You Really Can Grow Buckets of Potatoes

Back in April we began an experiment to see if growing potatoes in buckets was as easy and foolproof as so many Pinterest pins and blog posts have made it sound.

The suspense was killing us all here on the DIY Backyard Farm!

After just 3 weeks the plants were looking green and vibrant. Every couple of weeks we added a few inches of soil to cover up more of the plants. In no time at all the bucket was filled to the top with soil and green plants were spilling out over the top.

Then it got boring. Yes boring! Plant growth slowed and we wondered when we would get to dump the bucket and see the results. Most articles I read said to wait until the plants turned yellow before picking the potatoes. Our plants did not begin to yellow until late July. They also did not yellow evenly.

By the second week of August the kids were bugging me to, “DUMP THE BUCKET!”. So we did!

The video below is proof that growing your own potatoes in a bucket is not only possible, but positively potato pleasing too! If we had waited a bit longer I am betting some of those “small fries” would have gotten much larger. No worries, we still have two pots full of our “ketchup and fries” potatoes to go!

I apologize for the shaky video work. My 9 year-old videographer was feeling a bit too energetic with all the anticipation of mini red potatoes slathered in homemade chive butter.

Special Announcement!!!!!

Hello DIY Backyard Farm Fans! You are among the first to hear about the exciting release of the 2nd edition of the DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide. Now is the perfect time to plan your 2015 edible gardens and the new book can surely help. In fact, I hope I can lots of messages telling me it was the best $14 (+ tax) that you spent all season long!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 23, 2015

book cover image

New Book Cover

What’s the Simple Secret to a Thriving Edible Garden?

Reading The DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide!

Last year, Greg Carbone of Backyard Enterprises LLC authored a book to help novice gardeners plan and start their own thriving edible gardens. Now his book is being released as a 2nd Edition. The new edition has a gorgeous cover photo taken in his very own edible gardens. The latest edition also contains additional content and even more useful garden planning worksheets.

The DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide provides the guidance and tools needed to simply, easily and effectively plan and track edible gardens. The book provides information and tips to guide “budding” gardeners without overwhelming them. The worksheets included in the book are critical tools to help people avoid one of the biggest mistakes many edible gardeners make–failing to plan.

Greg is the “Head Farmer” and Managing Partner of Backyard Enterprises LLC. The company runs the website www.diybackyardfarm.com, which is dedicated to providing simple and easy tips to help regular folks grow their own healthy, delicious produce. Greg is on a personal mission to reconnect people (especially kids) with their foods. He believes edible gardening is one of the best ways to do it!

People have expressed a lot of initial excitement for the website and book. One might say, “the topic of edible gardening is really growing!”

Greg will be speaking and signing books at local New Jersey garden centers and libraries throughout the spring and summer growing seasons. Check out the website or the DIY Backyard Farm Facebook page for details. The book can also be purchased on Amazon.com or through the DIY Backyard Farm website (www.diybackyardfarm.com).

Planning My Plot

Weekends are for dreaming. What better time to think up big, magnificent ideas. The mind is most creative when the clutter of the weekdays are in the past. Today I was given a question that set my creative juices in motion.”What if I were given a plot of land and the financial resources to do anything I want with it?

Wait a minute! This is something many of us dream about. Some folks would build a mega mansion. More civic-minded people might build a playground or park. A dog lover would likely think up new ways to save all the stray dogs in the world.

I am an advocate of living of the land. As such, I have often dreamed of building a housing development in the style of New Urbanism. My development would be designed with sustainability in mind. My version of sustainability would go beyond the stuff of LEED certifications and extend into a true self-sustaining mini economy.

Housing would be a mixture of farmsteads and more densely populated clusters of single and attached homes. The main feature of the development would be a large community farm created to provide the majority of the foods needed to nourish the residents. Chickens, cows, pigs, lambs and other animals would be humanly raised alongside an impressive array of freshly grown produce. We would eat seasonally and hyper local while enjoying the security of knowing where our foods came from.

Jobs would be created within the development and also my leveraging technology (think telecommuting). Products we made from our farm or creations of local artisans would be sold within a 100 mile radius of our location. Our mini economy would be the envy of the world. So much so that copycats would spring up like yogurt franchises in suburban America. However, our “franchise” would be a whole lot better for the people and the planet!

A Top Reason Organic Foods Cost More $

great quote on govt and food

Have you ever had a badge you wore proudly?  Maybe a Boy Scout or Girl Scout Badge comes to mind?  Perhaps you won accolades at work and have a symbolic award to show for it?  What did those badges cost you?  Enough with the questions, here’s the point.  Many farms in the USA are farmed organically, but not all organic farms are certified organic.  In the United States it costs money to get certified as organic.  Organic farmers have lots of green surpluses, but money is not one of them.  Last we checked, the government is not accepting kale or collard greens as currency and escarole is just a mafia slang for money!

It is obvious our stance on organic food is to grow your own.  Producing your own foods allow you to take more control of what is in and on them.  Of course it may not be practical to produce all of your own foods.  Even we buy produce, meat, dairy and more from outside sources.  We currently do not have the land, time, and money to grow everything we need.   This is why it is so important to understand more about the food supply.

Get to know your local food producers and ask questions about how they grow their plants, raise their animals, and make their products.  Try visiting a local farm to learn more about how their foods are being produced and handled.  You can them make more informed buying decisions.

Don’t get us wrong.  We are absolutely fans of having certification requirements to ensure reliability, authenticity, and safety of organic foods.  However, when it comes to foods, the costs and time involved in getting certified need to be reasonable for most, if not all organic farmers.  Otherwise we are all forced to do our own research or just trust the folks who claim they are farming with generally accepted organic practices.

We say the government should shift some of the subsidies they are giving to Big Agriculture towards organic farmers.  Society can help make this shift happen by speaking with our votes and our wallets.  Write to your local politicians to express your concerns and opinions.  Watch out for and avoid GMO products or insist on buying products labeled “non GMO”.  As history has shown, Big Business will grow or make products we demand and stop producing ones we don’t want.  Government tends to favor the same Big Businesses with tax breaks and other subsidies.

Did this post provide more clarity on the topic of certified organic farms and organic foods?  Was this information new to you?  We would love to hear your thoughts.