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Vegetable Garden Ideas


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If you are a year round camp I would also add veggies that are better after they have been hit with some cold weather. Kale and brussels sprouts are good examples. Kale will likely be a perennial in your climate. Kids will probably not be excited about them, but I have yet to fail to convert anyone into a kale lover after tasting it fresh from the garden after the first frost.

Anyone who says I'm hard to shop for doesn't know where to buy beer.

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Jimmy, I just heard about this program today and thought you might be interested: Blue Ridge Community College Organic Growers School

This is a one day symposium with several classes throughout the day on topics such as:

Practical Solutions in the Garden

Growing Heirloom Tomatoes

On Farm Composting

Backyard Chickens (I am going to this one - I want my own chickens in the city!)

Sustainable Strawberry Production

and much, much more

Again, I don't know where you are in the Piedmont, but this is on a Saturday, and you could pick up some valuable tips. I think the fee is $40 and you can attend as many classes as you can fit into the day - but I have to admit, I haven't read the forms yet.

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I have two young kids, and here is what we get the most out of. All are low maintenance, long picking season, and can be eaten with minimal (or no) prep. A freshly dug parsnip or carrot with a little sea salt sprinkled on it is kiddie crack- and both can be left in the ground for months in the fall.

1) carrots

2) parsnips

3) leaf lettuce/spinach (kids love raw spinach, but most hate it if cooked)

4) sungold cherry tomatoes

5) everbearing strawberries

Here are my boys with their favorite snack...


Any dish you make will only taste as good as the ingredients you put into it. If you use poor quality meats, old herbs and tasteless winter tomatoes I don’t even want to hear that the lasagna recipe I gave you turned out poorly. You're a cook, not a magician.

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  • 4 weeks later...

gallery_58031_5754_361188.jpgOkay....here's an update on what's been going on.

I attended a meeting on the new health regulations concerning resident camps, It was held by the NCDENR. I had planned on talking with someone concerning chefs using produce grown in their own gardens. I even made up my own little HACCP plan to present.

I've always been concerned with the "BY FROM APPROVED VENDOR" rhetoric. Here's what I found out. In the state of N.C. you can grow your own and use it. You may also buy produce from Farmer Markets.

That being said it's full sail ahead... I will try to keep it small this year and keep expanding.

I have 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes germinating right now, about 100 plants in all (Thanks to a very gracious member of this forum !). We will also grow radishes, sunflowers, pumpkins, watermellons and strawberries to start. In order to keep this little project alive it has to succeed, so we are starting small.

We have 6- 50 gallon planters that have housed herbs. 3 of those will be used to grow different types of cherry tomatoes, the rest will continue to house the herbs. Along a fence line we will plant sunflowers. We'll border the concrete with low growing strawberries. In the beds will go some of our indeterminate type of plants. This area is called the "Therapy Garden" and kids will have daily access to it. For now it's a small part of a program that I invision. Behind the dinning hall will be the majority of our toms, and some other misc. veggies. The pumpkins and watermellons will be in an isolated field where they can just sprawl and hopefully grow.

Thanks for the support !


Edited by JimmyWu (log)

Typos are Copyrighted @

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Sounds wonderful! Sounds like a lot, too, despite your talk of starting small! :biggrin:

In NZ, we normally just let squash and watermelon runners grow as long as they want, which is not much of a problem if you have plenty of land, because the bigger vine will suck in enough nutrition for the fruit it sets. However, if you want to ensure lots of squash or melon pinch out the tip of the main vine when you have 3-4 strong side-runners, as they are the fruiting arms.

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In my Mother's backyard in Chicago, we planted celery and eggplant last year for the first time. The celery came up straight and in stalks. Very easy to deal with. We had plenty of eggplants come in as well, but you need to give it some room.

We also planted Acorn squash. One grew and someone grabbed it. I've tried different types of Pumpkins for 3 years now and nothing. Flowers came in, looked liked a couple tried and some disease showed up and they died right away.

We also did Green and Red Peppers, Banana Peppers and Jalepano Peppers. We had plenty of all of them. Early Girl tomatoes, Better Boy Tomatoes, Cherry and Grape Tomatoes and again they all did very well.

Also, our Herbs did very well:

1) Italian Basicole (Basil)

2) Sage

3) Tarragon

4) Chives

5) Parsley

6) Rosemary

Can't wait until this year!

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