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Gardening In A Cave

Howdy Pups! I’m doing a bit of a photo essay here, thanks to the grace of Jason Rosenbaum who let me post a LOT of pics! And it’s all about taking your small urban cave dwelling life and making it the best it can be!

I thought perhaps others who are cave dwellers and hesitant to do the gardening thing might see some things they hadn’t thought of, be inspired and begin to dig and pot up their fav veggie and herbals food stuffs! So, on with the show!

We live in an apartment complex, a really, really big one.

And recently they just finished painting it all, which meant for us cave dwellers that we had to move a lot of stuff around.

Why?

Because we have over 60 potted plants, shelves, ledges, patio furniture, and such.

It’s not much, but we make do with it all.

Here’s the outside of our back patio area.

Back Patio Outside

Here’s the outside of our front area.
Front Area

You can see, if there’s space to be used you can get a pot into it, fill it with soil, and grow stuff!

I grow stuff to eat. I MUST have my herbs, I make a lot of pesto, and I never have enough basil to last the winter. So I planted more this year! And I’m culling leaves and freezing them, and I’m culling plants and bagging them and freezing them!

We have some home made trays with more basil starters going all the time! Here’s one on our patio table. Take a cardboard box, like from a boxtop of a carton of paper, line it with tin foil, fill with soil, put seeds in at suggested depth, water, and watch them sprout up! Then transplant to the pots you culled plants from when space permits!

Starter Tray

So there’s a LOT one can do with a little bit of space.

For instance, on the back patio area we have a HUGE 2′ x ’12 plot I’ve dug up and planted in now for 5 years, always clearing it out by October/November, adding steer manure to it and letting it grow clover by itself all winter long.

I dig it up once to turn it in January. Come April, I dig it up again to turn it, and the next day in go ‘mater seedlings, pepper seedlings, and any other seeds of things that are close to the ground like squash, etc.

I DO have one good 2′ high rosemary plant that’s not disturbed when I turn the plot . . . it’s in its 2nd year in the ground and I had it in a pot for one year before.

Here’s the plot, with some shelving, etc.

Plot And Shelving

Two big maters on the right, some squash on the right you can’t see at the bottom.

Behind the left side of the shelving is the rosemary plant you can’t see well, to the left of the rosemary are two pepper plants. One is a golden orange bell, the other chili serrrano. And they are both starting to flower now!

At the far left in the plot area is a hanging ‘mater plant in the blue sack. Behind that is another ‘mater plant in the ground, left of the pepper plants.

Before the new management team took over two years ago, all that fence top, front and back, was covered with pots! But the new laws include keeping the fence tops clear, so I had to build that shelving (I am NOT a carpenter, but they are still standing after two years and only cost me $50 total to build!) to maximize space.

The cute little white fencing along the ground plot was my wife’s idea, I’ve grown accustomed to it like one grows accustomed to curtains in the windows. It’s just how wives do things, and I learnt long ago some fights are not worth fighting cuz even if you win, you always lose on THESE cosmetic issue. 😉

And yes, the black bear farmer was her idea too . . . I dig bears, so, it’s kewl.

Here’s more shelving and how we use it.
More Shelving

Here’s a shot of the front space, that’s kinda limited.
Front Space

Against the fence in front.
Against The Fence

These Sun Golds are delicious and this plant is just about one of the most productive one’s we’ve ever had. We pull 10 a day from it now, for a month!
Sun Golds

So, we have thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, chives, garlic onions, tons of basil, dill, italian parsley, two decent rosemary plants, the maters, the peppers and tons of basil!

No mint, no tarragon. May do that later in August as our sun and growing season lasts till November!

Well, thats a brief tour of our cave space and our beloved veggies and herbs.

I hope folks will get the urge to pot up some of their own fav food stuff and cut some grocer costs while eating fresh and having all them herbs to spice up things without having to pay supermarket prices for it all!!!

And again, thanks to Jason Rosenbaum for letting me post so many pics. They really help to tell the story and I hope they inspire!

Mangiamo!!!

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Ex hippie/chef with years of radio/tv experience (separate from chef/hippie) buys a dobro, discovers festing, and goes to Strawberry Music Fest to pick with 5,000 of my best friends twice a year. What?! There's a main stage with bands? I never knew!!!

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Mangiamo!

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