Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota

Get Growing this Summer

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Even mid-way through June, it’s not too late to start growing some of your own food this season. Growing a garden in your yard, your windowsill, or at any other scale can be empowering. And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming venture! Episode 3 of Dirt Rich is a bite-sized listen to help get you started in a manageable, enjoyable way.

Kent Solberg shares his top tips for starting a garden:

  1. You don’t need to buy a lot of fancy equipment, or even have a lot of space to start growing something.
  2. Plant food that you like to eat.
  3. Keep it simple, start small and manageable.
  4. Grow a few things well.
  5. Start a compost pile.

Not sure what to grow? It’s wonderful to have a plethora of options, but that can also be a little paralyzing. In the episode, Kent makes some suggestions based on the space required, ease of storage, seed save-ability, and versatility:

  1. Potatoes (especially russets): You can grow potatoes in old garbage cans or feed sacks. Easy to grow a lot in a small space, and easy to store. All you need is a cool, dry space.
  2. Beans (particularly dry beans): Depending on the variety, you can eat fresh or let them mature and store them in a jar. Beans climb trellises and are a great option for vertical growing and container gardening.
  3. Butternut squash (open pollinated variety): Can be trellised, grown or started in a container. Like potatoes, you can simply store them in a cool, dark place. Seeds can be saved for next year from an open pollinated variety.
  4. Sweet corn or field corn (open pollinated variety): You don’t need a combine! You should have at least four rows wide to allow for pollination. Sweet corn can be eaten fresh or dried to save seed for next year. Field corn can be dried and later ground for corn meal  in a coffee grinder (think of the corn bread!). Plenty of other vegetables or cover crops can be grown in between the rows, you could even grow the Three Sisters.

Get Growing this Summer

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