Victory Garden • Recovery Garden • Survival Garden • Edible Garden • Organic garden

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¬†We apologize for not keeping current with our blog in the Fall of 2010. Unfortunately, we had some devastated news that Nora had inoperable terminal lung cancer. We have been engaged in a battle to prolong her life since , a battle I am sorry to say, we will not be able to win.
  
  As has been our theme throughout life , we endeavor to promote life. This book, and the attention given to it , has evolved out of our sincere hopes that our children, as well as those who read it, will strive to make this world we live in a more hospitable place to reside. We firmly believe that utilizing the companion planting process is by far the most natural compliment to growing food that nature intended.
  Using heirloom seeds, as they were intended, insures the integrity of the species, as well as maintaining the availability that God has given man , not some corporate megalomaniacs , that want to dominate man to his own injury.
   
  This text is for those who want a concise form on information, without having to pour over volumes of websites, and text books. We have already done this. We have successfully applied the information, and are more than satisfied with the results, we hope you are too.

 In a world that increasingly will demand that we strive to help each other , this is our gift to you, we hope that you will derive some benefit from it. May God Bless , and keep you safe.

Sincerely,
Raul & Nora Rodriguez

 

Victory Garden News and Tips: February 2010

Find all you need to build a successful organic garden , with companion planting. Canning charts for harvest, as well as compost guide.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Must read! for pleasurable experience

  Sometimes we have to go to any lengths to find subject matter. Today for all you garden efficianodo's we have come up with a new way to justify eating desert while preparing for the garden..... Yeah!, got your attention now. What is even better it involves chocolate, Dark chocolate!........ OH Yeah! now were talking... while trying to be diet conscientious, we discovered "Mousse Temptations" Dk Chocolate by Jello, after consuming the modest 60 calorie portion, the obvious "more is better" calculation button went off...... It so happens, after close observation & meditation ,   Nora has declared that these beautiful containers are just the right size for seedling transplants Hallayluuuyah! Praise the Lord ...... So, in the name of taking it  for the team , we have declared that we may consume mass quantities of this ambrosia, and transform the left overs into a utilitarian application......  Can I get a Amen! . .. Now there is some excersize envolved , you have to put a small hole in the bottom of the container for drainage, but you have to start with your fingers and build up muscle tone from there ,then go through what I call "Mousse Drills" and work your way up though the arms, it 's been a tough winter, but I think we have found a great solution ,  we hope you enjoy it..

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The last set of seedlings.



  Today we finished planting the last sets of seedlings for the 1st tier of plants to be germinated within the next  4 weeks, we now have 724 plants on the way, in various different stages of germination.... Hopefully we will have at least 3 tiers of germination produced by early May, with a rough seedling nursery of 2200 plants..      Now the focus is turned to finishing the hardening off area, building a potting table, and a sifting area for the compost..... We are going to use the excellent compost pile ( about 10 cu.yds.)  we have developed over the fall, and winter to assist in the potting.  This should give these plants an extra boost in growth, and alow them to be very hardy, and off to a good start. ....  Wish we had more  to talk about , however the weather has turned cold, so most of the outside progress has been delayed.... We've been pushing pretty hard lately so maybe it's Gods way of making us take a brake. 

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Preparing for the Future

Today we spent a lot of time developing website affiliates, we have just been approved by Mantis, and we will be posting their add very soon. In addition we are looking at a successful organic fertilizer producer, however we need to do more research on their product lines. ...... Had to raise our grow lamps up to provide growing space for the little seedlings, the little buggers are doing push ups, pretty soon the 1st tier of seedlings will be ready to move out of the womb......Checked on my tilling schedule from last yr, our tilling was done on March the 10th, so we're paying atention to weather, we still need some more try time....... For the record, we would just like to remind people this site was created and inspired by the realization 2 years ago that the necessity to supplement the average households table with food that could be grown cleanly from your own backyard, would be almost required. It is our sincere desire that benefit from this almost indispensable information. As the instability of the economy becomes potentially worse the old adage of " an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure", we hope you will stay alert to the possiblities.

Monday, February 22, 2010

T-minus 51 to 56 days and counting till planting

Yep! Even though we have gotten a little cooler today, we're just a week away from saying goodbye to frigid Febuary, and we'll start marching into spring.....So what if the sun isn't shining, it really gives us the ability to devote time to meditate on what we need to prepare, as well as follow thru, so when the good wheather comes were not playing catch up, or unable to enjoy the momment, cause now we have to still do some indoor work. .... Called the tiller repair shop , and set up time to bring in the tiller... Got our last batch of seeds in from Burpee's, Boy!; were they slow.... We will plant another batch of seedlings this week, in all likelyhood we will concentrate on peppers since they have a longer germination/maturity rate than other plants. We are pleased to report that we are having a 100% germination success with our current seedling trays. We had beeen planting 2 seeds per unit, however we are going to reduce this too 1 , since so far we are way ahead of what we expected..... In addition our book sales has started to pick up, so it looks like slowly we are getting some good results form our efforts thus far. .............To be continued

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beautiful Day , garden fever is in the Air!

Up at sunrise, temperature went to 65 today, went directly to hardware store to get misc. items for garden preparation..... Todays project is building a hardening off frame; for a clear plastic cover to be applied to.... I am building the frame out of 1/2 inch PVC piping, hopefully we'll post a picture when it is done. Had to redesign partially through the construction , then ran out off PVC, so we are on hold for awhile, however we'll have it done next by weekend.... Prepared more seedlings for another addition to the seedling nursery, our exotic tomatoe plants arrrived this week, we will be trying to grow various different species of tomatoe plants from various different regions..... A lot of what we are planting is an experiment with heat resistant plants.... We have strains from Australia , China, Israel, Syria, Japan, Germany, Italy, Russia,yet we are also concentrating on other warm wheather plants from around the USA such as Creole, Abe Lincoln, Arkansas traveler, Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Amish Paste, and Jersy Devil; just to name a few....... All are from Heirloom seed ,that are being organically grown........ We will be having a seedling sale somewhere near the end of April or 1st week in May, depending on the wheather conditions , if this interests anyone please let us know and we will send you an email notification for day of sale.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's time to Rock & Roll !.

Recieved the majority of our seeds today, and we are now set to plant the remaining starter kits that we have...This will give us a planting inground window of April 15th to April 22nd, which is the last recorded frost for the area we are in.... Now, we are into preparing the hardening off area, scheduling the tiller to be serviced, and watching the wheather....The wheather is very important, if you are considering tilling your garden..... Last year , for those who were paying attention , there was only a small window of opportunity to till the garden early; when soil conditions were at there optimal point.... We had way too much intermintent rain thru out the month of April & part of May so many people were late in getting their plants in the ground.... So pay attention to any predicted dry spells in March/April, we need about 5 good warm days to get the moisture content in the soil to be good for tilling. Now is the time to have your soil analyzed, so that if you need any minerals to be added, you may have them readily on hand.... We imagine the there will be a big flock to the local nursuries this weekend for the preliminary fixins for those of us who are in zones 6 & 7 .

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Calm before the Storm

These past few weeks we have had extremely cold wheather like most of the country. Some of this has been great from a mental preparation position, however we are now getting seedlings popping up, and our enxieties of taking these beauties to the next level, has us clamouring that; "enough is enough!" I found a live ant in the sink yesterday( where it came from I have no idea), and in the spirit of invoking counter measures in Nature, I have declared that this event is a direct contradiction to that PP groundhog in Pa., and that spring will come early this year!........"So let be written , so let it be done"; my best Yul Brenner impersonation....... AS you can see Cabin fever has taken its toll , the latest wheather report projects we will be in the 50's this weekend whereupon I will stand outside in my birthday suit delighted....... Back to more practical information, having finalized our seed purchasing, everything should be in route, and hopefully in hand by this weekend, if you are in zone 6, and considering growing plants from seedlings then for optimal preparation you should be germinating your seeds wwithin the next 10 days, for areas north you still have a larger window of preparation.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Tomatoe & Pepper Plant Seeds

We're back, had a nice VD weekend, went over seed lists , and actually ordered more Tomatoe & Pepper seeds, we are going to have a great selection to experiment with this year. We are interested in what types will do good under hopefully optimum conditions. ...... Set up some more seedling trays, we are up to 288 plants, and next weekend we hope to double that....Need to staggar some of the planting to not overwelm the hardening off area, as well as to have certain plants not being exposed to the outdoors too soon , peppers need a consistant night time temperature of in the upper 50's to survive, and unfortunately we are not set up to have an outside heated area.....Pretty soon it will be time to have the tiller serviced, and hopefully it will warm up enough to get some of the preliminary out door work started. When the weather starts to consistantly get in the 50's, we will be putting a full court press on getting the tools in good working order. Had some manure brought in from a farm to energize the compost pile, little by little preparations are starting to unfold.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tomatoe & Pepper Plant yields

Hey there, I apologize for no Blog yesterday, I had written it out almost completely;openned another window, went to verify some information,closed the window, and lost the Blog Draft. American Idol was about to begin, the stress of this soon to be replaced computer got to me and "we said ---- it!" .......So this will be a extra long Blog.....So yesterday our interest leaned to just how much are we potentially going to get from all this effort?. For those who want to know , the average tomatoe plant (indeterminate)will yield approximately 15 to 25 lbs per plant, so depending upon market conditions , and how well your crop produces , you could possibly realize $18 to $31 dollars per plant ( av . market @ $1.25/lb) remember we are talking organic , not the run of the mill devils apple. Taking into consideration last years drought conditions in California , and the impact that had on cost's , it is hard to saw what to expect this year, however with the undoubted rise in fuel costs to instill motivation to purchase the new generation of fuel efficent vehicles , the market will probably go higher. ......Back to Peppers, the average California Wonder Pepper will produce an average 10 to 12 peppers per plant so fugure $1 to 1.50 may be the market price per "organic" pepper i.e. roughly $10 to $18 per plant. So now you have a rough minimal estimate on what someone may realize depending on the quantity you may choose to plant within your garden . Something to take into consideration ,and that we feel is highly important , is the introduction of a Bill to Congress, i.e.Bill HR875 by Rep. Rosa Delauro on Feb 4th '10,this bill is an outrageous attempt to create a "Food Police" agency, which would beyond a shadow of a doubt, increase the cost of food by mandating expense administrative costs to every consumable item being produced with in this country. Every one in this country should read the bill, and voice their opinion to those who will be ultimately responsible for the decision on this Bill, sponsored by the wife of a major executive with the Monsanto Corporation. This bill will destroy organic gardening, Farmers markets, and small farm operations through out the country. It is insidious!....Don't take my word for it , check it out, and check it out thoroughly. This will take away the little Mom & Pop garden stands, and is strictly being pushed under the disquise of "food security".

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pepper & Plants

We will continue with our selection of peppers, again receipes will prove important. However, we are going to take this opportunity to introduce a helpful suggestion for selecting various vegetables. It's called the "ark of taste" , this is a list of vegetables that not only have proven their reliability on the palate, but are in need of being propagated in order to insure their survival..... So , if you are in a quandry about what to choose, please refer to this list as an excellent reference of information. ......Of course everyone is going to plant their favorite bell pepper, and in most cases for salsa the infamous Halapeno ( on a shtick!);the banana pepper comes in third, and from there on it depends on hot, hotter,sweet,and frying, or you could go for looks; if your daring, like the Red Peter pepper.....Personally, we planted Cubanelles last year, and they were great with our salsa receipe.....Paloma's are interesting from a price point of view, and Jimmy Nardello's for the Italian taste.....Whatever you choose make sure you secure them , we had a heck of a time with high winds blowing them over in thunderstorms when they were in harvest.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Plants, Plants, plants!

Football is over, and now I'm taking it for the team with the blog. As previously mentioned we have been setting up our seedling starter kits. After some deliberation we concluded that peppers and tomatoes will be the primary first wave /tier of seedlings that will be started. This is because they will be our first cash crop, and the larger the seedling the more we can charge for the plant. ............ Wow! We have found some heirloom suppliers that have an awsome selection of tomatoes, some of which we've never heard of, so I'm really excited ( strictly from a consuming point of few) about what these plants are going to produce. We've got "Shady Lady" , "Mortgage Lifter" ( should be a hit in this economy);"Frankstein Black" (Hmmmm, not goin there);"Hillbilly "; "White Wonder"; "Adventure";"Druzba", as well as the popular types like Early Girl; Celebrity;Beefmaster,Brandywine,Bradley,& Roma. .... As we mentioned before , a lot of our decisions for personal use are predicated on what recipes we like, and what we think is our canning capacity through to the next season. Roughly 7 months out of the year or 30 weeks is the period in which we need to consider our usage pattern, and what it will take to supplement our food needs through that time element. ... Vegetables are fairly cheap at this time, not quite sure why, other than the economy may have an impact on pricing at this time. However we're not interested in being luled into a false sense of security, some of last years price's were astronomical, and our climate changes are now too unpredictable....Tomarrow we will get into peppers, as for today we have now done a fairly good concensus of specialty seeds that we are going to purchase, and suggest that if you are considering taking this same approach ,you shoud have your list , or outline and seeds ordered no later than March 1st.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seeds & Seedlings, growing table.

We started our seedling starter kits this weekend, our 1st batch of 144 plants are in the womb so to speak, getting ready to start off a new season in a few more weeks. We planted Tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, in the 1st tier. We are anticipating 3 germination cycles extended into Mid May for our seedling program.....This is a glorious weekend! It marks the end of the dreaded football season, gives me 6 weeks to work on my husbands motivational gardening program, before fishing season becomes his prime directive. Thankfully, Valentines Day must been created just for inspiriational people like us to insure our plot is tilled.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Going over Garden layout & what to plant

Well, thought I was off the hook for awhile, but Nora has been ingrossed in the planting think tank. So we revisited the dynamics of "what are we planting this year?". .... Since we are enlarging the garden , to accomodate R & D, as well as increase the production for canning purposes, our 1st approach is to determine how many plants we are capable of planting in the garden area. Our area is 40'x 50'ft.; we have some design criteria that is easy to apply to determine our rows, and how many plants..... Our rows will be spaced 3 ft. apart, so 50 divided by 3 equals 16.6 rows e.g. 16 rows , our plant spacing per row is roughly 24" inches / 2ft. , so 40 divided 2 equals 20; so we will have a minimal capacity of 16 x 20= 320 plants. Now depending on the type of plants, this may increase,since some spacing for other plants may not require 24"inches. ..... Then comes the breakdown of what to plant, & where. This year we are rotating our crops , since it is not good to plant the same plants in the same place from one year to the next..... Our yard backs up to woods , where Rocky the squirel & company have an observation post , and plan there invasion stradegy each year. They were very succesfull, until we implemented the companion planting system, whereupon our collateral damage on both sides diminished (a sigh of relief from the PETA crowd). IN addition Rodger the rabbit made a vicious attack upon our neighbors garden, so we were elated that our 1st line of defence held off the neccesity for any covert operations.... Now if you really want to know what companion plant works well with what , we suggest getting our book with the reference tables in it, and much much more valuable information to start your successful organic garden at buildavictorygarden.com

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Seeds & Seedlings, growing table.

This is the male input blog. After making our economic stimulus to the local hardware store. We proceeded to evaluate just what might be interesting to the new organic gardeners......In these tough economic times, most of us will have to consider if some of this is within our budget. So, I'm going to try to give a accurate spending squence for your evaluation. Since we are purchasing a lot more than is necessary, you'll have break some of these fiqures out individaully for your own application..... At Lowes we spent $94 dollars, however the seeds were $46, and with what we got; you could have planted 3 1200 sq.ft. gardens easily. Now since my reciepe for salsa has gained some notority,we will amortise that investment;in one small canning session, and still have plenty for entire 2010 Football season.....By the way, there's not going to be a strike..... We also decided to completely overhaul a new growing station, I looked on the internet, and wow! sme of these guys are really proud of there stuff, we came up with a nice 5 tier 4 ft. long welded rod/wire shelf unit ( 20"depth) for $79 dollars , and a 4 ft;corded lamp for $38 bucks , now that setup can start 288 seedlings, add another lamp, with ease,and we're talking 576, so if we decided to sell say 288 tomatoe plants 2 1.50 /plant we'd easily clear $288 dollars, and make 100 % off investment, not including our time, however the next year it's all gravey. You'll have to include 3 more Ultimate growing systems by Burpee @ $19.99......Now I can get back to my Super Bowl preparations, Oh when the Saints , come marching in, Oh when the saints are going to win!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Starting to purchase seed and amenities

After cross referencing our preference lists of plants that we thought would go well with our tastes within the garden, we went off in search of seeds. Our first stop was to Lowes Hardware,they had a fairly good selection of seeds , we were pleasantly surprised to find seed packets priced at $1.89 in many of catagories that we were looking for, verses the $2.99 or 3.99 that we had seen in the catalogs for the same seeds.... Most importantly there was plenty of stock, and we felt like we had gotten there before the rush..... Now that we have a fairly good cross section of seeds, we can concentrate on ordering the remaining specialty seeds that were not available. In addition we purchased a 72 pod seedling grower by Burpee for $19.99, 2 5lb bags of potting soil,some more individual seed starter pods. We purchased much more than we need , but since we are still experimenting with various type of plants we are commiting some of our resources to R & D. .... Back to the drawing table,we will start laying out this years garden,bearing mind that we need not plant the same plants in the areas that they were in last year. .....One big note! Before you start your seedlings , pay attention to the germination times, sinse they do not all have the same germination times....71 days to last frost estimate. P.S. we're alittle ahead of schedule, so if your just starting to read this,there is a 14 day window of flexability at present.That's if you are growing in zone 6 , if you are further south then this information is on time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Out of the Deep Freeze

We're Back! O.K. we had a little break form posting. Actually we into reading through a lot of Seed magazines i.e. Burpees, Burgess , Kelly, and made a list of all the various vegetable varities that were appealing . This was a no peak list. So He made up his list , and I made up mine. Then we went through the common ground evaluation. For us , this helps with the overall selection process. Our main objective is to maximise our garden space with produce that we know is the best cash crop we can get for our return for effort. We've been doing this for awhile so lets give an example. Last year just for gigles & kicks we wanted to grow corn , now we knew that this took up a fairly good area, but we wanted "peaches & cream " variety of corn, and we thought we'll give it a shot. Well what the wind damage didn't get the bohemian raccoon that took up temporary residence in our neighborhood got. e.g. we are not growing corn this year. We did learn a valuable lesson , good staking is a valuble assest in protecting your plants Back to the list,one very unpleasant experience last yr. was the price of peppers WOW! They shot up like a 4th of July rocket, so we gave them some priorty this yr. , of course Tomatoes are always a great cash crop. A lot of this is covered in our book @ buildavictorygarden.com we have a whole chapter devoted to tomatoes. Some of selections were based on recipes that we like to make & can i.e. salsa, garden salads, and one of our favorites ratatouli, oh now my husband can make some dynamite ratatuloi, and its a great non meat entree. Tommarrow we are going to get started on seedlings , going to the Hardware store , to get some preliminary starter kits, and some seeds. Next blog , we'll get down to the particulars of what we are planting.

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