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Do you grow your own... y'know... food? | OT? | [56k modem warning, Apple II and Win'95 users!]

DunDunDunpachi

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Really, though, do you grow your own food? My wife and I have gotten into the practice much more over the past 2 years. Sprouting seeds in jars, growing microgreens in trays, inoculating our own mushroom logs, foraging wild mushrooms and plants, and also digging a garden (pictured):



(nothing much is growing. The tomatoes in the brown planter on the right are still small and green. I have been harvesting greens from the back two rows (beet, mustard, turnip, lamb's quarters, and purslane. My fava beans and bush beans are coming in really nicely.)



(sprouting trays! These have been difficult to master. I've lost several harvests due to too much heat and sunlight. Currently trying to grow on coconut coir. Left-to-right: Arugula, mustard, mustard again, and beet)




(wild-foraged Golden Oyster -- Pleurotus citrinopileatus -- mushrooms. I've since found a few pounds more in my area. Very tasty sauted in butter)

Kind of blows my mind that not even countertop sprouting is a thing for most people, considering how it's a cheap and easy method to get fresh greens. I'm interested in hearing how people grow or make or forage their food, whether it's just to pinch some pennies or for culinary reasons.

What do you grow?

Can you show off some pics?

Any tricks you can offer to people (especially if you have clever ways to grow more in a limited space for apt. dwellers or those with small yards)?
 
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PKM

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Next year we are going too.

Bought the house 2 years ago so this was our first year to try it. I grabbed a shovel and quickly learned our soil is WAY to rocky to do it manually.
So next year gonna rent a tiller and get to work!
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Next year we are going too.

Bought the house 2 years ago so this was our first year to try it. I grabbed a shovel and quickly learned our soil is WAY to rocky to do it manually.
So next year gonna rent a tiller and get to work!
Do you have any plans for what you'd like to grow? All annual "crop" veggies and stuff like that? Or do you also plan to put in some perennial bushes/trees for other sorts of food production?
 

KevinKeene

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I've got corn, california reaper-chili, oregano and apple trees growing on my window sill. Maybe I'll take some photos in a couple days.
 

ilfait

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That's great, DunDun. I hope that eventually everyone can and will do this too.
 

lil puff

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I don't think I am getting enough sun to do it.
My indoor plants die even in the sunniest window we have.

One time I did grow basil, and it grew pretty flowers. I was surprised.
I'd like to try more, if I could.
 

Gander

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I thought about growing a blackberry bush. We had a giant one when I was kid. It was so convenient to just walk outside in the summer time and just pick them right off the bush.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I've got corn, california reaper-chili, oregano and apple trees growing on my window sill. Maybe I'll take some photos in a couple days.
Yeah, show off some pictures if you would please. I'd like to see the hot peppers especially. I hope to grow those next year and then home-ferment some bangin' hot sauces and whatnot.

I thought about growing a blackberry bush. We had a giant one when I was kid. It was so convenient to just walk outside in the summer time and just pick them right off the bush.
Do it. I've been slowly cultivating local wild blackberry, dewberry, and black raspberry canes since buying my house a few years ago. This year was my first truly big harvest: over the past 3 weeks we've gotten about 2 gallons of berries, maybe more. Still some weeks in the growing season, too. Berry harvest next year will likely be triple the size.
 

lil puff

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I remember my uncle had a huge garden and my little cousin, she would pick the chilis straight off the vine and eat them like grapes.
 

LordPezix

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I've got corn, california reaper-chili, oregano and apple trees growing on my window sill. Maybe I'll take some photos in a couple days.
Nice I can't wait to see the little plant babies!!!!



I want to grow my own stuff but my living conditions make it a little hard. I love organic home grown produce over any store bought stuff.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Nice I can't wait to see the little plant babies!!!!



I want to grow my own stuff but my living conditions make it a little hard. I love organic home grown produce over any store bought stuff.
Try doing sprouts and/or microgreens on your kitchen counter. Really, really easy to grow and very inexpensive. It's not quite as nice as munching on a home-grown carrot or something, but it's nice even if only to get more fresh greens into your diet for a few pennies more per week.
 

LordPezix

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Try doing sprouts and/or microgreens on your kitchen counter. Really, really easy to grow and very inexpensive. It's not quite as nice as munching on a home-grown carrot or something, but it's nice even if only to get more fresh greens into your diet for a few pennies more per week.
I would but I live in house of 5 dudes and counter space is valuable so it would be selfish for me to use it up.
 

LordPezix

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Not trying to talk you into it (okay, I am), but if you can spare the space of a quart-sized mason jar then you can do it. Not kidding.

Take a stab at it if you're looking for a cheap alternative way of getting more greens in your diet.
I love MUH greens! I'm a vegan, and I eat a lot of raw greens so I'm always wanting to grow my own.

Ok, you convinced me. LETS DO THIS! Mason Jar Green Babies here I come!.


 

DunDunDunpachi

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I love MUH greens! I'm a vegan
Oh, you're vegan? Then yeah this should be a no-brainer for ya! I'll take some pics this weekend to show off my current microgreen trays, and in a few more days I'll have a fresh jar of sprouts to show off, too. Let me know how it goes for you.

Do a bit of homework to see what seeds you might want to sprout and go to town on it. Like I said, very cheap and super easy. Mung beans, fenugreek seeds, clover seeds, and alfalfa seeds all sprout pretty reliably for me. I don't personally do them all that often (I'm not vegan) but if you want a good source of protein you can sprout lentils as well and eat them raw after sprouting 3-4 days.

A few months ago I experimented to see how sustained I could keep myself on sprouts alone and I came away impressed. Though you do need to have other sources of food, you can produce a pretty sizable amount of fresh food every week by keeping 3-4 jars in constant rotation.
 

LordPezix

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Oh, you're vegan? Then yeah this should be a no-brainer for ya! I'll take some pics this weekend to show off my current microgreen trays, and in a few more days I'll have a fresh jar of sprouts to show off, too. Let me know how it goes for you.

Do a bit of homework to see what seeds you might want to sprout and go to town on it. Like I said, very cheap and super easy. Mung beans, fenugreek seeds, clover seeds, and alfalfa seeds all sprout pretty reliably for me. I don't personally do them all that often (I'm not vegan) but if you want a good source of protein you can sprout lentils as well and eat them raw after sprouting 3-4 days.

A few months ago I experimented to see how sustained I could keep myself on sprouts alone and I came away impressed. Though you do need to have other sources of food, you can produce a pretty sizable amount of fresh food every week by keeping 3-4 jars in constant rotation.
Ok cool. I think I'll give Mung beans, and fenugreek seeds a try this weekend. I have time off so it shouldn't be difficult for me to get this going this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration man! I'll keep ya update on my progress as well.
 

Scopa

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Great thread idea!

Yeah, I grow my own:

- Lemons
- Almonds
- Walnuts
- Loquats
- Persimmons
- Figs
- Grapes
- Peaches
- Tomatoes
- Basil
- Parsley
- Mandarins
- Shahtoots (white mulberry)
- Chestnuts
- Olives
- Zinzoli (jujube)
- Chillis

I may be forgetting some. I also make my own wine, tomato sauce and sausages, preserved meats and preserved vegetables.

When WW3 comes, I’m all set, lol.

I never ever thought I’d get into gardening, but it is so relaxing and rewarding. Especially when you can eat from your labour.
 
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sahlberg

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The front yard has mandarines, pineapples, mangoes, bananas and stuff.
They taste really good

I plant and grow lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.
As spring is near, I will try to grow potatoes but I think it is too warm here.
(I LOVE boiled potato. Boiled potato gravy and fish/meat/chicken/pork/veggiers is pretty much staple food we ate every single day,
except Thursdays. On Thursdays you eat split peas soup.)
 

lil puff

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This is such a great thread.

Scopa- geez, you are on fire with your list of growth.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Scopa Scopa Excellent! Seems like you have a lot of established trees/shrubs to grow those? Since you make tomato sauce, have you ever made fermented tomato preserve? I want to try my hand at that once my own crop of tomatoes comes in.

sahlberg sahlberg That's an unusual assortment compared to what I'm used to. Guessing you live in the sub-tropics or tropics? Potatoes grow like weeds: I bet if you did a "potato box" and heaped it with plenty of dirt they would stay cool enough to grow. It's worth investigating, at least.
 

Scopa

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Scopa Scopa Excellent! Seems like you have a lot of established trees/shrubs to grow those? Since you make tomato sauce, have you ever made fermented tomato preserve? I want to try my hand at that once my own crop of tomatoes comes in.
Yes, I have something around 20-25 trees, I think. Most of them are fairly established. My fig tree is very old, but has 4 different types of figs grafted onto it as does my jujube tree. My pièce de résistance is a native tree to New Zealand grafted with eggplants, thus an eggplant tree. I forgot to mention that one as I tore it up a while ago because I made the mistake of planting it in the front yard and people have light fingers.

Haven’t tried fermented tomato preserve. My tomato sauce is mainly for pasta and other cooking.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Yes, I have something around 20-25 trees, I think. Most of them are fairly established. My fig tree is very old, but has 4 different types of figs grafted onto it as does my jujube tree. My pièce de résistance is a native tree to New Zealand grafted with eggplants, thus an eggplant tree. I forgot to mention that one as I tore it up a while ago because I made the mistake of planting it in the front yard and people have light fingers.

Haven’t tried fermented tomato preserve. My tomato sauce is mainly for pasta and other cooking.
I make a lot of pasta sauce myself which is why I mentioned it. 'Pomodora di conserva' is what I've heard it called but that would also apply to generic 'tomato paste' or 'tomato puree' too. But anyway, it's supposed to be a really nice addition to sauces since it adds intense umami flavor. I've been doing a lot of preserved/fermented foods myself this past year. It's fascinating.
 

Scopa

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I make a lot of pasta sauce myself which is why I mentioned it. 'Pomodora di conserva' is what I've heard it called but that would also apply to generic 'tomato paste' or 'tomato puree' too. But anyway, it's supposed to be a really nice addition to sauces since it adds intense umami flavor. I've been doing a lot of preserved/fermented foods myself this past year. It's fascinating.
Hmm, I have to look it up, as I’ve never tried it. Traditionally, I’m a big believer in keeping the flavours simple as to my culture. The sauce I make isn’t the same as the bottled ones you can buy in the grocery store with fancy Italian labels. I’ve been making tomato sauce with no additives for years and my friends always probe me as to what I put in it because they can’t believe the flavour, but the secret is simplicity and fresh ingredients. But, I love cooking and love experimenting, so I’m going to look up fermented tomato preserve now, lol.

How good is food preserving! So fun, so rewarding.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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1.4lb / 632g block of cheese (weighed before waxing) that I put away last night for aging. I think I'll do at least 2 months on this one.

Made without rennet, vinegar, or other additives. Also done without boiling and simmering milk which saves tons of time and mess. I had no interest in cheesemaking until I learned you could do quite a lot with milk kefir, so I got into it.

I'll have to snap a pic of the next block of feta I do.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Did you have any success over the past 2 weeks, LordPezix LordPezix ?

Anyway, bumping the thread with some of my progress:


These mushroom logs (shiitake) have started to pin early, which is very exciting. Since taking the picture there are another dozen (or so) similar splotches.


Six bags of Lion's Mane inoculant mixed with hardwood chips, freshly chipped that day. Hoping for some growth, but this is merely an experiment to see how viable Lion's Mane is in bags instead of logs.


Buckwheat. A very special and versatile plant: you can eat the younger leaves as lettuce, you can cook the seeds into porridge or grind them into flour, they attract a wide range of pollinators, and the plants grow quickly. Lastly, buckwheat stalks make exceptional "green manure": cut it down in late fall or early spring and turn it into the soil for a good boost of organic matter and Nitrogen. This is a good all-purpose plant to include in your garden or around the yard.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Another bouquet of 'golden oyster' mushrooms, the third harvest from the same log this year. Hoping that the spores will infect the other logs below. Got about 1 pound / 0.45 KG in harvest.
 

Chairman Tickles

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From a financial standpoint, small scale farming makes absolutely no sense. But it is fun. Look, some sprouts!



This soil + enclosure cost me $300. For maybe $20 worth of veggies every few months lol.

Even large scale farming operations require government welfare to stay afloat. But there is a satisfaction to growing your own food. Especially if it of the Cannabis variety tee hee.
 
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hargwood

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Love the thread! I am looking at getting an allotment shortly and want to have a little homestead in my later years.
 

Liljagare

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We grow many of our own vegetables /berries. Corn, squash, beets, watermelon, pumpkins, okra, artichoke to name a few. Mushrooms we get in the forest. The berries
(gooseberry, rasberry, blackberry, current, strawberry) we usually make into jam or saft (Saft is like a juice concentrate you make drinks from).
 

Scopa

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We grow many of our own vegetables /berries. Corn, squash, beets, watermelon, pumpkins, okra, artichoke to name a few. Mushrooms we get in the forest. The berries
(gooseberry, rasberry, blackberry, current, strawberry) we usually make into jam or saft (Saft is like a juice concentrate you make drinks from).
Do you ever make blueberry liquor? My dad wants to make some again, but he lost his recipe.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Harvested my third handful of these this morning:




Wine Cap (Stropharia rugosa annulata). I'm totally new to mushroom farming this year. These are like button/cremini mushrooms but more flavorful. As the name hints, these are excellent sautéed with wine. My tomatoes should be ready soon so I'll take a picture of those.
 

Liljagare

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Do you ever make blueberry liquor? My dad wants to make some again, but he lost his recipe.
Just saft :). But we have made current wine.

Liquor would be like saft..just add vodka. So two parts sugar/one part berries (with a tiny bit of water at the start) with some lemon. Then just add vodka and put it in a sealed jar
for a few months. Voila!
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Just went out and found a ton of black chanterelles.. Probarly the most buttery mushroom of all :p



I am impressed! Do you hunt for chantrelles in your local woods? I confess it is one of the more common mushrooms that I've never managed to find in the wild. But I am new to all this mushroom-foraging this year. Any tips for an amateur?
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Big ol' tomato harvest. Because our nights are getting colder here (a few 50*F/10*C), it is better to clip the tomato clusters from the main vine once at least two of the tomatoes have "blushed". They'll continue ripening on the vine over the next few weeks, providing fresh veggies fruit for all!

 

Liljagare

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I am impressed! Do you hunt for chantrelles in your local woods? I confess it is one of the more common mushrooms that I've never managed to find in the wild. But I am new to all this mushroom-foraging this year. Any tips for an amateur?
Yes, and this is a small haul.. :p

Theese two I always find in mossy, humid pineforests, with some mixed birch, seems that is the biome they like. After a while you train yourself to see them from almost a hundred metres, it's fun how the brain just spots them out in the woods when you know what you're looking for! I am not sure if the black one is common in other countries than Sweden though, but yellow ones are pretty much global, as long as you're in the pine biome or above?

Though, I have found chanterelles in just leaf forests too, but they are of the paler kind, doesn't have as intense flavour imho. :)

Next weekend we're going farther out in the woods, should be a much better haul. Atleast tonight we're getting chanterelle lasagne.. :D :D
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Yes, and this is a small haul.. :p

Theese two I always find in mossy, humid pineforests, with some mixed birch, seems that is the biome they like. After a while you train yourself to see them from almost a hundred metres, it's fun how the brain just spots them out in the woods when you know what you're looking for! I am not sure if the black one is common in other countries than Sweden though, but yellow ones are pretty much global, as long as you're in the pine biome or above?

Though, I have found chanterelles in just leaf forests too, but they are of the paler kind, doesn't have as intense flavour imho. :)

Next weekend we're going farther out in the woods, should be a much better haul. Atleast tonight we're getting chanterelle lasagne.. :D:D
Thank you for the tutorial. Yeah, I've noticed that when you know what a mushroom looks like from a distance, it becomes strangely easy to spot them! So weird.

I am not sure if we have black chantrelles where I live (Michigan), but we do have the orange-yellow chantrelles that you are describing. We do indeed have quite a few pine forests mixed with birch in my area, increasingly so as you go North. Since we have a mix of hot and cold weather plus so many trees, there are numerous edible mushrooms that grow here.

I am also growing them myself on logs/woodchips if you look a few posts up. I'd recommend trying it if you have access to fresh stands of timber (you have to cut the trees and inoculate the logs within 2 weeks; ideally during colder weather but before Winter) or access to woodchips.
 

Liljagare

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I've grown oyster mushrooms in hale before, but the wild ones are so abundant, I only do in winter, inside. I've managed to transplant them in the yard too. :p
 
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BANGS

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As a casual hobby I like to grow some stuff in my two 4'x4' boxes... never been extremely successful...
 

DunDunDunpachi

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'Nother haul of tomatoes, mushrooms, and a completed cheese ready to be turned into "feta".


Tomatoes have flourished since my last haul. I left a lot more out there on the vines this time, hoping for them to redden up more. My wife made a delicious italian tomato sauce with a bunch of fresh ones. Tastes like heaven!




This picture constitutes 3 days of harvesting. The larger, "flatter" mushrooms were probably harvested a tad bit too late since they tend to get tougher as they get bigger. The button size (bottom-left) is the idea size, but they all taste great anyway. I never realized how... ugly mushrooms are. There are holes from where a bug nibbled, for instance. And these are easy to wash or cut away, but it makes me appreciate the pristine store-bought mushrooms. These taste far better than anything from a store, though.



Another cheese block ready. This time I will put it in brine and make feta, which will take 1 more week sitting on the countertop at room temperature. Leading up to this point, I strain milk kefir, refrigerate the curds for a week, and then press it into shape using a mold and the mortar (pictured in background) to weigh it down for 24-72 hours. In total, this will be 3 weeks worth of "work", but in reality it only takes two or three minutes at each step. Hardly a chore.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I've continued to harvest leafy-greens, string beans, a few carrots, tons of mushrooms, and too many tomatoes. I have tomatoes growing out of my eyeballs at this point. The above 1-gallon crock of mashed tomatoes is an attempt to make conserva cruda. I've fermented plenty of other things before and this one appears to be on the easier end of that scale. I stir it a few times a day since the solids float to the top.

I'll report back with the final result.