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Did You Know?

Conventional farmers use around 300 different pesticides to grow foods that are sold in supermarkets everyday.

Urban Gardening - 2015

The chickens are back! I re-used the chicken coop that I built last year to house a couple of new chickens. Meet Peggy and Marsha.

I rented a small plot at a community garden so I could grow more stuff. For $75, you get a 20x10' lot and access to water and a garden shed to store your tools; not a bad deal. The plot gets way more sun than my partially shaded backyard so crops like tomatoes and melons did a lot better there. Occasionally I'd run into fellow gardeners and it was nice to chat them up.

A huge tomato harvested from the rented plot. These average 1+ lbs each.

First time growing cantaloupes this year. I didn't think it was possible because I've heard that it needs plenty of sunlight and heat, which we don't normally get here. But they turned out pretty well! The melons are smaller than what you'd see at grocery stores (the largest ones were 5-6 inches across) but the taste doesn't compare! When ripe, they were very juicy and had an excellent sweet taste. I lost a couple of melons to squirrels/rabbits, though :-(

I was craving melons this year, so I thought I'd try growing honeydews, too :-) These were grown from seeds - it took FOREVER for the seeds to germinate, I almost gave up on it. Like the cantaloupes, the melons were smaller compared to the ones at the store, but they more than made up for it with their crisp, juicy and sweet flesh.

I normally grow beets as my root vegetable of choice, but I saw these nice looking turnips in my seed catalog and decided to give it a shot. They were easier to grow and matured a lot faster than beets. I fed the green tops to my chickens. The roots were crisp and sweet, pretty tasty pickled or stewed.

Okra - another new/experimental crop for me this year. I've actually never eaten okra before so I don't know why I wanted to grow it. I had no idea how to grow it so I basically just planted it into the ground and left it alone :-). It's an interesting plant. The pods grow from branch-like stems, out of these exotic looking pink flowers. If you haven't had okra before, when cooked, the inside has a texture similar to snot. :-)

Green and yellow zucchinis. Once these get going, you'll have more zucchinis than you know what to do with :-) I tried them in stir-frys, raw, in pasta and in zucchini bread.

My annual garlic crop, curing/drying under a tree.