Victory Garden-Duluth Style

Life has somewhat hit the skids of late for me and as I contemplate the fact that I am too rich for food stamps but not sure how long I’ll be easily feeding myself and my two kids, I’m planning for the future. Or at least as far into the future as I can see, which will be summer and fall.

I am a home gardener and I’m thinking about looking into a plot at the community gardens for an even bigger harvest. Does anyone know the contact info for the community gardens on Arrowhead Rd?

Also, I ROCK at organizing things. Would there be any interest out there for home gardeners to get together and pool our resources and have our own little “barter” group of home grown veggies/fruit/eggs/honey/wild rice/what have you?

I envision people signing up to say that they would participate and letting me know what kind of produce they could contribute. It would depend on how many people are interested and what kind of things they could contribute as to how the next step would proceed. I have ideas there as well but would welcome anyone with experience in this sort of thing.

I participated in a CSA last year but this year, I just won’t be able to afford it. I’m hoping that this idea could be a local, organic, group idea for folks like me.

Please contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in getting on a list of possible participants! Thanks!

15 Comments

TopOfTheHillMan

about 13 years ago

the community gardens are wonderful projects, but hard work.  Had a friend who did it one summer.  You have to lugg all your own water in as there is no water source there, AND that area of town is full of deer, in the fields which only create more work.(and expense)  And it's not like its in your back yard where you can run out of the house and choo the animals away....don;t mean to be down on your dream...just have lived it though someone elses eyes.  Good luck.

zra.

about 13 years ago

the T and i have been perusing the seed catalogs for a couple of months ago, and have devised a little plan to ease our gardening needs and at the same time decrease the amount of square footage i'll have to mow during the summer...we're in the process of securing a community garden plot (probably the one on arrowhead, as there's a waiting list for the one near our place.) for foodstuffs that don't require a lot of maintenance (i.e., corn, root veggies, potatoes, gourds, melons and the like), and keeping the rest (tomatoes, legumes, herbs, etc) closer to home...this in effect will allow us to maximize space (face it, a cuke plant takes up a LOT of room that could otherwise be used for something a little more substantial) while keeping our higher maintenance plants closer to home.

we're also exploring seed saving, canning, pickling, and are going to be procuring a chest freezer to store the fatted cow we purchase from Litchke this summer.

In the mean, I'll be improving our drainage and r-u-n-n-o-f-t that we get from the rains into barrels to conserve water for the garden, and developing a compost bin/pile/container to recycle food scraps and the like...however, if you don't own your house, this might be a little more difficult.

Tim K

about 13 years ago

I've never had luck growing corn. The one year we had a few stalks make it to the "knee-high by 4th of July" stage, the squirrels and birds ravaged them. Raspberries, on the other hand, I can do. Our average is 120 lbs per season.

mevdev

about 13 years ago

http://www.duluthcommunitygarden.org/main/ContactUs.htm

I've had a community plot at the zoo for 3 years. The deer are a massive problem. I've had 1/3 of my crop destroyed because of animals 2 out of 3 years.

Just remember where we live and don't think that you'll get a ton of corn or tomatoes or greens.

You want a bumper crop, get some Ground Cherries. I think they are the crop for the northland, sweet, plentiful and fast growing.

Dulusion

about 13 years ago

I have been gardening in our yard for 13 years now and get a fair amount of food for the effort. I'd like to be on the list, if only to share knowledge. I preserve much of what we grow and have been canning for a few years as well. If you want to grow enough to make a difference you'd benefit from learning about square foot gardening and succession planting. I don't plant corn but I do get a lot of tomatoes, beans, peas, cukes, potatoes,carrots, lettuce and squash most years. Sometimes I have an overabundance and trading for other varieties would be nice.

Carrie Slater Duffy

about 13 years ago

For those of you interested in community gardening, call the Duluth Community Garden Program office at 722-4583 or email us at [email protected] with your complete contact information and which garden(s) you prefer.

The biggest problem the Duluth Community Garden Program faces right now is deer. It's heartbreaking. We provide land, resources, tools, seeds and transplants at very little cost. The gardeners themselves then provide many hours of hard work. All of that can disappear in a moment. 

We have sixteen sites throughout Duluth, and let me tell you, the deer problem didn't exist until the last few years. Now, in a depressed economy, when the demand for our services is growing steadily, I'm trying to find funds in the form of sponsorships for all of those gardens... while struggling to meet our general operating expenses.

If you can, PLEASE HELP!

You can grow a lot of food on a 400 square food plot if you're not sharing it with critters. We hope to provide fencing and a water source at each garden as soon as we can. but we can't do it without support from the community.

Contact the DCGP for more information or check out our website, www.duluthcommunitygarden.org.

Chester Dark

about 13 years ago

I garden a bit too but the trouble is, when I have an over-abundance of something, so does everyone else. Debbie, would your organization skills help to coordinate us to plant different things so we can share more effectively? I'd love to trade something (money? skills? muscle?) for chickens, eggs, venison, honey, etc. with like-minded folk.

Sadly, the Farmer's Market here in Duluth doesn't do it for me.

hbh1

about 13 years ago

i know someone who grows corn, right on the lake, but it is not for beginners. 

also, proper, tall (and underground) fencing is all that's required to keep away the non-bug critters. human thieves, on the other hand... i know someone who had a large portion of their garden stolen at the community gardens by the zoo last year.

Barrett

about 13 years ago

I used to have one on Rice Lake Road and it wasn't too difficult to build a deer fence, which was highly effective. They did manage to knock it down and get in once, but all they ate was some leaves off the squash plants. This was mainly due to my shoddy construction.

It's an enormous plot for very little money, and a great opportunity if you're willing to put in the work of maintaining a garden.

Debbie

about 13 years ago

I'm hoping to see who is interested in swapping veggies, et cetera and then I'll contact people about who grows what. I'm more than willing to tailor what I grow to fill in gaps that other people might not grow.

Barrett, how tall did you make your deer fence that they got through?

Barrett

about 13 years ago

I'd say my fence was about six feet tall. Maybe five. But they didn't jump over it: They knocked it down.

Tim K

about 13 years ago

I put up a 6' fence and it worked. I pounded 8' long 2"x2"s down about 2' into the ground, spaced about 4' apart. I trenched out an outline of the fence and put up 3' metal poultry cloth and buried the bottom 6 or 8." I over-lapped a plastic raspberry netting with the poultry cloth to achieve the 6' height. I also ran some electric fence wire across the top for rigidity- no electricity at this point. For insects and small children, I find that if you squish a couple and leave their bodies around the perimeter, it keeps the rest from trying to come in a steal your bounty.

Chester Dark

about 13 years ago

"For insects and small children, I find that if you squish a couple and leave their bodies around the perimeter, it keeps the rest from trying to come in and steal your bounty...." 

yeah, that would definitely keep me away. What's your address, Tim K? Any missing children in your neighborhood?

Dulusion

about 13 years ago

I live near the lake, past Lester river and I have a very healthy deer population, I see deer in my yard every day. I do not fence. I do use "predator tape." It's holographic mylar tape (you can get it at Gordy's) that you hang by long strips from poles in the garden. The deer don't like the sound it makes when a breeze hits it. They also don't like when the breeze causes it to touch them. I space  bamboo poles about 3' apart all through my garden. You then hang a strip of the tape from a piece of string tied to the pole. The tape then swivels and snaps in the wind. I also use "Liquid Fence" which you must regularly apply. It's natural and very stinky when you spray it. I grow in two 30x50 gardens and lose very little to the deer. I grow enough for them to swipe a little...they sometimes nibble peas or lettuce on the outer edges of the garden, but generally leave it alone. My experience with fencing is that they knock it down..and it's expensive to maintain.

Vicki Olson

about 13 years ago

Im looking for other people like me who are striving to eat organically but are having a hard time finding USDA certified organic foods locally. I just joined an organic food company out of Chaska MN called Natures Prime Organic Foods www.npofoods.com They have a freezer program that is great for people wanting to eat organically and save by buying in bulk, they will even sell you a freezer! I became a rep in the Duluth area and want to come out to peoples homes to give them a tasting of the fabulous food they have! Their food is not only organic but they make sure it all is of the highest quality and as fresh as you can get it so people who buy just because something has superior taste will become customers. Please let me know if anyone would be willing to let me come and give you and a few friends a tasting of npo's foods and show you our freezer program. Thank You, Vicki

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