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Location: Suburb of Boston, Massachusetts
Posted: Aug/04/2007 5:32 PM PST
I hapened on your site less than a week ago and after making several posts on other threads, just found the Introductions forum today . So, I thought i should post here and say hi.
I have to admit that I haven't always liked gardening. Growing up, my parents would make me water the garden, but that was pretty much it. BORING! As I got older I began to appreciate it more, read a lot about gardening and decided that I wanted to do more of it and do it organically. I like the idea of encouraging life, staying healthy and being a steward to the land. (By the way, when did the chemical companies manage to corrupt the meaning of the gardening phrase "traditional methods" to mean using petrochemical based fertilizers and pesticides instead of referring to the growing practices used by agrarian cultures for the past 10,000 years? Weird. But I digress...) I finally bought a house about 5 years ago and was able to have a real garden. It's in my front yard - actually it IS my front yard, all 30' x 15' of it. It's my place to practice and experiment with all of the organic gardening information, folklore and myths.
I've settled on two guidelines when choosing plants to grow.
1) Since I've decided to garden using organic practices, no GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).
2) The plant should do more than just look and/or smell good. Ideally it should, at least theoretically, provide something tangible, like food, medicine, building material, etc. E.g, I'm growing avocados, but this far North I don't actually expect to get any fruit from it. I plan on getting some bamboo so that I can grow my own plant stakes, etc. Or, it should provide some other beneficial function, like attract bees, repel aphids, build up the soil, provide food for birds, etc.
There must be a hundred thousand plants out there that meet these guidelines. I figure I could plant two dozen different plants in my garden for the rest of my life and never run out of options, so I don't feel limited in my selection in the least. I also like the idea of the tradition of growing the heirloom varieties. It helps the feelings of continuity and connectedness to think that I'm growing some of the same types of plants that were being grown over 100 years ago.
I have a weekness for semi-tropical plants. My living room is going to be full this coming winter with avocado (from Hass), date palm (from Medjool), passionfruit (purple) and dragon fruit (red) that were all grown from seed from fruit that I bought at the grocery store. Yes, I am sort of proud about that. I'm still working on olive and star anise, and ginger is next. If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll be happy to post about what I did, what I learned, and what I would do differently next time. One plant I would like to try growing here is a paw paw, but I haven't been able to find any fruits in the grocery store, and the nursery wants $110 USD plus tax for a 5 foot sapling. If anyone would like to trade a paw paw seedling/seeds for a dragon fruit or passion fruit seedling/seeds, let me know. I'll be posting in the seed swap forum, too.
As you can probably tell, I don't mind writing, but this is only as long as the subject is something about which I care and have knowledge. My name is Robert. I live in zone 5 in Eastern Massachusetts about 15 miles West of Boston. Drop me a line.
Location: McFarland (Madison), Wisconsin
Posted: Aug/05/2007 12:08 AM PST
Welcome to GG from WI, spice...glad to have you here! The idea of growing all of those exotics from seeds of fruit you bought is really interesting, if you've the chance (and the camera), can you post some pics?
Location: Central Louisiana
Posted: Aug/05/2007 6:48 PM PST
Welcome to GG, Robert. Good to have you here. Its cool that your whole front yard is your garden. Growing plants from seed that we get in fruits and veggies in the store seems to be addictive doesn't it. I don't have as many kinds as you, but I'm working on it Anyway, welcome and see ya around.
Location: Central Illinois
Posted: Aug/09/2007 4:45 AM PST
Welcome welcome!! I have never plants many seeds from the food we eat, well I have grown pineapple and started a peach tree once, but it died. You might want to really investigate any bamboo that you plant.. they can be quite invasive!