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Foothills Organic Gardeners - Seed Share 2017


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Tips and tricks for selecting the right fruits, vegetables, and herbs to grow in Evergreen, Colorado

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Foothills Organic Gardeners - Seed Share 2017

  1. 1. PLANT SMART EVERGREEN 2017 “Yeah, we can grow that here.” 17 MARCH 2017
  2. 2. Me Margaret Rode Evergreen CO • Gardens at 7200ft and Buffalo Park Garden • Makes a mean batch of pesto Expert? CO Master Gardener Community Gardener Real Food Lover Garden Geek Frugal Gal Introvert
  3. 3. Why I Do This TURN-ONs: Food that tastes great Food that hasn’t lost most of its nutrition Food that isn’t making me sick Being outdoors and staying healthy Sharing/swapping what I grow with other folks TURN-OFFs: Never knowing what’s in/on the fruits & veggies I eat Paying a zillion dollars for organic brussels sprouts Eating food that tastes like cardboard So much plastic, so much pollution, so much waste
  4. 4. Why I Do This A University of Texas study analyzed 43 fruits and vegetables from a 50- year period and reported reductions in vitamins, minerals, and protein from then to now. Using USDA data, they found that broccoli, for example, had 130mg of calcium in 1950. Today, the identical quantity has only 48mg of calcium. What's going on? The farming industry needs to grow bigger vegetables faster. The very things that speed growth — selective breeding and synthetic fertilizers — decrease produce's ability to synthesize nutrients or absorb them from the soil. Long story short: I grow things so I can be sure I’m getting all of what I want, and none of what I don’t want.
  5. 5. Why I Do This Transporting produce degrades nutrition even more: •Several days of storage where it’s picked. •Several days being transported to distribution center. •Days or weeks of storage there. •1-3 days on display at the grocery store. •Storage in your fridge before consumption. 10-80% of certain nutrients (like vitamin C) can be lost in the process, according to multiple studies.
  6. 6. Why Would You Do This?
  7. 7. Veggie Quiz: Which Should I Grow? “Aurora” Season: 65 days Determinate (compact) “Yellow Brandywine” Season: 90-100 days Indeterminate (Not compact)
  8. 8. The Search: Finding the Right Ones WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE? Seeds or Plants? Many seed catalogs/companies now sell transplants, as well as seeds, so you’re no longer limited to what you can get at the local nursery! Organic? Non-GMO? Heirloom? Open-Pollinated? Hybrid? Treated? Or Untreated?  What’s important to YOU? 
  9. 9. Which Ones Are the Best Ones for… …Our Ridiculously Short Growing Season: Our USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-4 Possible Last Frost Date: June 13 Possible First Frost Date: Sept 8 Typical Frost-free Season : ~87 days  …Our Ridiculously Unpredictable Conditions Late and early cold & frosts Late and early snow Mid-summer hailstorms Drying or damaging winds Hungry wildlife all around us …And if you have a sloping, half-shady gardening area under a pine tree with rocky, alkaline soil…what to do, what to do?
  10. 10. The Big Rules What do you want to grow? What do you have light, warmth & space for? Take the time to get your soil right. Choose the right plants for your conditions. Start early and finish late. Do NOT slow plants down. We are always racing the calendar, and every day counts.
  11. 11. Let’s Begin with the End in Mind What do you love to eat? What costs a zillion dollars at the grocery store? What is the most contaminated by chemicals?
  12. 12. What Do I Want to Grow? (My Process) What do I buy most in the produce section? What do I love to eat? What never goes to waste in the fridge? What’s laden with pesticides or has to travel to get to me? Can I grow it here? { And by the way, how hard do I want to work? } What’s my “short list” – and do I have room for it all? What are the best varieties for my garden’s unique conditions?
  13. 13. Planning for a great season: • Avocado • Bananas • Basil • Beets (Golden and Red) • Blueberries • Broccoli • Cabbage (Red) • Carrots • Cilantro • Corn • Garlic • Ginger • Greens (Collards, Asian, etc) • Kale (Curly and Lacinato) • Lettuce (Romaine types) • Onions (Dry) • Onions (Green) • Oranges • Peas (Sugar Snap & Snow) • Peppers (Hot and Sweet) • Potatoes (White) • Potatoes (Sweet) • Strawberries • Summer Squash • Tomatoes • Winter Squash (Butternut, etc.) What do I love to eat? What never goes to waste? (initial list)
  14. 14. Planning for a great season: • Avocado • Bananas • Basil • Beets (Golden and Red) • Blueberries (perennial) • Broccoli • Cabbage (Red) • Carrots • Celery • Cilantro • Corn • Cucumbers (pickling) • Garlic • Ginger • Greens (Collards, Asian, etc) • Kale (Curly and Lacinato) • Lettuce (Romaine and Mixed) • Onions (Dry) • Onions (Green) • Oranges • Peas (Sugar Snap & Snow) • Peppers (Hot and Sweet) • Potatoes (White) • Potatoes (Sweet) • Strawberries • Summer Squash • Tomatoes • Winter Squash (Butternut, etc.) What actually grows here (outdoors, no greenhouse)? What do I love enough to fuss with? (space, sun, cost, TLC)
  15. 15. Planning for a great season: • Asparagus (perennial) • Basil • Beets (Golden) • Cabbage (Red) • Carrots • Cilantro • Corn • Cucumbers • Garlic • Greens (all kinds) • Kale (Curly and Lacinato) • Lettuce (Romaine and Mixed) • Onions (Green) • Parsley • Peas (Sugar Snap & Snow) • Peppers (Hot and Sweet) • Potatoes (White/Red/Yellow) • Raspberries • Spinach • Summer Squash • Tomatoes • Winter Squash (Pumpkin, etc.) MY SHORT LIST
  16. 16. Planning for a great season: Individual beds: Asparagus, Berries, Garlic Perennial Green Onions Rhubarb Containers or interplanted: Basil, Parsley, Cilantro Window boxes/Water troughs: Lettuces Spinach Containers: Cherry Tomatoes, Dwarf Varieties Rows: Beets (Golden and Red) Cabbage (Red) Carrots Cucumbers (Pickling) Greens (Collards, Asian, etc) Kale (Curly and Lacinato) Peas (Sugar Snap & Snow) Peppers (Hot and Sweet) Potatoes Summer Squash Tomatoes Winter Squash (Butternut, etc.) DO I HAVE SPACE FOR IT ALL?
  17. 17. Things Elk/Deer Rarely Eat Garlic Onions Chives Leeks Rhubarb Horseradish Jerusalem Artichoke Smelly Herbs Plant them anywhere
  18. 18. Containers…
  19. 19. The Search: Finding the Right Ones WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE? Open Pollinated: Pollination occurs by insect, bird, wind, humans, or other natural mechanisms. Allows plants to slowly adapt to local growing conditions and climate year-to-year. Heirloom: Has a history of being passed down within a family or community. An heirloom variety must be open- pollinated, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms. Hybrid: 2 different species or varieties crossed by human intervention to breed a desired trait. First generation hybrid (F1) may grow better and produce higher yields, but seed cannot be saved (genetically unstable)
  20. 20. How Should I Decide What to Grow? Go for what’s easy. Go for what you KNOW you and/or your family will love to eat. Go for what gives you the most sticker shock in the store or farmer’s market. Go for your favorite recipes. Go for weird or fun.
  21. 21. Go for What’s Easy EASIEST Radish Carrots Greens: Kale, Chard, Collards, Bok Choy, etc. Arugula Lettuce Spinach Beans & Peas Beets Turnips Green Onions Garlic Most Herbs Strawberries SECOND EASIEST Tomatoes (the right varieties) Potatoes Parsnip Summer Squash Cucumber Cabbage Broccoli BIT OF WORK, BUT WORTH IT Peppers Eggplant Celery Asparagus Melons (tiny!) Pumpkins (small or Northern Bush) Brussels Sprouts SUPERGARDENER BADGE, HOT SEASON, AND/OR GOOD LUCK Sweet Corn Sweet Potato Watermelon Large Winter Squash
  22. 22. Go for What Won’t Go to Waste WHAT WE ATE MOST: Carrots Greens (smoothies) Bok Choy Romaine Lettuce Snow/Snap Peas Golden Beets Full-sized Tomatoes Hot Peppers Summer Squash Pumpkin Garlic Herbs WHAT WE ATE LESS OF Loose Leaf Lettuce Green Beans Cherry Tomatoes Swiss Chard Spinach WHAT ABOUT YOU?:
  23. 23. Go for What Costs a Lot in Stores WHAT HURTS MOST TO BUY ORGANIC AT THE GROCERY OR FARMER’S MARKET? Good Tomatoes Most Fresh Herbs, especially Basil Bell Peppers Golden Beets Leeks Brussels Sprouts ($7/lb? what?)
  24. 24. Go For Your Favorite Recipe Ingredients Roasted Org. Tomatoes, $2.99/can Basil (for Pesto), $2.00+ for ¼ c Garlic (a head a week adds up!) Yellow Finn or Fingerling Potatoes, $3.00/lb & up Poblano Chilis Fresh Berries (don’t get me started on my unrecyclable plastic clamshell rant!)
  25. 25. Go For What Won’t Poison Your Family The Environmental Working Group’s 2017 Top Twenty 1. Strawberries 2. Spinach 3. Nectarines 4. Apples 5. Peaches 6. Pears 7. Cherries 8. Grapes 9. Celery 10. Tomatoes 11. Sweet Bell Peppers 12. Potatoes 13. Cucumbers 14. Cherry Tomatoes 15. Lettuce 16. Snap Peas (imported) 17. Blueberries (domestic) 18. Hot Peppers 19. Kale/Collard Greens 20: Blueberries (imported)
  27. 27. Go for Weird or Fun WILD OR STRANGE COLORS?
  28. 28. Go for Weird or Fun OR JUST PLAIN WEIRD…. Ketchup & Fries Plant (Grafted)
  29. 29. Veggie Quiz: Which Should I Grow? “Aurora” Season: 65 days Determinate (compact) “Yellow Brandywine” Season: 90-100 days Indeterminate (Not compact)
  30. 30. Veggie Quiz: Which Should I Grow? “Aurora” Season: 65 days Determinate (compact) “Yellow Brandywine” Season: 90-100 days Indeterminate (Not compact)
  31. 31. Quiz: Which Should We Grow Here? “Moskovich” Season: 55-60 days Indeterminate Very cold tolerant “Black Sea Man” Season: 75-80 days Determinate Sensitive to Frost “Yellow Brandywine” Season: 90-100 days Indeterminate Heat/drought tolerant
  32. 32. Which Pepper Should I Grow? “King of the North” “Heirloom. The best red bell pepper we know for northern gardeners where the seasons are cool and short.…. Great sweet flavor. Stock from Waterville, Maine. 70 days from transplant.” “Miniature Chocolate Bell” “Heirloom. Short, stocky plants covered with lovely 2" long miniature bell peppers with an excellent fresh flavor. Family heirloom from Ohio…..Great for salads. 95 days from transplant.”
  33. 33. Which Corn Should I Grow? “Candy Mountain” “Open-Pollinated. Matures: 70 Days. Montana. A super-sweet offspring perfect for mountain gardeners. This is the only non-hybrid supersweet we know of…Tender golden kernels on impressive 8-10'' ears.” “Golden Jubilee” “Hybrid. Matures: 90-105 days. The grandpa of hybrid corn. Golden Jubilee is …excellent for late summer enjoyment. Stalks reach 6 feet tall, and the 8 1/2-9” inch ears have deep, tender yellow kernels.”
  34. 34. Which Carrots Should I Grow? “Kinko” “Open pollinated, 55 days. Early, absolutely delicious, crisp and sweet—no matter how long they hold in the ground. 6” tapered roots grow in any soil. Divine.” “Interceptor F1” “F1 Hybrid. 120-125 days. Long and slender Imperator-type carrot, will grow to 12" or more in proper growing conditions. Roots stay slender … and will not crack. Good resistance to storage diseases. ”
  35. 35. Which Cucumbers Should I Grow? “Northern Pickling” “Open pollinated. 48 Days. Crunchy goodness on vigorous vines that load up even at elevation. For pickling, salads or snacks, this one will deliver.” “Mini-Munch” “F1 Hybrid. 75-80 days. Crisp and delicious. Fruits are best harvested when 3 inches long, just right for a tasty single serving. Excellent candidate for containers. ”
  36. 36. Which Fruit Trees Should I Grow? Redhaven Peach Hardy to -20°F. Max elevation: 6000 Heavy-bearing, cold hardy, juicy, sweet and very tasty, just right for fresh eating, canning or freezing. This freestone peach ripens early in the season. Self-pollinating. Honey Crisp Apple Hardy to -30°F. Max elevation: 8500 Fruit stores very well, 5 months or more. Great sub-acid flavor and crispness. Winter hardy, vigorous tree, introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1990. Needs a pollenizer.
  37. 37. Recap: Ask Yourself When Considering Things: What’s good to grow, healthwise and budgetwise? What has a chance of growing here? How much energy/time do I have this year? What do I have space for? Where can I put it? What varieties are good for growing in Evergreen?
  38. 38. Evergreen Community Gardens at Buchanan and Buffalo Park Come visit! Yes, INSIDE the fence! All plots are filled for 2017, but both are maintaining a waiting list. Contact us: Email: Facebook: Evergreen Community Garden and Buffalo Park Community Garden
  39. 39. Some Terrific Seed Sources: seeds.html (Colorado organic seed potatoes) (Organic seed garlic)
  40. 40. Some Terrific Seedling Sources: Front Range Organic Gardeners Seedling Sale Saturday May 20, 2017 • 9am to 1pm • Denver Presbytery Center Denver Botanic Gardens Seedling Sale Friday-Saturday May 12-13, 2017 (free Gardens admission too!) Penn Parmenter, mountain garden goddess Saturday-Sunday May 6-7 classes at DBG, will bring seedlings Farmers’ markets Local (higher-altitude) nurseries Natural Grocers (tomatoes/tomatillos/peppers) Your neighbors
  41. 41. You can do this. Thanks.