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Too bad this lady never read Mel...

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Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/20/2015, 10:22 am

Just read this and felt sad for this gal, that was me for several years too....

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/why-i-quit-vegetable-gardening

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  boffer on 6/20/2015, 1:06 pm

I think  non-gardeners have to be at the right place and time in their lives in order to begin and enjoy gardening.

The poster obviously wasn't there when she wrote:“Considering what I write about, I should garden and I should love it.”

She started gardening with an attitude that was probably doomed from the start.  

SFG isn't hard work, but it does take time.  And time is one thing modern families with kids at home don't have much to spare.  If a person isn't in a  state of mind to enjoy getting their hands dirty and battling critters, and there's no positive feedback from their family,  the rewards of gardening are diminished, and the time commitment loses priority.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/20/2015, 2:01 pm

Very true, boffer.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  boffer on 6/20/2015, 2:24 pm

I didn't introduce my son to gardening when he was a child, so now I'm belatedly making an effort. I provided him and DIL with a 4x6 TT a couple years ago, and told them to just play with it. He grows a few herbs for the family-famous prime rib that he cooks, and she gets inspired every spring to plant a few nursery seedlings.

It's not much, but it's a start. Hopefully, the gardening seed is planted and, down the road when their lives are less chaotic, the seed will germinate into a gardening hobby.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/20/2015, 2:55 pm

i didn't garden as a child either.  My mom tended some roses and had flower boxes but that is about it.  I took a couple 4H projects, banana peppers I remember for some reason.  I did my first round of SFGing while in law school as therapy!  It was very successful, but we moved from that trailer to a big house on 11 acres.  That is where I met with frustration in the veggies, but success in the compost/organic venture.

After moving back to my ancestral home (my dad built it and I grew up here) 10 years or so ago, I tried to integrate veggies into my front perennial bed....epic fail.  My kids would help, but it was always with the yucky stuff, like weeding, so they don't have any big passion for it...yet!  

This year has been more gratifying already!  I have had radishes, spinach, and today, some cut and come again chard leaves!  

My kids are not independent yet, so we will see!

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  boffer on 6/20/2015, 3:20 pm

I think you're planting a good gardening seed for them.  

I'm amazed at number of older members who so hated the gardening weeding they were forced to do as kids that, as adults, they abandoned gardening for decades.  It was the SFG concept of smaller gardening spaces to tend, and minimal weeding, that rejuvenated their interest in vegetable gardening.

Make gardening fun for youngsters, and it will create positive memories for a lifetime.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  MackerelSky on 6/20/2015, 3:32 pm

Tough to tell how she got started gardening, but if it was take your back yard, till it up and plant everything she thought she would use for her family in rows, I can see where the attitude that Boffer mentioned can come in. Definitely a lot of work.

My roots in gardening was from 'row' gardening and it was always productive. Understood the part of weeding as the 'grunt' for dad but we always had fresh veggies on the table, chicken coop and fresh eggs/fryers, etc. But after I left home there was a 9 year gap before I began gardening on my own after getting my first home. A couple of years later, Mel came out with his first book and as they say- the rest is history.

In Robin's(author) defense at least she still shops at farmers markets/pick your own organic places and didn't become sort of a hypocrite for her writings,  "sustainable life with a focus on food".

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/20/2015, 4:25 pm

I agree wholeheartedly!  I did get some stuff out of my country garden, but it just got so out of control....and the kids were little, it's a thing.  You have to be in the right place and time for you to do it.   Sorry, can't get the underline off.....
@MackerelSky wrote:Mel came out with his first book and as they say- the rest is history.

In Robin's(author) defense at least she still shops at farmers markets/pick your own organic places and didn't become sort of a hypocrite for her writings,  "sustainable life with a focus on food".

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  momvet on 6/20/2015, 4:40 pm

Sort of makes me sad. She says she doesn't enjoy gardening, so right there she shouldn't do it. I think you have to love it, no matter how much SFG helps - there are bugs, there are diseases, there is weather. If you don't love it, the failures will let you down. I didn't garden until I was in my mid-20's, in vet school at Davis (a noted agricultural area). I didn't even have house plants because I was convinced I had a "brown thumb". However, I have always leaned toward the healthy, veggie lifestyle and for some reason I decided to give it a try. And it was a big try! Standard row garden, pretty big--but here's the thing. I was living on an old dairy farm - no cows but areas of pasture and two barns full of the best compost/mulch one could ever hope for. Everything grew and I was hooked. Never have I had such success, but I feel that if that lady had started out right, things might have been different for her. As for the Farmer's Market "excuse", I call Bs... I love to go to Farmer's Markets for all the things I can't or don't want to grow (we have a local mushroom lady). Anyway, sorry to ramble.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/20/2015, 7:27 pm

@boffer wrote:I think you're planting a good gardening seed for them.  

I'm amazed at number of older members who so hated the gardening weeding they were forced to do as kids that, as adults, they abandoned gardening for decades.  It was the SFG concept of smaller gardening spaces to tend, and minimal weeding, that rejuvenated their interest in vegetable gardening.

Make gardening fun for youngsters, and it will create positive memories for a lifetime.

That describes me, for sure. My family growing up had the occasional grandiose idea about itself, and that manifested itself quite a bit in an obsession with outward appearances and what the neighbors might think. When I was growing up, my mother wanted to grow many plants in our large yard, to have a grand garden display, but didn't want to tend any of it. Being that we were in the tropics, the need to water and weed was constant, and so the kids were set to doing it while the adults relaxed inside in the air-conditioning.

I think the worst part was picking the tiny blades of grass from the sharp gravel bed that traveled the full length of one side of our house and just about the full length of the other. Squatting down to do that in the brutal heat and humidity long past the point your fingers were bloody from the sharp rocks, mosquitos biting away at you, for hours a day only to begin the futile task again the next day no further ahead as the weeds and grasses continued to spring up daily, is one of my least favorite childhood memories. It was such an idiotic, time-wasting task, too, and one that I can only picture being given anyone to do out of disregard approaching contempt.

I grew up hating anything to do with the garden, as well as the idea of holding outward appearances in higher regard than someone's happiness. It took me a long time to try gardening on my own, and even today, I only enjoy gardening that strikes me as productive rather than merely for show. I like growing vegetables, but I'm no fan of lawns or stoop labor of any kind, especially out in the sun.

I believe strongly in letting kids have their own hobbies and much more of their own time rather than using them as free labor to work on a parent's hobbies. And I'd never have them do anything I wasn't willing to do myself. You can bet I never saw mom and dad pick a single weed out of the rocks or do virtually anything else in their own lawn and gardens.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Kelejan on 6/21/2015, 12:21 pm

Good Heavens, Marc.  It is a wonder you have turned out as well as you did with the start you had.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  hartge01 on 6/21/2015, 2:55 pm

Great insight from everyone. I didn't start gardening until I was older and was aware of how much money I was actually spending on food. You might say I started for the wrong reason, need vs. joy, but as I have been gardening I have come to absolutely love it. 

I have only been doing it about four years and I SUCK AT IT! Really. I have great starts and then everything succumbs to blight, fungus, bugs and every other evil you can think of. I have received tremendous help from this forum and the generosity  (read as patience) from many here.

I am well into my summer season with the usual Florida crops and everything looks pretty good except the yellow spots on the cucumber leaves and the worms eating every small fruit those plants have produced so far. A NICE butternut squash that has been doing great to find it run through with worms this morning. Okra leaves being eaten by something I can't find and the watermelon plants starting to turn yellowish. Beans look pretty good with new flowers this morning and the ginger is doing well also. Corn, well we will see. The corn growing out front that fell from the bird feeder is doing better. Oh, tomatoes look OK as I prune any fungus tinged leaves as I see them. I have never produced an edible tomato.

I am leaving for 10 days and will have my neighbor kid water for me, but I figure once i return I will have pretty much nothing left. Maybe some beans.

BUT... I really like working in the garden. I have come close to abandoning the entire effort, but I always start again, usually because someone here talks me into it. Maybe it is simply God teaching me patience and perseverance.

Anyway, count me in for a few more seasons and maybe I will get it right.

Blessings to all!

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Goosegirl on 6/21/2015, 3:02 pm

@boffer wrote:

Make gardening fun for youngsters, and it will create positive memories for a lifetime.
Gardening was always a positive experience for me as a child, and because of that I have always tried to grow something no matter where I happened to live.  Dad always had a BIG row garden, but he also experimented with barrels, different kinds of mulch, planting potatoes in trenches lined with straw and then hilled with straw, making irrigation pipes that attached to the hose to water entire rows at a time, and I especially remember the summer we got to help him build forms, then mix and pour the concrete for 2 large raised beds which are still in my sister's back yard to this day.  I can't speak for my older brothers and sister, but I was never made to weed, but I could come out and spend time in the garden with Dad anytime I wanted to and help with whatever he was doing.  He always included me in picking and planting seeds, and definitely in the harvest, but everything else was voluntary.  The garden was definitely HIS hobby, but we all ate very well from it and I still love gardening to this day - altho' I have found a much EASIER way to do it!!!  Thanks Mel!!!

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Razed Bed on 6/21/2015, 8:02 pm

Prior to that eventful Saturday afternoon circa 1983, you could not have gotten me to pull one weed or plant anything other than a kiss on my sweetheart.

That one eventful Saturday gave me two great hobbies.  I remember coming in from a long day on the golf course, wanting to feed my clubs to the fish in the lake on 18.  I took off my clothes and got in some pajamas and turned out all the lights until it was almost totally dark in the middle of the afternoon.

I turned on the TV, which in those days was pre-cable or satellite.  There was an old movie halfway through, the baseball game was a blowout, and somebody was trying to sell aluminum siding in an infomercial.

All that was left was PBS, and in the course of an hour, Mel Bartholomew made it look too easy not to enjoy a bountiful harvest, and then Bob Ross convinced me I could be the next Monet.

All the painting got me was a lot of mess when the mountains and little happy trees looked more like a sponge full of paint thrown on the wall.

However, that first Spring, we had so many tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers that we literally went door to door and dropped veggies off at friends' front doors.

The failed lady in the blog probably wrote the story for effect and did not actually suffer her maladies the way she claimed.  Methinks it could even be a little poetic license Brian Williams-style.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  CAgirlinMA on 6/25/2015, 9:20 pm

I had no idea how to garden until I read a book called "last child in the woods."in this book it talked about a school following the SFG way. I looked it up & started the next year. 

It's been trial & error for sure but I LOVE it. This may actually be the year I don't have to buy any spinach or lettuce Very Happy 

Momvet... I'm a fellow UCD alumni. GO AGGIES!!!!

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/25/2015, 10:39 pm

Love the stories!  We are all on our journeys, whatever the reason or circumstance!

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  sanderson on 6/26/2015, 3:40 am

"Last Child in the Woods" "In this book, Richard Louv identified a phenomenon we all knew existed but couldn't quite articulate: nature-deficit disorder."
This actually makes sense.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Razed Bed on 6/26/2015, 10:12 am

This sounds like an interesting book to read.  I just checked and saw that our library has copies.  As soon as I finish reading my present book, I will check that one out.  Check worldcat.org to see if a library near you has this book.



Most libraries can obtain books through interlibrary loan if your library does not have the book you want, and worldcat.org gives you all the information you need to do it.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  CAgirlinMA on 6/26/2015, 10:45 am

It really is a terrific book. Highly recommend it!!

I started making it a point to get my kids out for a hike, walk adventure through our local Audubon weekly after reading it.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  Razed Bed on 6/26/2015, 3:47 pm

While we are holding the SFG Book Club here, let me recommend the book I am currently reading.  It is called The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness by Jeff Olson.

It is a no-brainer that this can easily apply to our hobbies, like gardening.  I just started reading it Wednesday night, and the big problem is forcing myself to put it down when there are other things that need to be done.

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  momvet on 6/29/2015, 4:00 pm

@CAgirlinMA wrote:I had no idea how to garden until I read a book called "last child in the woods."in this book it talked about a school following the SFG way. I looked it up & started the next year. 

It's been trial & error for sure but I LOVE it. This may actually be the year I don't have to buy any spinach or lettuce Very Happy 

Momvet... I'm a fellow UCD alumni. GO AGGIES!!!!
Yea for UCD - I did my undergrad and vet school there. What a great place to learn to garden. MA must be a huge adjustment after CA. happy hi

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  CAgirlinMA on 6/29/2015, 4:41 pm

HUGE adjustment living on the east coast. Just went back to Davis in the Fall & of course, I fell in love with it again. Should have never left Sad

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

Post  sanderson on 6/29/2015, 5:36 pm

Yes, Davis is nice. Just watch out for drunk bicyclists. RUI!

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Re: Too bad this lady never read Mel...

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