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JanRed

Hello from Suburban Farmer

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Greetings! I've just joined because I've enjoyed the discussions here and love thinking, talking and making good food. I am a displaced farmer, relegated to the suburbs where I garden on the roof. I frequent farmer's markets, support sustainable agriculture and eat grass fed beef. I own four five pressure cookers and use a DorkFood temp controller to sous vide in a crockpot. 

 

Full Disclosure: Just starting up a company (Brainy Belly) to make the sort of soul nourishing foods that no one has time for anymore, starting with bone broth. Thanks for this wonderful forum!

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JanRed

bone wrangler @brainybelly

"eating is an agricultural act." - Wendell Berry

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Welcome, JanRed! What do you grow in your roof garden? Do you feel comfortable telling us your general location, so we have an idea of your growing conditions?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I live in Washington, DC, Smithy. And I try to grow lots of things on my roof: melons, tomatoes, and zuchinni, all rather badly I'm afraid. Squash has many bug-ly predators and my irrigation system is not quite right yet. But there are no deer up there! 

 

Carrots of all things grow great. Green beans are a big hit. Cucumbers were a fail. But lettuce grown in pallets mounted on a side wall do very well, getting just the right amount of bright morning light fading to shade as the day heats up.And digging the last of the carrots from the grow bags in December and even January is quite satisfying. I have a small greenhouse on the other side of the house and I grow kale and cauliflower in it, with no caterpillars, This year I plan to expand the kale patch to the roof, late in the season, so I hope that will do well. 

 

It's quite wonderful to climb up there and weed and water. It's only one story but you are closer to the birds singing in the trees. And there are bees bumbling about and the smell of soil and things growing. If I ever build a house I will put a garden on the roof.

 

Are you a gardener? It is so great to pick fresh herbs and get lettuce fresh each morning.

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JanRed

bone wrangler @brainybelly

"eating is an agricultural act." - Wendell Berry

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Welcome to eG JanRed,

 

There is much discussion here about gardening and sustainable, ethically grown food. You're in the right place!

 

I'm too old to do much gardening or hobby farming on the ambitious scale I used to do it, but it hasn't diminished my interest in it one whit.

 

It's surprising you have so much trouble with pests eating your squash plants. I never had trouble with that, in fact some of the most successful zucchini I ever grew volunteered from the compost pile and were completely neglected. Mmm, stuffed zucchini blossoms. Butternut male blossoms are even better.

 

The hardest thing I ever grew was brussels sprouts. In Tennessee the bugs just loved them and forced me to use more pesticide than I ever had in my whole life.

 

 Weirdly, kale a related vegetable, they left completely alone, so I was able to grow it organically. Maybe the cooler growing season killed the pests off? I planted my kale in fall, and it was pretty hardy. Even if it died back to the roots in a harsh winter, I'd get a new crop in spring. The more you picked, the more it seemed to produce. I like it small and tender for boiling. The stuff I can get in the grocery now, while cheap enough, is overgrown and tough. The only way I like it is to bake it for chips. It mitigates the toughness.

 

I, for one, would love to hear about the developments in your rooftop garden and greenhouse. I'm very much looking forward to your participation. 


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Hi. I used to be a farmer. The roof of our underground house was sod. We had blackberry and raspberry bushes up there. My daughter would go on the roof to pick berries for breakfast. Her little friends thought that was the coolest thing. I think even more than the vegetables, I miss all the berries! There were also strawberries, blueberries, elderberries and currants out in the field. Nothing from the store tastes so good. 

 

I sold my pressure cookers with the farm. I would love to get an electric instant pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker :-) What do you do with all your pressure cookers?

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I'd love to see pix of your rooftop garden.

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I live in Washington, DC, Smithy. And I try to grow lots of things on my roof: melons, tomatoes, and zuchinni, all rather badly I'm afraid. Squash has many bug-ly predators and my irrigation system is not quite right yet. But there are no deer up there! 

...

and...

 

Are you a gardener? It is so great to pick fresh herbs and get lettuce fresh each morning.

 

Washington, DC!  I can tell I've fallen for the usual stereotype of pavement and cherry trees there, with the only decent garden being at the White House. :laugh:  I'm glad to learn there's more arable land in that area than I'd thought...even if it is up on the roof.  

 

I like the idea of gardening but not the discipline, so I stick to herbs, flowers and the occasional potted tomato.  At present I have a basil plant growing and traveling with us in our trailer.  At home, once the snow melts, a few perennials will come up: sorrel, some bulb flowers.  There are good ramp patches in the nearby woods.  Fortunately I have friends who are excellent gardeners, so I can support their farmers' market enterprises.  

 

I'm with gfweb: pictures of your garden, please!  

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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