Thursday, May 20, 2010

Teaching The Grand-Kids How To Grow A Vegetable Garden

Teaching The Grand-Kids How To Grow A Vegetable Garden

Living on the east coast of North Carolina, It gets warm
early here. The beginning of March when there was no chance of frost. We filled up our pots with potting soil and planted our seeds.
I like to buy my seeds from my local feed and seed store. You can buy seed by
the ounce, half ounce or quarter ounce. Since our garden is so small I buy a quarter ounce, usually for less than 50 cents. Let them grow until they get their third
leave. Then they are ready to plant in your garden.

Make sure you have your rows tilled up. Then We like to put down the grass and weed control fabric or plastic. It is a lot of work keeping grass and weeds out of the garden, this saves a lot of work and plus it helps keep moisture in the dirt.

Cut a hole in the fabric about every foot and a half.

Dig the dirt out at each hole in the fabric. Your hole should be at least 3 to 4 inches deep.

Put a small hand full of fertilizer in each hole. Dad used his hands, but I suggest you use a scoop or small cup. Fertilizer is very important, we use a all purpose Phosphorus Free 10-0-10. It is 10% nitrogen and 10% soluble potash. You should re-fertilize about every 6 weeks during the growing season, just don't let it come in contact with the plant. Please do not use any manure in your garden. (Please read the facts below about E coli)

You need to put a little dirt back in the hole on top of the fertilizer. Then pour the hole full of water.

Turn the pot with your plant up side down in your hand, being careful with the plant, give the pot a little squeeze and dump the plant out of the pot dirt and all into your hand. Put the plant in the hole and cover with dirt. One thing I like to do when planting, is I check the farmer almanac to see the best planting days and make sure I plant on those days. Believe me it works.

You must keep the garden watered every day, dad waters our first thing in the morning and in the late evening. If it rains, of course you don't have to worry about watering.

This is the garden after 3 weeks. We have 16 tomato plants, 12 cucumber plants, 10 yellow squash plants and 6 sweet banana pepper plants.

This is another small garden we planted 1 month before the one above. We have 16 tomato plants, fresh spring onions, 10 zucchini squash and 10 cucumber plants. We also have another small garden that has 3 rows of green beans. We have a pretty small yard, by planting small areas or planting in flower beds, we are still able to grow enough tomato and squash to can or freeze and use all winter long.

It is very important now days to make sure you know where your fresh vegetable come from. If you can's grow your own I suggest you visit a local farm or make sure that your local grocery store carries local grown produce. Almost every week or two, you here that some vegetable that was imported from another country is tainted with E coli. What is E coli ? It is a bacteria that normally lives inside the intestines of humans and animals. One very bad strain of E. coli was found in fresh spinach in 2006 and some fast-food hamburgers in 1993. Beef can contain E. coli because the bacteria often infect cattle. It can be in meat that comes from cattle and it's also in their poop, called manure. Cow poop in your food? How does that happen? Not on purpose, of course, but it can happen if the manure is used for fertilizer (a common practice to help crops grow) or if water contaminated with E. coli is used to irrigate the crops. Poor sanitation in other countries like workers pooping in the fields, because they are not provided with a portable toilet. One report I read, stated that even if the workers had portable toilets in the fields, when full instead of having them pumped out, they simply ride the toilet on the back of a trailer pulled by a tractor and let it spill out in the field on the produce. About 25,000 shipments of foods arrive daily in the USA from more than 100 countries. Over the last five years food imports have soared about 50%.

Most people do not think about foodborne illness until they become ill from unknowingly eating contaminated food. While the food supply in the United States is one of the safest in the world, each year about 76 million illnesses occur, more than 300,000 persons are hospitalized, and 5,000 die from foodborne illness. Tracking single cases of foodborne illness and investigating outbreaks are critical public health functions in which CDC is deeply involved.