Bob_Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-03-2004, 05:00 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,409
Re: ER Gardeners

Zone 8b here, haven't gardened in years(late 80's). Being in the swamp, our 20' by 30' patch was a raised 3' bed of racetrack hay(free) composted. The swamp critters/birds defeated my best fencing/netting - EXCEPT radishes and cucumbers they didn't like. And bush beans made it to the table. Watermelon, tomatoes, corn, cantaloupe, salad greens, were fair game. Oh and potatoes made it to the table a few times. Now a days - its potted plants on the east facing screened porch. Of course our water table - heh, heh - is 'above ground and brackish several times a year' - the wild stuff in the swamp grows great.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-03-2004, 06:32 AM   #6
 
Posts: n/a
Re: ER Gardeners

I love to garden (country boy). Wife too and I let her
take over as she is better at it. This year she went small and other than tomatos and peppers I don't recall
offhand what she planted. The critters are not too
bad here, although where I lived before (remote)
they would wipe out some stuff. Also, we live in a flood plain, so there is a chance (slim) that the whole garden
will be submerged.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-03-2004, 08:29 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 802
Re: ER Gardeners

We use chicken wire to fence off part of the veggie garden planted in beets & carrots. Otherwise the rabbits eat all the emerging shoots. We pickle the beets in September and eat fresh carrots all summer. Our Zuchinni are ready, and I find the yellow orange blossom ends a delicacey. I eat several a day. Very delicious! Tomatoes should be ready in a couple of weeks and I eat them right off the vine. Our property is framed with a Sugar Maple, Ginkgo, Japanese Red Maple, Colorado Blue Spruce, a couple of Red Oaks, and 3 Pyramidal English Oaks. We have Hostas and Ferns in our shaded areas, and Mrs. Zipper has a gazillion perennials that love the sun. We have a large pond off our deck with goldfish, Shebunkins and fantails......and frogs! Bob, I'm a Geography major from the University of Western Ontario here in London. In the late 60's I took an Agricultural Geography course and one of my term papers was on Iowa County Iowa. You do have the finest Loess soil in the world!
__________________
Zipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-03-2004, 12:37 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: ER Gardeners

I just keep a small garden. Four cherry tomato's (sweet 100s). They ripen and bear fruit before any bugs can get at them. Four kinds of basil (pesto is one of our favorites). Jalapeno peppers. Two kinds of parsley. And catnip of course. Some stuff grows right through the year and we get very long growing seasons as its often in the 70's as late as december and as early as april.

Regular produce around here is cheap as I live in the california central valley where all the farms are. So growing a lot of veggies isnt too productive, plus I worked on a small farm for 2 years when I was in high school and that was enough for me. We regularly get 8 ears of corn for a buck and squash is almost a give-away. My area is heavy in peaches and wanuts. The nearby farmers drop by once a month to give us sacks of both of those. Probably a peace offering for kicking up a little dust now and then combined with trying to reduce the bounty.

No problems with pests although we have EVERYTHING in the area from mice to rats to rabbits of all sorts. Three cats and dogs work out well for that. Two of my cats are maine coon cats, natural hunters. The male is almost as big as an ocelot and quick. Every once in a while I find whats left of something that wasnt smart enough to stay out of the yard.

Zipper - I used to eat the zuch blossoms too, after I've eaten 5 metric tons of the squash I started eating the blossoms to MAKE IT STOP!

Two good recipes for those blossoms if you get tired of them plain: you can stuff them like a pepper with a rice stuffing or lamb/rice, or you can stuff them with cheese and fry them like chili relleno's. They were a very popular item in greek cooking.

Try:
http://www.greek-recipe.com/static/c..._blossoms.html
http://www.greek-recipe.com/modules....=print&sid=387

__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-03-2004, 01:12 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: No. California
Posts: 1,601
Re: ER Gardeners

I just moved and am about to put in 3 raised beds along with my garden (waiting for HOA approval).....It will be a little late to get much in for this season, but I'd like to plant a winter garden. I'm in the (zone 9) central valley of CA also (like TH) but like growing my own tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and green beans.

I'll have to try basil, we love pesto too. Why 4 varieties of basil? I didn't realize there were different ones.

I'm thinking of retiring to No Florida (zone 8) in a rural and very inexpensive area. I have family there. I'm sure I'll have a huge garden there as I wil have a couple of acres. I only have a small lot here in CA, but it has a wrought iron back fence which backs up to a greenbelt with a creek.

Bob Smith, I had that book years ago. I'll check out his website.

__________________
KB is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-03-2004, 01:44 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: ER Gardeners

I grow lemon, thai, cinnamon and the standard "sweet" basil. Very different tastes in the pestos. The thai is very strong, the lemon has a citrusy taste, and the cinnamon is very mild and has a cinamonny scent to it.

Besides pestos made in 60 seconds in the food processor, I use all four types in vietnamese rice paper salad rolls, mince it on top of sliced tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, add it to slow roast garlic to top garlic bread, and I add a good handful of basil and a good handful of both types of parsley to a simple tomato sauce for any pasta dishes.

With four plants, even after pulling four cups of leaves they still look bushy.

Slugs and flying things dont like the plants, so putting a few of them around seems to keep the pests at bay. I also distribute some lady bugs (bought live in the bag at home depot) onto the plants and my general foliage late in the evening after its cooled down and I've wet everything.

Considering I get the plants early in the season in 4" pots for about a buck, and all they take to grow is a little water, they're a bargain.

I grew a lot of chilis last year. I had two each of jalapeno's, anaheims, thai and serrano's. I use chilis in almost every meal, so I use plenty. At the end of the season when the plants were packed with red ripe chilis I picked them all. Dried half on cookie sheets in the back window of my black car - which makes for a great free dehydrator (wow does your car smell good...what is that?!?) and ground them up to make my own hot pepper flakes and chili powder. The other half I pureed in the blender with vinegar, salt and a little water to make my own hot sauce. They can also be frozen whole in a bag in the freezer and are still good for up to a year.

By the way, one of the best things I've bought is a black and decker "bag sealer" I got for $35. Besides sealing cereal and chip bags so they dont go stale, its great for bagging up whole and sliced vegetables for winter eating. The vacuum feature really sucks (hah...not in a good way) which is why its so cheap, but the bag sealer works great. I've found that removing all the air isnt really that critical. I freeze whole hot peppers, whole cherry tomatoes, and sliced squash, onions and garlic for the winter months. Nothing like a little salsa fresca and some sauteed squash in january to make it feel like summer...
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-03-2004, 06:38 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 802
Re: ER Gardeners

Thanks for the recipes TH. Mrs. Zipper eats the Zukes in her salads and I eat the blossoms! I think one of the reasons we have such good luck is our compost. I chuck anything organic in there. I visit our local Starbucks and get all kinds of coffee grounds to add to the mix. Our own grounds teabags and filters go in too. I usually have about 15 wheelbarrows of the best compost around. It's full of worms and when I'm speadin', I treat the pond fish. Talk about a feeding frenzy! Frogs can be trained to eat worms out of your hand. We have Green Frogs and they burrow into the mud to overwinter.:PI have to watch out for Blue Herons making a raid. They ate some of my prizes a couple of years ago.
__________________
Zipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-05-2004, 07:59 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 212
Re: ER Gardeners

Gardening is one of the reasons we bought instead of rent. We have a fairly modest house, but a large yard.

This year we're doing tomatoes (Big Bite, Big Beef, Pineapple, Green Zebra, Lemon Boy and a bunch of different plum tomatoes), beets, chard, eggplant (4-5 different kinds) and peppers (Gypsy, Mexibell, Macho Nacho, Big Jim, Big Chili, Cayenne, Garden Salsa, Tears of Fire). DH likes peppers!

Also lots of herbs - 3-4 kinds of basil (have to try the lemon basil), thyme, sage, oregano, parsley, rosemary, lemon verbena and marjorum.

Also DH has cherry trees that we get a pie or 2 from each year. His pie crust is the best ever.

We like to cook

Gardening is something you can do all you life. Just scale back when things get too much.

arrete
__________________
arrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: ER Gardeners
Old 07-05-2004, 08:14 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mesa
Posts: 3,588
Re: ER Gardeners

We've lived all over the US (Illinois, California, North Carolina, Iowa and Arizona) and gardened everywhere we went. It usually takes a few years to find the combination of what grows well in your climate/soil and what you like enough to devote your time and energy to growing.

When we moved to Phoenix, we gave up gardening after a couple of years. I think you could be successful with a few plants if you shaded the entire garden and watered enough, but we weren't too pleased with our results. We didn't have much luck even with various pepper plants. We moved instead to a house with a citrus grove (15 or 16 citrus trees). We get flood irrigation, and the citrus seem to thrive in the sun after the first 3 or 4 years. So we get all the oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes we need. I miss the garden fresh tomatoes, zuccini and corn a little. But I think I'm safe from scurvey.
__________________

__________________
sgeeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:27 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.