Monday, August 16, 2010

Small scale gardening...Big time food

Sometimes an incredible amount of food can come from a small area. My younger brother lives in a single-wide trailer in a mobile home park.  He's not allowed to have a garden, but he is blessed with a small deck; only some of the trailers there have them.  He loves to garden and has used what area is available to him to it's best advantage.

He grows tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers and some herbs.

He uses an assortment of pots and buckets.

I think one of his favorite things to grow is peppers.
He has a variety of bells, sweet bananas, and cayennes.

His deck is only about 8'x12', but he has been able to eat cukes, tomatoes, and peppers every day since they started producing in July.  He's also been able to give away quite a bit, and has supplied almost all of our peppers this year.

One of the things I like the best about his little garden though is the feeling that you get when you're there.  The mobile home park is a little on the barren side.  There are some trailers with toys, or bikes (and maybe a trampoline or two), but they discourage any type of gardening there.  They like to keep things simple for the people who come in to mow, so they keep everything as streamlined as possible.  They even spray round-up in a 2ft. path around everything so they don't have to weed-eat.  BUT, at his trailer there is this little oasis of green (that's not just grass).  There is such a peaceful, hopeful feeling there. 

Our own garden is not all that big, although it is larger than his.  For the most part our veggies are planted around our deck (the zucchini and some carrots against the side of the house are the exception), which is 20' long.  I would guess the total growning room is about 40' long by 18"-20"wide.  I kept it narrow since I knew some of the veggies would most likely try to fall under the deck and I wanted to be able to reach them.  I even planted about half the herbs in this area.  We've had 12-14lbs of zucchini, more cucumbers than we can eat, radishes (also more than we could eat), some carrots, okra, herbs, cantaloupe (2 so far), and about a bushel of tomatoes. We've eaten veggies from our garden almost everyday (we didn't on the day we had spaghetti), and we've shared some with our neighbors. 

This morning.  There's some okra under all the tomatoes and cukes.

When we added in what was already in window sills in the kitchen and sunroom, it was time to can some more tomatoes.  Italian style diced tomatoes this time.  We got 10 & 1/2 pts.  We would have had one more, but we had another casualty in the canner.  From the way the jar broke I think there must have been a crack in it.  I didn't think to check them since we were opening a new case of jars. We'll have to check them better next time. 



  1. Becky I love reading about your beautiful fresh grown vegetables. I am only new to gardening but have always appreciated beautiful gardens and orchards. I think it is amazing that you don't actually need allot of room to grow vegetables. Your brothers little garden looks wonderful it does make a difference even if it is only small and amazing that it produces so much.
    Thank you Becky hope there is no more casualty's with the canner.

  2. Thanks. I hope ther aren't any more either, but it happens from time to time.

  3. Wow! Your brother must be QUITE the gardener to do all of that on the deck! I tried once, but my deck veggies failed. You have to be really diligent about watering when they are in pots like that. But it would cut down on the weeding! LOL.

  4. Yes, you do have to be very diligent with the watering. He waters them every morning before going to work, and then again in the evening when he gets home.

  5. Your produce is inspirational, Becky!
    I can imagine how cosy and homely your brother's trailer must look. Does he feed others from his garden as well?
    I am a little slow with blog reading at the moment. Have a great week. You must be back to school after your Summer break?

  6. Yes. He has a couple of friends he gives food to and he takes fresh veggies to work with him for lunch and shares with the guys he works with.
    And yes, we started school last week.