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Are there any young people that garden?

pistol
10 years ago

I'm 63 and just wondered if there were any young people interested in gardening anymore. I live in Enid and I never see any at the stores that sell seeds, etc. I admit I am not in any garden clubs as I am too busy but I know that now we only have one store that sells bulk seeds and it has a very poor selection. It seems like it is a dying art. There used to be four garden stores here in Enid but they have gradually gone out of business. I remember when I was about six years old my Dad gave me a pack of red zinnia seeds and a few pop corn seeds out of the pantry and told me how to plant them. I was hooked for life. I hope I am wrong about this. I have no children but if I had I would certainly encourage them to be gardeners. Any thoughts?

Comments (86)

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    George, The story of your daughter and her carrots made me smile. It reminds me a lot of the days when Maddie and I made a Peter Rabbit Garden together when she was 2 years old. It was fenced in and had a nice little gate and a rabbit statue and a birdbath that had a rabbit on the base of it. Every evening she wanted us to open up the garden gate so all the rabbits could come into the garden and eat. I, of course, wanted the garden gate closed. We compromised by closing the gate but by putting out little handfuls of henscratch near (but outside) the fence. The rabbits beat a path to the fence to nibble the henscratch and, if she sat quietly nearby, she could watch the bunnies eat just before sunset. I don't think she ever really agreed with keeping the gate closed though. In her mind, what good was a Peter Rabbit Garden if we didn't let Peter Rabbit come into the garden to eat?

    I expect some day your youngest daughter will find the time to have a garden, even if it is a relatively small one that's easier to maintain because it sounds like med school and her career will keep her really busy.

    I feel like all us old fogies had tons more time to garden because back when we started gardening, there was no internet and not too many video games yet. Even as a kid, I'd rather be out in the dirt than sitting inside watching TV.

    Kim, I am so happy to hear that gardening has found its way back into your son's heart.

    It is hard even for very experienced gardeners to have a good garden during periods of severe, extreme or exceptional drought, but the more we work at dealing with the droughts, the better we get at dealing with those hyper-dry conditions. We have lots of tools to help us in drought years like drip irrigation systems, the use of mulch, and the use of shade cloth.

    I marvel at how my dad's family was able to raise all their own food during the Dust Bowl years and still manage to stay alive. The few photos they have from that period do show very thin people, but they looked wiry and fit, not starved. They had no off-the-farm job that brought in any cash to spend on food (or anything else), the crops they tried to raise to sell failed in the absence of rainfall, and they knew that the only food they had to eat was what they raised themselves. Failure just wasn't an option. How many of us could survive in the same circumstances? (I don't even want to think about trying to do that!)

    He did say that World War II saved them all from dying by giving them a way to get off the farm. All the boys went into the service where they were delighted to get three meals a day every day. None of them went back to live on the farm, and the girls married and moved away from the farm, but all of them gardened throughout most of their adult lives. When I was younger, I thought I understood what their childhood was like, but I think I developed a whole new appreciation for what they endured, living roughly 30 miles from where I now live, when I read the book "The Worst Hard Time". I began to understand why my dad's family would eat anything pickled. Anything. I understood why they thought lamb's quarters and poke salad were awesome treats. Those were the sorts of things that kept them well fed, or at least kept them alive.

    We all are so lucky by comparison. We garden by choice and, yes, to allow us to grow more produce, perhaps, their own family budgets would allow us to buy, but we aren't in danger of starving if the garden crops fail.

    Dawn

  • benfisher
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    my 12 year old figured out more garden is less lawn to mow? so he is a gardener

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  • LaciRai
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm 24 and have loved gardening since I was a child. My parents did not actively keep up their flower beds, and I used to enjoy tending the plants here and there. Since I moved away and have my own family now, it's a great joy of mine to go outside and plant flowers and vegetables with my children. The sun is so healing, and the kids always behave themselves when they can run around in the great outdoors. I think gardening is making a comeback amongst the younger crowd. Especially now that technology has afforded us the ability to gain instant knowledge of so many things (like gardening) that may have otherwise been lost to us.

  • chickencoupe
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I, too, love reading all these stories. George, that curator of carrots was diligent!! hahaha

  • theflyingace
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hi there - i'm young and i garden. :-) my mom, shankins123 (aka sharon) got me interested in growing when i received my very own cherry tomato plant to care for. i don't exactly remember what age i was, but i think it was somewhere around 3 (correct me if i'm wrong, mom). it was cool enough that i remembered it. we had a garden on and off growing up, and one of my favorite activities was to go treasure hunting (digging up potatoes). it still is one of my favorite activities. :-)

    i'm now 27 and have 2 raised beds in my backyard (bought a house last june), 2 compost piles, and my first flock of chicks (they're a week old today, and none of them have died!). i did balcony gardening in an apartment before that, and attempted vermiculture (which failed miserably).

    i also run the community garden at southern nazarene university (it is separate from my day job). this is its third year, and we have 500 square feet, a greenhouse, and a shed. i do the best with what we have to provide a space where students, faculty, and staff can come together and learn about gardening, food, and what it means to be in community with each other and nature, and we have 23 people signed up this year. i'm also teaching a class on sustainable living for SNU's honors program, and the people who participate in that class will have to participate in the community garden. it's going to be a really great class - the end-of-semester project is taking a meal completely from farm to table (if we can), or at least buying our produce for the meal we make ourselves from the farmer's market. that gets at both how food is grown as well as what to do with it after it's harvested.

    it's certainly a fun adventure!!

    - katie

  • chickencoupe
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That's awesome, katie!

    Hubs and I were explaining to our son yesterday how imperative these basic life skills we're showing will influence the future. I mean chopping wood, "making dirt" (compost), the booooring worms, growing and eating non contaminated veggies, good bugs, bad bugs and other tidbits of ecological balances.

    Today I will tell him about you . I really think the future is headed in a dramatic change regarding sustainability. Possibly some serious clashes to come as some American children cannot identify a potato.

    My 9 yo son doesn't watch TV but catches much online, "Mom, white bread isn't good for us. We should learn to make our own bread, too." He totally misses the obvious indicators of my work on that very matter: a (presently dead) plot of wheat outside, rising bread on the counter top, stash of wheat berries. Takes after me. Bill pipes up about Ukraine and I'm like "Civil unrest? War? What potential war?"

    On the flip side, home school studies: robotic engineering, heavy math, physics and geometry. This little boy's future is definitely different than anything I've known!

    bon

  • shankins123
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sharon here (also known as mother of Katie)...

    Yes - I think you were 3 yrs old...that came after 2-yr-old Katie helped her momma harvest carrots...that were only about 2 inches long!
    Katie and I have a wonderful time with regard to gardening, food, etc. My love of gardening came from my mom early on, my dad in later years.
    For gardening to flourish and grow (metaphorically and physically!), each generation has to teach the next or we'll lose the wisdom and knowledge that has been passed down through the ages.

    I think we're in pretty good hands!

  • Joshuaaanb
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am so glad I found this thread! I was thinking about starting a similar one to reach out to other "young" people!
    I am 21 and have always been interested in gardening! I grew up, and still live, in Harrah, Oklahoma. About 45 mins. east of OKC.
    When I was younger my grandmother had a big peony bush and a nice sized flower bed, but it never lasted long between weeds, kids, dogs, and the heat. She and my grandpa would occasionally grow potatoes, squash, and tomatoes, but always gave it up when it got extremely hot. I would say they caught my initial interest.( Unfortunately as I’ve gotten older and more knowledgeable I realized my grandparents really don’t know that much about gardening. My grandfather and I share the plot in front of their house and I had to REALLY argue my point that after 5 years of growing potatoes in the same place without adding any soil amendments, we were about to have some SERIOUS problems. He finally let me put compost in it and agreed to plant the potatoes in a different spot).
    Anyway, Around 13 I started to fill my front flower bed and tons of pots, but never with anything I could eat, and it almost always all died in the heat of summer. (Unfortunate result of knowing nothing about plants and what will survive here!)
    When I was about 17, after I had moved out of my parents house and started renting in Edmond, I started getting interested in vegetables and herbs, but never had the space, and couldn't stand to think about putting all that work into a place I wouldn't live in for a longer than a year or two. At 19, I moved back home, partially because of how much I wanted to garden, and wasted no time! My garden is still about 1/4 the size I really need, but we are working on our new plot. My husband and I got married in July and are completely renovating the garage house/apartment next door and it has a very large patch of yard on the south side of it that I fully intend to turn into a giant garden!
    Being young and being interested in self-sufficiency and gardening is not easy, though. Like Mike said "many people think that what we do is crazy or dumb" I’ve had so many fights with my father about the garden in our back yard . One of my best friends who is in her mid-twenties won’t even eat anything I cook if it came out of my garden! (Picked garlic from outside to use in a dish and she says “are you going to put that in our food?” “Well, yes Brittany.” “Uhh from outside?” “Yes? Where do you think garlic comes from?” “Uh, The store!”). My generation (Millennials? Generation Y? IDK) Have grown up very dependent on “the system” I suppose you could call it, we are very reliant on the things available to us that we can obtain with money, and why go through all that work for your food when you can go to a drive through and have a meal in 3 minutes. Although I have seen a lot more of my peers getting interested, I have yet to see anyone REALLY get into it with more than a few plants. I also think that, like many people have said already, Most people will pick it up later in life when things slow down, and there isn’t anything wrong with that! It’s just always encouraging when I meet other people my age that are actively gardening and interested, because I know the second we start talking that they know that feeling of achievement and pride from being able to provide for yourself which our generation so often misses out on.
    I am so sorry that was so long, but I just felt very compelled to share that awful novel with every one!Sorry!

  • Macmex
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Joshuaaanb, thank you so much for sharing! We all have stuff to overcome and/or learn. I'm glad your folks have at least tried to grow things, and, obviously, you must be "wired" for it. You and your husband should hopefully learn and grow in this area for many years to come. I have such fond memories of my wife and I, during our first few years of marriage and gardening.

    We have some friends who are just a couple years ahead of you, in a similar journey. They're doing GREAT! I'm sure you will too. And, WELCOME to our forum! Hopefully you will drop in more.

    George
    Tahlequah, OK

  • Lauren M
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm 23 and am starting my first real garden on my own. I grew up with a grandma that taught me to quilt and preserve/can things and somehow that led to wanting to garden. I love being outside and sometimes feel overwhelmed by how much I need to learn.

    My husband and I just bought a cute house in Edmond and we tilled a 20'X20' plot a few months ago. There are worms everywhere so I'm guessing our soil is good :P and I got a composter for Christmas so that will be going to good use.

    I will definitely be posting a bunch of questions. I'm wanting a completely organic garden and have been looking into some cover crops for this fall.

  • chickencoupe
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Welcome to Joshua and H-H!!

    Make like a sponge because this forum oozes gardening wisdom. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories!

    bon

  • c1nicolei
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm not young (41) but am an avid gardener. I grew up in the NE where gardening was not quite as challenging as it is here in OK. We had many fruit trees, grape vines and a very large, productive garden. I love gardening but seldom meet others my age that have a true passion for gardening! I would love to get a group together in Edmond that we can meet, share items, tips etc. Guess this is a good place to start. We could meet once a quarter (or more). Any takers? I also make all my own compost and would love to grow my gardening knowledge by gardening with others in my Oklahoma area that have more experience than I do!

  • mulberryknob
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    How neat that this question brought responses from so many new or rarely seen names. I am encouraged that our group is larger than it sometimes seems to be.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mia, Your comment on bulk seeds caught my eye as I was reading back through this thread. Actually, bulk seeds would be perfect for people with small gardens. As we use the term bulk seed here, it is referring to a now-practically-extinct method of having large bulk containers of seeds in the stores, and the customer just uses a little scoop or spoon to take out however many seeds they want, put them in a little seed packet or, for some larger seeds like bean and corns, into small brown paper bags. You then mark the packet or bag with the name of the seed you're buying. In some stores, you weigh the packet and write the weight on it yourself, and in other stores, they weigh it and mark it for you.

    At the two places where I have found and purchased bulk seeds in the last few years, one had each variety in its own glass jar with a lid that either pops on or off or one that screws on and off. There is a photo of the appropriate veggie, flower or herb variety on each jar. In the other store, the seeds are in little cans sort of like paint cans, and the size of the cans varies depending on how large the seeds are. Each can has a manufacturer's label that also features a photo. If you want 400 corn seeds, you can use the scoop and guestimate how many to pour into the bag, or you can pour them into your hand and count them. If you want 5 squash seeds, you can buy only 5. When I am buying bulk seeds, I always feel like I have stepped back in time about 25-30 years, but in a good way.

    I also miss the sale of plants like collards, cabbage or broccoli, sold bare root as young seedlings bundled together with rubber bands. The roots of the plants usually were sitting in potting soil, and when you picked up a bundle to purchase, they had newspaper there for you to wrap around the roots to contain the soil. After you purchased them, you brought them home and planted them immediately. They were ridiculously cheap, and as long as you planted them right away and watered them in, they usually looked wilted for a day or two and then perked right up and began growing. I haven't seen plants sold that way in a nursery or farm store since around 2000 or 2001.

    Katie, What a marvelous gardening adventure! I hope you'll keep us posted on your community gardening adventures and also on how your class goes. I'm so excited to hear you have a house now with a room for a garden and for chickens.

    Sharon, Right here in your own family we've been able to see how your parents love of gardening passed down to you and then how you have passed on that love of gardening to Katie. It is cool to see that. I agree that the fate of home gardening is indeed in good hands.

    Bon, Your comment that some kids don't recognize a potato made me feel sad, but when you think about it, why would they? These days, people can buy potatoes in the freezer case, all cut up and ready to steam and mash. I don't blame working parents for using shortcuts like that to get dinner on the table on a busy day, but I hate that so many people think food comes from a bag, a box, or a pouch, instead of understanding it all comes from the ground or from water (hydroponics).

    I'm always kinda amused (in an I-am-laughing-with-you-not-at-you sort of way) when a visitor to my garden who is not a gardener sees a potato plant in bloom and incorrectly assumes the flower is what gives us potatoes. I try to keep a silly grin off my face as I explain that the potato grows underground and that we don't eat the green seed-producing fruit produced by those pretty potato flowers.

    The really young people I see interested in gardening here all come from families that garden, and generally from families that farm or ranch or that at least have a few animals because the kids are involved in 4-H or FFA. Some have grandparents who maintain very large gardens that feed several families, and the kids and grandkids help the grandparents with the big garden but do not necessarily have separate gardens themselves.

    I always think there is hope, though, that people will become more and more deeply involved in growing their own food over time. Once you get used to having fresh, home-grown food that can literally go from your garden to the kitchen to be used in the next meal, you get spoiled and want to have that superior form of produce whenever possible.

    Dawn

  • Joshuaaanb
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    George and Bon, thank you for such a warm welcome! You all are so nice on here! I have been a shadow to these forums for a year or so now, but only just signed up in response to this post! I haven't felt the need to post anything yet as I still don't know nearly enough to start giving advice on things!

    I really feel like I already know half of you all! I think Dawn has already said something like this in another post long before, but I have read some of the other forums and you cannot beat the generosity, patience, and kindness of this Oklahoma forum!

  • wannabegardnr
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Define young. I suppose most people under 30 would not own a home with a yard to garden, or be too much in student loan debt or just busy getting their life started. You need some time to garden, though the avid gardener will find some time.
    Both my parents were into plants. I had a potted ivy plant in my dorm room in college. When I moved to my own rented apartment after 25, I got 1 or two houseplants. Then I moved to an apartment with a balcony where I grew flowers, herbs and tomatoes. Finally bought a house 4 years ago and caught the gardening bug badly. Started tinkering with small existing plantings and finally after fencing the backyard last year, I am on my way to have my own backyard garden. Young people growing up in the country might have a closer connection to the land and more access to it and get their hands into gardening earlier.

  • kristykaye
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    At 7 yrs old I was out in the fields with my Grandfather digging up tators. He had a HUGE vegetable garden down in McCurtain County. When I moved to Norman I would grow tomatoes in my flower beds at whatever house I was renting at the time. When I bought my first house in my 20's I fenced in an area in the backyard and started my first REAL garden. At a very young 34 yrs old I have a big veggie garden and continue to enjoy the hobby.

  • dchezbot
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I come from a family that constantly had the most embarrassing yard on the street. We couldn't keep grass alive let alone anything else. Granted we didn't even try. Then I got married and my wife's father is an avid Iris grower. He has a huge bed with some 200 varieties. When we moved into our rental house I was so excited for Spring. I have spent so much energy and money on this little patch of land that won't even be mine in a few years, but I have loved every minute of it. We call it my hobby money and think the experience and joy is well worth it. I'm 24 and hope to have decades of gardening to come!

  • okoutdrsman
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lots of great stories on this one!
    I'm 56, so no way I qualify as young.
    I had an absolute blast getting the 4 grandkids out yesterday to plant a raised bed that has been designated for them. We only planted onions and lettuce, but you would have thought they were doing the greatest thing on earth. The 4 and 5 year old did great, but they've done this before. The 2 two year olds were into it a whole lot more than I expected.
    Who knows, maybe we'll get them interested in gardening for the long haul?
    My kids, their parents are always interested in some of the stuff I harvest, but to this point haven't started doing gardening on their own.
    The onions were some I had potted up for replacements in my main onion patch, once the cutworms do their invasion. As far as the lettuce goes, if by some freak chance what they planted doesn't take off, I have Romaine potted up in the greenhouse. They will grow something, even if I have to cheat!

  • doc_mikeymike
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hey now, remember that age is a 'state of mind'.

    At any rate, I will be 29 in 8 days. I very much enjoy gardening.

  • thewallawallaian89
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Im 25. My 5 year old son LOVES to work in the garden. My 8 year old enjoys it as well. I agree that many younger people seem to die when the word "yard work" or "gardening" comes up, but I love it.

  • Suzi AKA DesertDance So CA Zone 9b
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I recommended Garden Web forums to a young lady who was working at a hotel where we recently stayed. She expressed her love for gardening, and she is 23.

    Most of us learn from our parents or grandparents, and we have it inside. Sometimes it takes time to develop.

    Suzi

  • mjandkids
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm not exactly sure what qualifies as "young" for you.

    I'm 34 and I have a vegetable garden. I started gardening 4 years ago.

    My daughter is 11, so I know she qualifies as "young". She's raising a salad garden and green beans this spring. This summer she's planning a melon garden. She gardens her areas entirely on her own--she plants, waters, treats for bugs, covers with plastic on cold nights, harvests and washes up her own stuff.

    The biggest problem we've found with gardening is it's a really big job to learn the hows, whys and whens. I think the generation who raised us had little interest in gardening so they don't usually have any knowledge to pass down. My mother never gardened. If my grandmother ever did then I didn't know it. My great grandmother had a garden, but she lived so far away from us I only know about it's existence through pictures.

    4 years ago I started gardening with my kids. Last year my daughter started her own garden area. And this spring my mother has started lettuce and radishes and a couple of tomato plants. She's not sure she can keep them alive, but she's trying.

    I have a friend who lives in California who gardens with her kids. I envy her her raised beds. :) She's 27. Her husband helps her. He's 28. Their kids are 3, 4 and 6.

    But I still wish I saw more people my age at the garden centers and more kids learning the joy (and trials) of gardening.

  • mjandkids
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It's interesting to see so many young gardeners. I was beginning to wonder if there were many on these boards as well. It's actually a nice sized group.

    Mulberryknob...I'm a lurker. I still consider myself new enough to not have anything worthwhile to share. I usually come to these pages to read up and learn what I don't know or what I've done wrong this year...or what to do before I do it wrong! Ha!

    Anyway...have loved this thread.

  • susie53_gw
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am proud to say both our daughter have gardens. They love it. They do a lot of canning and freezing. We always had a big garden but gave it up a few years back. Then all of a sudden my hubby wanted a garden again. It is funny because when our daughters come they go to the garden before coming In the house. Our youngest daughter always takes the first ripe tomato from her garden to an elderly neighbor.

  • pauldunklau
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Im 17 and I garden! Fairly seriously now, but it all started with Cacti about 3 years ago, now ive started alot more with vegetables and herbs.

    I also know several people in their early 20's who do! I wish more younger people were into it though

    Might I add I am also a farmhand, so all my life seems to involve gardening or farming :D

  • OzarkHeather
    9 years ago

    About bulk seed- and a 'young gardeners and work comment'-

    Yesterday I was in one of our local but dwindling feed and seed places, and scooping out seeds with the hammered metal "b" scoop. I wondered how long the set of scoops- up to a 1/2 lb size "e", I think- had been there, and how expensive it would be to find my own set on ebay.

    I helped my dad pack up our light green paper bagged pounds of corn and beans from drawers like that as a kid out West, but when I saw them here, I spurned the bulk counter for years, thinking it 'old seedroom floor sweepings', and 'who knows how long they've sat there?' Last year I repented, at 33 cents a scoop- about 35 cucumber seeds, 75-100 tomato seeds, all classic varieties.

    This spring, I ran germ tests on my old seed packets. The bulk bin packets were some of my newest, and I had lots of older seeds from many mail order places- but the bulk seed tested 100%, every one. Only a few Johnny's and Stokes Seed foil packs came remotely close.

    I wondered about how long- how many gardens- those scoops started. And I regret I was camera-less, because I felt I was handling a china knobbed, 44 drawer passenger pigeon. I wish I had an old library card catalog in my house. Now I want a set of bulk seed sized drawers with old taped, torn and peeling labels, too.

    I do think the bulk seed counter belongs to the 1/2+ acre food production before Walmart and Aldi, pull-out-tractor-and-plow-it, rural America that some of us want 'back'. My dream is to work that kind of garden again, with enough corn rows to get lost from Mom, reading in peace! Now that reader would be a grandkid. Ah, no such a spot on our baldknob hilltop farm.

    I also agree there has been a strong cultural directive about farm and food work as "menial labor" and undesirable, third-world "work" that 'doesn't pay'. But. if we work 'with', and not 'over' kids, over time, they can be taught. I expect all my kids will be growing at least some of their own food most of their lives, especially as they realize what they have traded for the alternative!


  • johnnycoleman
    9 years ago

    Part of our mission is teaching young'uns to grow and preserve food. We are devoted to our local food mission. More than a hundred middle school kids are growing sweet potato slips that they will plant in a prepared bed in our 12th Street location. The next school year they will come back to harvest them. I hope Dad and Mom know how to cook them.

    Vision Farms, Inc.
    109 S. Division
    Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044 USA

    Vision-Farms.org


  • Macmex
    9 years ago

    That's FANTASTIC!

    There are a growing number of people, out there who don't really know how to cook. I'd do a handout for them. In fact, Johnny, I'm going to be doing just that. I can send you a copy.


    George

  • luvncannin
    9 years ago

    That is so awesome Johnny and George. I had a lady ask me how to cook pintos. She was gifted some much needed food and had no idea how to use most of it. She was in her 30s but had no clue how to cook real food. I was able to help her a little before she moved. Its hard to imagine sometimes because I grew up standing next to my mom and grama in the kitchen.

  • johnnycoleman
    9 years ago

    George,
    We will hand out one to every kid that comes to dig sweet potatoes.
    Would it be a good idea to cover how to cure and store them as well?


  • chickencoupe
    9 years ago

    I grew sweet taters last year and didn't know to cure them before using. Looking forward to better-tasting sweet taters this year. lol


  • johnnycoleman
    9 years ago

    Attention Central Oklahoma


    Snow Peas, Green Beans and Southern Peas

    U-PICK-IT
    Garden 2015

    Logan
    County OK

    Send
    an EMAIL to Johnny8@cox.ne­­t

    and
    ask to be added to the notification list.

    Snow Peas, Green Beans and Southern Peas

    Brought
    to you by

    Vision Farms, Inc.

    A
    nonprofit corporation

    No pesticides or herbicides are used.

  • Macmex
    9 years ago

    Yes Johnny, curing is important. Back in the 80s I left my sweet potato collection with my parents in NJ, while I took my family into missions, in Mexico. My parents were excited about growing them. But they reported that their soil and conditions produced sweet potatoes which were not sweet. Soon, they gave up on them. I'm positive that they were simply too eager and dug them, cooking them right away.

    Just for anyone reading this thread: I have found that I get the very best results if I scrub my sweet potatoes, poke them a few times and bake between 325-350 F. They need to be baked LONGER than you think, in order for best flavor to develop. There is a point of cooking, at which one can poke them with a fork and they seem cooked. But the flavor isn't really there yet. I cook them about 1/2 hour past that point, until they start to shrink inside the skins. Then when I take them out, they are generally so sweet that I am not even tempted to add sugar or even butter. I eat them skin and all. Almost all winter this has been my 9 AM break snack at work. I use a convection oven at work and cook them at 325 F for 90 minutes. It makes the whole place smell good. I never get tired of this.

  • johnnycoleman
    9 years ago

    George,
    I wonder if curing them is important when making sweet potato fries. Lots of folks swear by sweet potato fries.


  • Macmex
    9 years ago

    I haven't made fries myself. But I have eaten some good ones. I'm sure that curing is important. But I don't know how they prepare them.

  • oklahomegrown
    9 years ago

    I am 29 and just now getting into gardening. I do not have any friends interested and wish I could find a 'gardening mentor' of sorts. So far, I have been reading and researching and experimenting-- but I would love to have first hand knowledge from a pro.

    I am jealous of those of you whom stated you learned from a grandmother or parent. My parents do not garden and, as far as I know, neither did their parents.

    Unfortunately, the beautiful, well-established trees that drew me to love my neighborhood severely limit what and how much I am able to grow, but I love a good challenge.

    I have a 2-year-old and 3-year-old little boy and hope to pass down the knowledge to them. Lord knows they love to play in the dirt.

  • Macmex
    9 years ago

    You are likely to find someone on this forum. Be sure to hang out here and let your presence be known. But I also suspect there will be someone here who lives fairly near you.

    George


  • johnnycoleman
    9 years ago

    oklahomegrown,
    Where do you live? We are doing about three acres of U-PICK-IT, this year, very near Guthrie, OK. One of our volunteers has a degree in horticulture. Anyone can join out mailing list for notification when crops are ready to be picked. Just email me and I will add you to the list. Johnny8@cox.net

    Johnny

    Vision-Farms.org


  • oklahomegrown
    9 years ago

    Johnny Coleman, awesome! I live in NE Edmond, very close to Guthrie. I will be emailing you, I would love to be added to the list.

  • chickencoupe
    9 years ago

    Congratulations on your wee twosee and threesee. They're so much fun at that age. And it's a very good impressionable age for gardening skills. You'll find a way to grow some stuff with your trees. I know the jealousy. This forum has superb mentors and pros that seem to fill the gap.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    9 years ago

    Johnny, Since curing the sweet potatoes helps the starches convert to sugars, I think that you'd get better sweet potato fries if you cure them first, but that's only a guess. Both the flavor and texture are much improved after curing, so I'm guessing that making fries without curing would give you a different flavor and texture---I don't know if it would be inferior or if it would be only different.

    Oklahomegrown, This forum is full of online mentors, and if you find some who live close to you, that's just a bonus.

    Sometimes, in our climate, you can grow a lot more in partial shade than you think because of the intensity of our sunlight. I have a mostly full-sun garden with shade at the west end, and even tomatoes produce great yields when planted at the west end of the garden. The get full sun until about noon and then are in dappled shade the rest of the day. Before I planted them there, I thought that area was likely to be too shady for tomatoes, and I was wrong---they were tremendously happy there. So, kinda ignore "the rules" and try things in your shadier location and see if the big trees you love really do hamper your gardening efforts that much. You might be surprised.

    Kids who grow up around gardeners usually develop a real love for gardening. I've seen it happen over and over again. While it is nice to have a family background in gardening, it is not essential. You can learn everything you need to know just from doing it. There is no substitute for real-life experience and you can learn enough on the internet to get you started, and then you'll get the first-hand experience by doing it. I know plenty of very accomplished gardeners who did not have a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle who gardened.

    Stick with us here, and we'll try to answer any questions that arise.

    Dawn

  • shankins123
    9 years ago

    And.... Oklahomegrown - be sure to come to the Spring Fling! I guarantee you AND your kiddos are welcome, and there will be others there your age, as well as "older" (age only) mentors that will fill your head with all sorts of gardening excitement and wisdom!

    Sharon

  • oklahomegrown
    9 years ago

    What is the spring fling?

    And thank you Dawn and Sharon! :-)

  • luvncannin
    9 years ago

    The Spring Fling is just the best time gathering somewhere near Ok city with likeminded gardening friends. We bring stuff to share if we have it, plants seeds bamboo! whatever and food too!
    Did I mention its fun. They are so sweet they even let Texans in LOL

    kim

  • chickencoupe
    9 years ago

    lol Kim It's true, Oklahomegrown. No cliques or stuffiness. Just good people from all walks.


  • osuengineer
    9 years ago

    oklahomegrown,

    Have you heard of the Master Gardener program? I believe it's run through the county extension offices.

    Here is the web page for the Oklahoma County Master Gardeners.

    http://www.okcmg.org/


  • sarahdmac
    9 years ago

    I'm 27 and enjoy trying to garden. My great grandparents, grandparents, and dad all gardened, though I never picked up any technical knowledge. I grew up loving tomatoes fresh from the garden vine I attempted patio/container gardening while in college and wasn't successful. After buying a home 3 years ago, I started trying to see what I could grow in my postage stamp yard. I learn something new each year and hope to glean even more knowledge here :)

  • jdevers (zone 7a Farmington AR)
    9 years ago

    While i dont live in Oklahoma, I'm close enough that our national wrather service forecast is out of Tulsa. I'm 37 and have raised a garden for the last ten years but this year will be my first to have a truly nice one (we moved last year and went from a 40*50 backyard to just shy of three nearly flat acres with deep soil). This year i will cultivate nearly the whole side lot with green manures in order to establish a 100*120 garden that i started working on last year. My brother is 24 and he has gardened the last couple years.


    I know almost no one else who raises more than a tomato plant or two though who is close to my age.