2013 also proved to be an immense step forward for sustainability and self sufficiency for Matt and I. After one year maintaining a community garden plot in Denver, CO I learned multiple lessons on square foot gardening, gardening at altitude, and winter gardening besides all the normal garden lessons of how to fight (and lose) to powdery mildew, cut worms, aphids, and other garden headaches. I was able to at least produce a winter supply of canned and frozen tomatoes, lots of beans, a successful crop of sweet potatoes for the winter, and canned/froze enough peaches and melon from the local farmer's market to make plenty of fruit filled oatmeal for the winter.
I learned valuable composting lessons in managing the red wigglers I have, using my new rolling composter on my porch with and 2 bins, and collecting local coffee grounds to add to my community garden compost pile as well.
I also learned how to sprout this winter which produced at least half of the veggies needed for salads, quiches, casseroles, and crock pot recipes. My other accomplishments included learning how to make my own bread, cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk as well.
Last but not least was a valuable lesson learned in winter gardening. That is, winter gardening is an extension of your fall harvest and that most things don't sprout and grow in the winter in Colorado thank you Elliot Coleman:) But with the addition of my cold frames, I might just have a jump start on my spring garden.
So thanks to Matt and some extra salvaged cedar, we are experimenting with square foot gardening this year! More to come of the process of growing from seed in an apartment closet and what we can actually produce!
There she is! All 9x22 feet filled with coffee grounds and horse poo! And she is all mine for the year. Freshly tilled today and waiting for some salvaged wood for borders and free mulch this weekend! FYI, these pictures are before the 4-5 inches of snow we just got yesterday on May 1st in Colorado. All my seedlings are hiding inside at this point and I am rapidly running out of window space.
So the countdown has begun for my adventure in urban gardening. For those that don't know me I live in a 800 square foot apartment with one other person, 2 dogs, 9 bikes, and now a whole family of plants started from seed. I have tried container gardening for the past 2 years with little succes possibly due to the lack of sun or dirt on my porch. This year, thanks to denver urban gardens, I have a 9x22 foot plot that is now freshly tilled and fertilized with local horse poop and local coffee grounds from the french press. Even in a condo, I was able to get most of the compost for my seed starts and containers from saving all my veggie scraps and having a porch compost tumbler and a worm bin.