Why Garden

  1. Mee Banned

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    It’s a question I am often asked and considering the time of year it may be advantageous for other posters so here goes.
    Gardening is gaining in popularity and this is for many reasons and the main ones I hear are:

    Bought fruit and veg often tastes bland or old and home grown tastes much better.

    I have an issue with food mileage (the latest fad apparently) which is the distance food is transported along with its environmental impact from using lorries and ships to transport huge quantities of food from many obscure parts of the world.

    I have issues with the addition of chemicals and things such as producers using GM foods to increase yields for ingredients in everyday foods such as ready meals and we don’t know the impacts on human life yet for GM foods.

    I have issues with the conditions foods are grown in using cheap third world labour in third world countries where their own people are hungry or starving and foods are sold to the highest bidder rather than be used to fed their own populations.

    It’s a necessity for me to grow my own food so I can pay other bills as I am on minimum wage with little to no chance of getting a higher paying job.

    While this is not in any way a conclusive list it is what I regularly hear and there may be any amount of other reasons for people to grow their own fruit and veg; I have grown my own for more years than I will admit too and I am now in the nice position of being self-sufficient in fruit and veg. Gardening connects people back with nature as most gardening is seasonal and you plant and harvest crops at specific times of the year; but with advancing technologies you can now plant many crops earlier and harvest them for longer meaning higher crop yields.

    Gardening for me is stress relief and it gets me outside and it increases the amount of exercise I get and many people like this connection back to nature and the healthier food combined with exercise growing your own food gives people as it gives you as a grower, full control of what goes into your food. If done correctly it saves you a lot of money and time as even a correctly laid out small plot can yield a huge harvest and you can reduce the amount of hours of food shopping you do and save even more money by not having to run to the supermarket every verse end and burning fuel to do so.

    Commerce has entered home grown food and everyone from seed suppliers to large pharmaceutical companies have jumped on the band wagon to help extract your money by offering overpriced (and highly profitable) ranges of seeds, feeds, insecticides, and many other products you can make yourself.

    One example is urine, yes, pee, pi$$, urea, something we all produce for free; another example is to grow comfrey and contain it, pick the leaves and place in a large container and add water and leave for a few days, strain and bottle, or you can even pick young nettles and use the same process. Why would we need to add to the huge pharmaceutical companies profits when we can make these products for free from natural and non-synthesised materials?

    Gardening gives you the opportunity to try new foods, one I like is kale and this is termed a “pick and regrow crop” as you harvest some leaves as required and the plant regrows these leaves so you get a perpetual crop during their growing season, but you can try any crop you like to suit your tastes.

    Financially it makes sense not to be lured into the convenience (allegedly) products supplied by these companies as they are mainly synthetic products and introduce many toxic elements into your soil which are sucked up by your plants and enter your body when you eat them. They also cost a lot of money and by buying such products you will find the cost of your home grown food will be higher than shop bought food and negating any savings means you will be no better off and defeating the object if you grow to save money.

    Food waste is a huge problem as many countries buy food and can throw away large quantities of it, gardeners generally have at least one compost heap and instead of throwing away food, food peelings, or the tops off of food they put it on the compost heap and return it back to nature. Compost heaps provide new rotted vegetation which can be returned back to the garden directly as rotted matter to improve a soil; or you can use the rotted vegetation to make your own compost so another saving by not having to buy compost, and the time and expense of driving to buy it. Then there is the reduced waste, reduced waste means less waste to process, less waste to process means less going into landfill and less work for the pickers in the waste reprocessing plants which saves the council’s money and helps to reduce your council tax bills.

    What if you don’t have a garden or only have a small back yard and no garden? A little planning can see you container growing which can include any containers such as plant pots, home made boxes or beds, or even hanging baskets for a variety of plants. Many people assume you plant at floor level, why? We have 3D AutoCAD so why not have 3D growing, if you have a wall you can attach anything such as old cast iron guttering, hanging baskets, or even things such as large used coffee cans to grow crops in, and as container growing is increasing in popularity the yields of crops grown from a small space is growing. You can use grow bags, you can make your own bags, and you can fan train many crops, particularly fruit which means a large bush which is trained to virtually flat and still gives high yields.

    With forward planning you can introduce something called “continual planting” which is basically planning your crops so when one is picked you replace the free space with another crop to utilise a space for many more months of growing and production.

    What about surplus of crops I would like to save? Again no problem, you can freeze surplus crops, you can bottle or can surplus crops, you can pickle crops if you like pickled onions or red cabbage, or even gherkin or cauliflower you can pickle individual items or make a mixed pickle using them all.

    Many crops such as onions can be tied into strings and hung in a shed or outbuilding, potatoes can be stored in trays as can apples, just make sure they don’t touch each other and put sheets of newspaper round them Most fruits and many veg can be bottled, most fruit comes in syrup which is simply water and sugar, many veg come in brine which is simply water and salt, or you can get creative as I did many years ago. I got 20 large food bags and as crops were harvested they were frozen and placed into the bags, with different crops being harvested at different times you froze what you produced and added them to your bags and at the end of the season you had 20 stew veg bags. All my other half did was brown some decent meat, put in the pan along with one of the stew packs and some water with gravy granules, cook long and slow and throw in some potatoes and onions and cook a little more before serving, and she does enough for two days as it always tastes nicer on the second day.

    Surplus food can be bartered or swapped with neighbours, friends, or other gardeners who can’t, or don’t grow a crop which you grow as they have different soils and they swap this for something you don’t grow or won’t grow so you have a greater variety of produce. If you have a lot of fruit you can make various flavours of jam or if you make your own wine you can turn it into wine, or you can just bottle the lot for winter. If you have a lot of green tomatoes at the end of the season you can turn them into chutney, and if you garden you can grow your own herbs in a herb garden.

    What should you grow? In reality it pays to start with staple crops which you eat regularly and buy most often, from here you can add things you like but don’t buy regularly because of cost, and from here you can try new things and grow things you would like to eat more of, or just something new you would like to try.

    Who can garden? Anybody really as it’s a pastime which doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t care if you’re 8 or 80, it doesn’t care what colour or religion you are, and it doesn’t care if you are able bodied or disabled as gardeners have already overcome most of the problems.
     
  2. Mee Banned

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    Simple Recipes From Your Produce

    Here are a few simple recipes you can quickly and easily make using predominantly produce you have produced yourself; do not stick to measuring ingredients accurately, who really cares if you have 5 grains of sugar or salt less than you should in a recipe, experiment as near enough is good for me.

    Our first simple recipe is a dessert which works well on a barbeque Parm.

    2 cups freshly picked blackberries or loganberries
    2 cups freshly picked raspberries.
    1 tablespoon of rum.
    1 tablespoon of whiskey
    4/6 hard pears, apples can also be used.

    Place the blackberries into a bowl and drizzle the rum over them, stir so all the blackberries are covered with rum.
    Place the raspberries into another bowl and drizzle the whiskey over them and stir so all the raspberries are covered in whiskey.
    Place a large, flat bottomed frying pan or similar onto the barbecue and put half the blackberries and half the raspberries into the pan with approximately ½ cup of water and cook slowly until the raspberries and blackberries have cooked to a pulp, cut the pears in half lengthways and core them.
    Place the pear halves into the pan, flat side down and simmer in the sauce you have made in the pan, you may need to add a little more water, and simmer for about 5 minutes and add the rest of the blackberries and simmer until the pears are soft and a nice purple colour and serve.

    Simple Salsa

    2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes.
    ½ cup chopped red onion.
    1 small green chilli finely chopped.
    ½ fresh lime, squeezed for its juice
    1 clove of garlic finely chopped.
    1 teaspoon chopped cumin.
    ¼ teaspoon sea salt.

    Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well, drizzle the lime juice over the top.
    For the adult version mix the lime juice with an equal volume of vodka and drizzle.
    Place in the fridge for an hour and cover with cling film.

    Quick Pickle

    You can use any uncooked ingredients you like, but they must be raw and crispy.

    Baby carrots, cut lengthways into chips.
    Cauliflower florets broken into small pieces.
    Cucumber cut to about 3-4” (75-100mm) long, remove seeds and cut into chips lengthways.
    2 shallots finely chopped.
    6 spring onions finely chopped lengthways.
    4 radishes thinly sliced.
    1 small red chilli deseeded and finely chopped.
    Coriander and mint leaves.
    Sea salt.
    White or pickling vinegar.


    Place all the ingredients in a bowl, season with sea salt and put just enough vinegar in to pool in the bottom of the bowl, stir everything well and cover with cling film and stand in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
     
    8ob likes this.
  3. zzr1200

    zzr1200 Working at 650 ft on open steel work

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    I don't disagree with you at all, but it's a very unusual topic for a welding forum so early in the morning.

    Having trouble sleeping by any chance?????
     
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  4. Keith 66 Member

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    All those vegetables done given him wind!;)
     
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  5. Maker

    Maker Krombopulos Michael

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    This isn't a welding forum any more:D.
     
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  6. cumbriasteve

    cumbriasteve Moderator Staff Member

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  7. Kayos

    Kayos Forum Supporter

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    I haven't read it but can you grow a mig welder from seed or do you use a cutting?
     
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  8. Maker

    Maker Krombopulos Michael

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    It's far to cold to grow mig welders over here, you'll have much more luck with Oil Cooled Stick welder seeds.
     
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  9. the snooper

    the snooper getting older by the day

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    I find your old fashioned welding mask grows well all year round even in a south facing garden, and they cope with strong prolonged direct sun light extremely well
     
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  10. 8ob

    8ob Member

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    I have grown two things, old and tired.

    Bob
     
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  11. zzr1200

    zzr1200 Working at 650 ft on open steel work

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    I blame it all on double-boost peeling/turning veggies on his lathe....:scared:.

    Or perhaps Mee had been at the falling down water?
     
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  12. 8ob

    8ob Member

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    We did manage to cultivate a welder from a sixteen year old weed on one occasion. It took about four years mind ,we had to clip his ears a few times and stand him in a dark corner . He did threaten to leaf several times but rooted down and eventually blossomed :)

    Bob
     
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  13. pdg

    pdg Member

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    I had to weld a part on my rotavator...
     
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  14. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

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    I welded a couple of lawnmower decks this year as well and made a potato planter for a friend with back problems.
     
  15. gaz1 Member

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    as a person that owns a merry tiller cultivator it has a few handy items that can be made up from steel including a trailer

    but i also have an allotment as well to use and grow things on it
     
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  16. The_Yellow_Ardvark

    The_Yellow_Ardvark If in doubt ask.

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    Which one?
     
  17. Mee Banned

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    Which is why its in a non welding section of the site.

    You can make many things for gardening as many people do.
     
  18. Parm

    Parm I only give advice if I know

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    its quite easy to cultivate rust, particularly on some types of well know cars
     
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  19. the snooper

    the snooper getting older by the day

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    Needs tin worm aswell :D
     
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  20. The_Yellow_Ardvark

    The_Yellow_Ardvark If in doubt ask.

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    WhitePine08.jpg
    You can grow rust on plants.
    See above.
     
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