Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello

Post  MitchHardy on Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:27 pm

Hello, everyone. This is the first time I've ever joined a gardening forum, but I've been gardening since LONG before anyone had ever heard of the Internet, like 50+ years and counting.

That's right...in 1963, when I was in the 3rd grade, my parents bought a house with an established garden plot and a small orchard. One Saturday, shortly after we had moved in (at the end of the school year, naturally), my mother and father rounded up my older sister, younger brother, and me, produced a few gardening tools, and trundled us out to "plant the garden". My siblings lasted for maybe an hour, I think, and then my parents left off to do other things, but I stayed out there until dinner time. Then I went back out to the garden the next morning, and the next, and so on.

I 1988, two very important things occurred: #1, I purchased the small farm where I still live on the north shore of Massachusetts; and.....let's see, what was the other thing?......oh yeah, I got married! For 21 years I operated a commercial market garden, serving high end restaurants, a farm stand, farmers' markets, CSA customers, and pretty much anyone who would buy my produce. Along the way, I acquired something of a local reputation for my baby salad greens (back before you could buy them in the supermarket, when most people thought "mesclun" was a drug) and for my yellow watermelons. I got 50 pounds of prime, grass-fed beef off those watermelons, when my neighbor slaughtered a steer and found its belly full of yellow watermelons!

I somehow got too old to keep up with the market garden after 10 major fractures (I actually have broken my neck twice....twice would you believe it?), so I have been struggling to tame this beast, to the point where I have wrestled it down to only 1/4 acre, and that's about where I hope it will stay. Otherewise, I wouldn't know what to give up.....one of my 7 varieties of sweet corn...one of my 8 favorite varieties of potatoes...or...it's too much to contemplate.

I know this forum is called Square Foot Gardening, and I know a bit about that. I have 30 raised beds in which I employ the "square foot" method, and even when I was working 3 acres I did most of it intensively. Maybe you kind folks on this forum can help me "adjust" to my new reality, as I suspect my creaky old body is going to demand some changes in my approach to gardening, even as I feel a sense of liberation from having to turn a profit from my hobby/passion...heck, my life.

Oh yes, I used to be able to call my approach "organic" before the government co-opted the term. I've been trying ever since to coin a term that would differentiate between "industrial organic" and "real organic". The best I've come up with so far is "beyond organic". Any suggestions out there?

Some days, when I'm feeling cocky, I like to imagine that I've seen it all, done it all, and grown every variety of tomato extant. I suppose I have learned a thing or too and would be delighted to share my experience and knowledge. But, truly, I still have MUCH to learn. I stumbled upon this site while googling how to grow sweet potatoes, because, well, I've never grown them. And, now that I'm a "gardening civilian" again, I can, profits be d-----.

So, anyway, hello, I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months and years.

All the best,

Mitch
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Re: Hello

Post  Tilth on Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:48 pm

MitchHardy, welcome to the forum. Lots of great people here and lots of good information, though it sounds like you could add greatly to the information pool. Very Happy 

 50+ years, now that's a gardener!!! Looking forward to your input here.  glad you\'re here
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Re: Hello

Post  CapeCoddess on Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:52 pm

Howdy Mitch! glad you\'re here Great intro.

The word I use to describe my garden is just plain "healthy"... no chemicals, no scary things, no poisons, just plain healthy. Sometimes I even refer to it as old fashioned... you know, like from the good ol days.

I'm sure you'll have a good time here, learn a few things and have lots to offer. Pop on over to the New England thread sometimes and see what we're all up to. We'd love to see photos of your garden!

CC
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Re: Hello

Post  Kelejan on Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:58 pm

:welcome:Mitch Hardy happy hi 

Wow! I think we have a find here and we are going to keep you as you must know such a lot that people like me would just love to know about.

From the sound of it you are a natural, it's in your blood. Now that you are slightly used and can't quite do as much as you used to, there is still your brain to be picked and I hope we hear a lot more from you.

And I for one would be thrilled if I were able one day to answer something that you do not know. I still remember the pleasure I felt when after being on this Forum for some time I was able to answer a question that I knew I had the right answer to.

Again, welcome.

Kelejan from Canada :canada:
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Re: Hello

Post  Goosegirl on Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:30 pm

Welcome MitchHardy!  You have had a lifetime of doing what many of us will only dream of!  We are glad to have you here and look forward to picking your brain and seeing your garden!
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Hello

Post  MitchHardy on Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:16 pm

Thank you all for your warm words of welcome!

There isn't as much to see in my garden right now as there typically would be - just garlic and shallots, planted last fall, poking their heads out of the ground to see if it really is spring. Everything is running late this spring, as we only chucked the last piles of snow a few weeks ago. What a winter! I have NEVER seen shallots freeze to death, but this winter I lost half my crop to the cold. The winter just ended is the worst I've ever seen, and when I was a kid I lived in Michigan!

I promise to post pic's in few weeks when there's more to see.

All the best,

Mitch
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Re: Hello

Post  CapeCoddess on Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:08 am

@MitchHardy wrote: The winter just ended is the worst[i] I've ever seen,

I second that!!! So glad it's over!

CC
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Re: Hello

Post  sanderson on Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:18 pm

Hello, Mitch,  Welcome to glad you\'re here the Forum from California!  You have gardened for many years!!

Have you read the book All New Square Foot Gardening, 1st or 2nd Edition, by Mel Bartholomew?  Mel's Mix is the backbone of SFG, a dirt-less way to garden.  SFG is great in that Table Top beds are an option, making it easier to continue gardening into our later years.  Only 6" to grow tomatoes, corn, salad stuff, beets, anything without a long or large root veggie like carrots, parsnips, potato and sweet potato, asparagus, etc.  For those crops, "top hats" or deeper beds like 10", can be built.  For those trace elements, I like anything from the oceans, where everything eventually ends up, for better or for worse. Very Happy

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Re: Hello

Post  ralitaco on Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:19 pm

Welcome to the forum. I have a feeling you will fit right in with the rest of great people here that love to share their knowledge, experiences, failures and of course their pictures of their gardens.
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Re: Hello

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