Project Prepper, Part 39: Food Garden Latest

Last time I published a “Project Prepper” post, I discussed how I planted a small food garden back in late June using some non-GMO heirloom seeds from Salt Lake City-based My Patriot Supply. I was pleased the seeds from the Survival Seed Vault were actually germinating, and the food garden producing. In that September post, I noted cucumbers had already been harvested, and “everything else looks well on its way (fingers crossed!)”

Well, here’s what’s transpired since then…

The weather’s been pretty decent except for a cold spell that lasted a couple of days (ended yesterday) and not much rain (I’ve been pretty religious about watering the food garden however). Even nicer weather is supposed to be headed our way.

As such, a good portion of the raised bed behind my garage has become a tangled green “mess.” I wrote on September 23:

I planted those cucumber and watermelon seeds in 2 different “mounds” (12 inch diameter) with 3 seeds per mound (a couple of inches apart). Based on the significant growth that’s taking place, I’m pretty sure the size of those mounds and spacing between the seeds should have been quite a bit larger.

Now I know for sure that the size of those mounds and spacing between seeds should have been larger. I fear I “suffocated” growth in that area of the food garden as a result.

A couple of watermelons were growing pretty rapidly in the raised garden bed. The local wildlife claimed two of them. Two more were really beginning to fill out when I did something stupid. In an attempt to raise them off the ground a little bit to protect them from critters, I must have bent the joints (where the melon attached to the vine?) too much, causing them to break completely off the plant shortly thereafter. I was left with two small, unripe watermelons as a result.

Small Watermelons

As these Crimson Sweets were supposed to reach 24 pounds on average, looking at those tiny melons I couldn’t help but think of that scene from the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap where the rock band commissions a Stonehenge set but mistakenly asks for a model with a height of 18 inches instead of 18 feet. Comical stuff.


“This is Spinal Tap- Stonehenge scene”
(Warning! Language)
YouTube Video

Now, I have had further success with the food garden. Particularly in the sweet corn department. Last week, I harvested a couple of ears of corn. They were delicious- even thought I suspect they may have been just a tad overripe. I usually eat sweet corn with butter slathered all over it. Not this time! It was great plain.

First Sweet Corn

Alas, certain inhabitants of our “wildlife refuge” (my guess is the squirrels) also have discovered how good garden-fresh corn is, and the remaining unripe ears are now history. Along with the stalks. Vicious bastards.

One last thing. By late summer I noticed a good deal of discoloration among a number of corn stalk and cucumber leaves. It’s especially more pronounced with the cucumber plants, where leaves turned yellow to brown, dried out, and eventually shriveled off- but the actual cucumber wasn’t affected. I’ll definitely be looking into why this is going on.

That’s it for now. I like to refer to the small food garden as the “experimental” garden. I knew from the onset that there would be ups and downs associated with it. And sure enough, that’s been case with this project. Still, it’s producing (would have liked a watermelon however) and the knowledge I’m gaining from actually growing a food garden has been substantial.

More soon…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 Agriculture, Food, Gardening, Preparedness, Project Prepper
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