Garden Update: The corn was definitely ‘knee-high by the 4th of July’

Well, the garden has had time to do some growing, so just a little update to tell how things are going.

remember my Bean Trellis I made with crutches and 6-pack rings?

Here’s what it looks like right now:

It was working beautifully. Then as the weather got warmer, it seems like the plastic started to deteriorate and would just snap. I was constantly mending it. But the beans were growing nicely regardless.

And then this guy got hungry. He cleared the entire thing all by himself.

This is the 2nd woodchuck I caught in the hav-a-hart this summer. The 1st one was sticking to broccoli & cukes. This one ate the beans there (I have more elsewhere,though) , all but 3 swiss chard plants, ALL the brussel sprouts, and some more broccoli.

Hopefully, he’s the last one in the area and the rest of the summer we’ll have peacetime in the garden.

So, here’s what I have growing that I planted on purpose:
~cucumbers ~ yellow wax beans ~ green beans ~snap peas ~swiss chard ~beets ~cauliflower ~kale ~zucchini ~pumpkins ~spaghetti squash ~watermelon ~corn ~peppers~ tomatoes (both cherry & regular)~ okra ~carrots ~parsnips~lettuce ~spinach ~dill ~cilantro~basil ~sage~chamomile~lovage~bergamot~sunflowers(3 different types)~onions ~potatoes

I did not plant lemon balm but I still have it in multitudes. I could start a farm. I also have volunteer plants everywhere. I started the season with 4 regular tomato and 2 cherry tomato plants. I had plants seed themselves all over the place and now I have 25 tomato plants. Who knows what variety and I’m okay with that.

I also have herbs that reseeeded themselves in every crack and crevice.

I have a lot of things that just grow here normally that other people would pull as weeds. Lots of mallow, wood sorrel, plantain,shepherd’s purse, and red clover. I use them to make tinctures & infused oils or dry them for teas & other medicinal uses.

Grey Gardens (the driveway/container garden part of the garden) hasn’t seen any pest activity beyond a few slugs and a chipmunk who thought he should uproot some sunflowers for the fun of it.

The big tubs are quite packed and I might transfer some things out of there soon.

This is the ratty privacy fence that separates the backyard from the back of the bar next door. We mounted rain gutters & planted greens…


Speaking of the bar next door…

We were having problems keeping patrons from peeing (and doing other things) in the garden. This is what I ended up doing:

So far, it’s helped.


The bar decided to build an addition on to the back,so they let us raid the scrap lumber pile. We rescued an old gate and some scraps to build this bike rack.


So, that’s how it’s going.
Haven’t harvested anything other than herbs yet and also haven’t spent any more money since the last update, so we’re still at $21 for our cost.

Lunchtime Links: how to grow beets, a retractable window garden, and an online map for freegans

Here’s today’s things….

how to grow beets, with brian campbell.

It turns out I’m no Dwight Schrute when it comes to beet growing so I really appreciated that. This is only the second time I’ve grown beets. I could not figure out why my seedlings were so close together. I had no idea the beet seed was actually several seeds. And I had so many questions about thinning.

See,ya’ll? Years of gardening experience and there are still things I have to learn.


This is pretty neat. Barreau&Charbonnet created this window garden for people with little space. It extends out during the day so plants can get sun and retracts back in at night.

Retractable Window Planter

Retractable Window Planter

It’s a cool concept. It’s probably not super flexible to different window designs but I bet someone with  DIY skills could build neat custom designs.



Caleb Phillips and Ethan Welty founded Falling Fruit , an online resource map for dumpster divers, freegans, and foragers. I checked out my local locations and no freegan sources have been added but lots and lots of fruit & foraging spots. This is the sort of map that thrives with user input. My hope is that freegans will be conscientious when adding comments about the personal and legal safety for other divers. As I’ve touched on here before, some dumpster divers’ main concern isn’t the food safety but more the risk of harassment and arrest , and other issues to do with privilege. 

Recently, the pair has begun speaking at food justice conferences, contacting online freegan communities and handing out stickers, expanding the site’s fan base. Calling it the most extensive and diverse map of its kind, the pair’s ultimate goal is to shed a bright light on the enormous quantity of food that goes to waste–in this country and abroad.

Phillips and Welty are raising money to create a FallingFruit mobile app for foragers and divers through, a newly launched crowdfunding site specifically designed for food and sustainability projects. They hope to raise $10,000 by the end of May.

To create the dumpster map, men spent months combing the Internet for dumpster location information and painstakingly checking each entry before adding it to their site. Their hope is that other freegan sites such as and will embed the FallingFruit map.

To date, there are at least 2,500 bins on the map with up to five new ones added daily. Welty estimates that around 500 people are using the site every day and he expects the numbers to rise as summer kicks in. Along with most U.S. cities, map users have entered dumpsters in Antarctica, Jamaica, and even the North and South Pole, says Phillips.

“We wanted to take [dumpster diving] from being a secret hobby to something that illustrates first-hand how ubiquitous food waste is,” says Welty. Despite the fact that 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten, few people spend much time thinking about food waste. But, Welty adds, “You can only feel [the magnitude of] it when you open up a dumpster and see what’s in it.”

via Civil Eats

 You can’t tell these hens what to do.


Lunchtime Links: 20 Protein-Packed Black Bean Recipes, tomato-growing tips, and Tarbuj Ka Chutney

Lunchy links. Writing this as I’m eating leftover tabouleh and fish. Yum

20 Protein-Packed Black Bean Recipes | Brit + Co..


10 tomato growing tips

Good tomato growing tips for you newbies out there.


Tabuj Ka is watermelon rind chutney.
Tarbuj Ka Chutney
4 cups watermelon rind, fruit and outer green skin removed
and cut into 1 /2 “ pieces

1 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sweetener
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

*This chutney pairs well with a spicy main dish.
via here.
Feels like I have ages before watermelon season here.
I haven’t even put mine in the ground.
If you’ve never listened to Leo Kottke, check him out.  He’s one of the most underrated (or maybe just unheard of)  guitar players out there. I love listening to him while I’m getting stuff done around the house.


Garden Enemy #1

Caught this bugger this morning in the Hav-a-Hart trap.

We’re about to hand him off to someone to take far,far away from my garden.

BUT the bad news is, the woodchuck I saw eating out of our garden had a wonky tail. This one doesn’t. So, guess we’ll be resetting the trap.


Lunchtime Links: Fire Escape Gardening, using Garlic Mustard Greens, and dealing with canned tomatoes

Some good things to pass along today.


Link→  17 Tips For Starting Your Own Herb Garden.

These are all great tips for small space gardening. The tip about buying seedlings versus seeds…might seem counterintuitive since seeds are less expensive but sometimes you have to do that.  do start everything from seed myself but it was a struggle this year to find adequate space. Cats & little kids don’t help.


What I Made Today shows how to use wild Garlic Mustard …the whole thing, leaves to roots. You probably have seen this stuff growing like crazy. I have a ton of it I am constantly pulling from the garden. Go ahead an eat it. It’s good stuff.
Link → Garlic Mustard Love


Garden Update: New bean trellis made from 6-pack rings & a pair of crutches

So, I made this yesterday.

picture credit: my daughter Lilly

picture credit: my daughter Lilly

My husband works at a large grocery store and he’s been saving 6-pack rings from the soda vendor when he comes to fill the machines. I attached them with just little bits of yarn from a leftover ball I had in my stash. I had started with twisty ties but ran out. If I’d been feeling super motivated, I could have made a rainbow or some design with different colors but nah. Anyway, will any luck, it’ll be covered with glorious bean vines!

And if that fails, we have a badminton net?

I plan on making more. I might use it to make a sort of a fence. I just looked up the price of a roll of plastic netting and it’s like $26 for a 80 ft roll that’s only 3 ft high. So, this was free to make for us. Took some time but I did it while watching The Voice (yeah,yeah…it’s my one and only guilty pleasure show… ). My little guy helped cut the pieces of yarn for me. It was tedious but went quick.

We still have signs that our woodchuck enemy is in the vicinity. I ammonia bombed the one hole. I saw him scurry into another hole farther away from the house one day while I was taking the compost out, so I know he’s still around, just relocated slightly. We’re borrowing a hav-a-hart trap from a friend and then, his wagon will be fixed. (I’m thinking Woodchuck Egg Rolls? )

One of the little made these little flag markers, too. They’re sweet. He used scraps of fabric and pieces of old dowels that I think came from an old drying rack we had that broke.

I like this idea and I think I’ll make some of my own.













So, my running total for garden cost is still : $21



Lunchtime Not-Links: Pictures of Things Growing

I barely touched my feedly this weekend, so this morning I had thousands of unread things. I clicked “Mark all as read”. Then groaned as I realized I’d have nothing to share for lunchtime links today. Der.
So, here’s some pictures of people growing things!  I hope it inspires those of you doing the gardening thing this year.

If any of you out there have gardens growing, I would LOVE to share your pictures. Send them to me at

Maters in cartons via East Side Compost Pedallers

Fresh Eggs Daily

“I love spring! The garden is looking good…we share the beets, lettuce, garlic and carrot tops with the chickens..they’re not huge fans of the carrots themselves but our horses love those.”

Embedded image permalink

via  …”40 students added soil and compost to our new school garden! Get’n dirty at school!”


Jennydecki is getting chickens!  (Not her actual coop but she promises pictures soon)

Remember this family who was told they couldn’t have a veggie garden? They won the right to keep their garden.
If you hear of actions like this happening against people trying to grow gardens in their own yards or as a community, please support them w/ petitions, community meeting, and every possible way possible. Allowing people to grow their own food is crucial to food sovereignty.