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$2,500-$3,000 Garden Repair Funds needed.

 
Ryan M Miller
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Due to severe tornado damage from last year in 2019, my garden planting has been severely set back. If I use raised square foot garden beds to rebuild my garden this year, the expansion and repair project could cost anywhere from $2,500-$3,000. Due to the increase in food insecurity over the past three months I am greatly in need of expanding my garden to support food for at least myself for an entire year. I calculated that if using squarefoot garden beds, I will need 24 wooden frames for beds, 8 cubic yards of compost, 22 galvanized steel trellises, and screws and fasteners to hold the beds together. If anyone has a more cost-effective solution to build a garden in my limited space that can supply me the same ammount of food, please give me details.
Here is a video link where I show the storm damage from last year to my yard and my house:
https://www.bitchute.com/channel/Riyd6uFNAKXy/
Below is also a diagram showing the layout of my backyard with the area where I plan to put the expanded garden.

I have not started a fundraiser yet since my last fundraiser I attempted was a complete failure. I want to know how to properly raise funds in the time I need before starting.
FA5DD74F-3BD7-4B05-99ED-5E331DF613B2.jpeg
Only the area marked "Garden Proposal" is available for me to plant. My father wants to use the rest of the space to plant fruit trees and a giant shed.
Only the area marked "Garden Proposal" is available for me to plant. My father wants to use the rest of the space to plant fruit trees and a giant shed.
 
D Nikolls
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How needed, is needed?

Can you get pallets?

When I was gardening in the side yard of an apartment, I built a ~40x4 raised bed with pallet-wood. I used half cheap topsoil and half compost to fill it, after cutting and flipping the extremely compacted sod below with a beefy thrift-store kitchen knife.

I have been surprised at how well pallets will last, used this way; I try and avoid the very lightweight ones unless I can ID them as pine. It can be bloody labour intensive, but sometimes one gets lucky and scores pallets built tightly enough to just use as is, or after trimming down.

Scrounged tire planters? Hugelcultures of unwanted arborist trimmings?

What resources are around?




I think the idea of spending 2500-3000 to grow food for one+ person for one year is a bad deal, and a bad plan, especially given the starting date.

Even now, beans and rice and peanut butter are cheap. I would advise buying some bulk staples for peace of mind, and then grow what you can grow, without shelling out big bucks.


I think it will be hard to convince other people to pay for your garden; I hope I do not offend when I say that I can think of literally dozens of urgent causes that need my money, that would take priority if I had money to spare. You need a great pitch... Hopefully someone else has advice on this, not my field.


And finally, I think time is darned short to be building all that for this gardening season with money that you are currently trying to figure out how to get... unless you're in the southern hemisphere!



That all seems pretty negative; it is intended as helpful, hope it comes across that way. It's great that you're thinking about the issues ahead, that's the critical first step!
 
Ryan M Miller
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I would use wooden palletes if I could find them, but I'm trapped in an isolated sub division surrounded by busy roads and no sidewalks; I have no driver's license or car to get myself out of the house; and I'm stuck living with my parents. I guess this really is a hopeless cause for me after all. Even if you were just trying to help, I have way too many food allergies to rely only supermarket food. I can't east most processed foods because they almost always have dairy, peanuts, or gluten. Even if you're trying to be helpful, I will be stuck the entire year without any source of hope for the future. I'm stuck at home pursuing a miserable college degree since my past degree turned out to be worthless and I couldn't join any religious communities because of my medical restrictions. Now I'm going to be forced to work third shift in a busy medical laboratory for the rest of my life since nobody will hire me for any other job right now.

I was hoping that if I could build a larger garden, I could prepare for actually owning a homestead if there is no other alternative for me in life. I guess I'll be stuck being a wage slave the rest of my life.
 
D Nikolls
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Ryan M Miller wrote:I would use wooden palletes if I could find them, but I'm trapped in an isolated sub division surrounded by busy roads and no sidewalks; I have no driver's license or car to get myself out of the house; and I'm stuck living with my parents. I guess this really is a hopeless cause for me after all. Even if you were just trying to help, I have way too many food allergies to rely only supermarket food. I can't east most processed foods because they almost always have dairy, peanuts, or gluten. Even if you're trying to be helpful, I will be stuck the entire year without any source of hope for the future. I'm stuck at home pursuing a miserable college degree since my past degree turned out to be worthless and I couldn't join any religious communities because of my medical restrictions. Now I'm going to be forced to work third shift in a busy medical laboratory for the rest of my life since nobody will hire me for any other job right now.

I was hoping that if I could build a larger garden, I could prepare for actually owning a homestead if there is no other alternative for me in life. I guess I'll be stuck being a wage slave the rest of my life.



I certainly don't intend my advise to read anything like 'everything is hopeless, you should give up if you can't follow these specifics'.

I sincerely believe that seeking a way to garden without a large cash infusion is great training for homesteading.

I hope things look better in daylight.
 
Timothy Markus
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Have you looked into WWOOFing?  You have a very good chance of finding spots that can accommodate your diet and you can gain (lots of) experience, maybe make a bit of money and not live with your parents.  
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm looking at your video, and I'm seeing some resources you could maybe use to make garden beds. There's some big ol' trees  that fell down. Those make nice garden boarders--a lot of my boarders are small tree trunks laid down on the ground, or rounds of wood one after another.

I've never had money to buy garden bed boarders. All of them were made with random stuff I found--or nothing at all. You can see a lot of my garden bed boarder ideas in the Victory Garden thread. I'm sure your neighbors probably would like the broken remains of their trees off their property, and might be happy with you hauling it off. If you have a chainsaw, you--or your dad--could use it. I used a hand saw on smaller logs and branches, because I don't feel comfortable  using a chainsaw.

All those leaves on the trees look like nice mulch, either for above ground around transplants/perennials, or in a lasagna style garden bed.

For berries, maybe there's people who'd like their raspberry patches thinned? If you were in my area, I'd gladly give you some of mine!

I think a lot of people would love to have $2,000-3,000 to make a garden. I know I would...and I know I've also never had that much. But, I've managed to get a lot growing with a lot of hard work and gifts from those in my community.

Maybe together we can find a way to get a lot of food growing for you!
 
Artie Scott
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Made this one for free a few weeks ago - just made two more yesterday.

https://permies.com/t/137222/bed

Guessing maybe your Mom and Dad insist that it look  a certain way and don’t want it to look too junky?
 
Burra Maluca
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I moved home exactly one month ago. This is my vegetable garden now.



I used old wooden boards to edge the beds, held in place by wooden stakes cut from a broken board.

They were filled with dirt that had built up behind the house and needed to be cleared away. Most of them have been topped with a €2 bag of compost from the supermarket as the local soil tends to form an impenetrable crust in the sun and I wanted it covered with something before we were likely to  have time to start cutting grass, else I would have topped it with cut grass.  

If I was in your shoes I wouldn't worry about making fancy beds.  I'd use what beds I had, top them with mowings from the lawn, and just get some seeds growing or buy some plant starts if there were any available and get them out there. It's perfectly possible to create beds without using boards for edging. Note the old tarp in the back of my photo being used to clear an area of weeds ready for planting.  That tarp was rescued from a skip/dumpster.

I would never be able to afford a four figure sum to spend on my garden - everything is done using a combination of what I have on hand, what I can scrounge, and a very limited amount of money. With the lockdown in place, any money I had available was invested in essential building supplies for the house (I'd kinda like a bathroom again one day but we needs bricks and cement and some drain pipes...) and a supply of food basics like beans, flaxseed, milk, and cocoa (I'm female, which seems to mean cocoa is necessary for life) so I can create good meals using them and whatever I have managed to grow in the garden. No need to waste money on processed food even if it was worth eating. The thing is to assess what you have available and just go for it.  It looks like you have some beds already available. Are they in a good place?  Would it be best to get them all in one area? Make a decision, act on it, and get them full of edible plants as soon as you can. Where else would be good to grow stuff?  I've make a sunroot bed in a long strip along the bottom of the terrace wall near that old tarp - I expect it will give a ton of food and hasn't cost me a penny to make, just a lot of effort. The thing is to just start and use all the assets you have, whatever they are, to get something growing. It's a wonderful learning curve, but you have to start as soon as you can otherwise you'll likely find you never start at all.
 
Michelle Heath
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I’ve constructed five new beds this year using salvaged lumber and nails.  I plan to go back and reinforce with screws when I have the opportunity to get out and buy some, but right now the nails are holding fine.  One potato bed has about three inches of soil covered with another 3” of mulched leaves as I’m using what I have.  

You could make some rustic trellises using branches, salvaged lumber or old gates or fencing.

As far as fundraising, maybe you could promise produce from your garden in exchange for materials.  I know with the current situation most people are being more frugal with their money and getting funding may be difficult.

Edit:  Just read your later post about pursuing another degree and not wanting to be a wage slave.  I quit college one year shy of getting my degree.  Why?  I was working 40 hours in addition to taking 21 credit hours.  I managed to group all my classes into the same three days every week and had a 100 mile round trip drive to get to college every day.  One day I realized that I would never be completely happy with my chosen field and decided to change directions.  I have been self-employed for the last twelve years and while I’m not rich, I’m much happier.  I’m currently working on getting a small market garden going.  Never give up hope!  
 
Trace Oswald
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I personally would never give money to a fundraiser that wanted $3000 to build a garden. The reason for that is that it's entirely unnecessary. I have a post i started a few weeks ago showing the new garden i started this year. I already had a shovel, so my investment up to this point has been $0.  Raised beds don't need borders, but if you like them, several people have posted beautiful examples of beds made with repurposed materials. If you can't get all the materials you need to build a garden with no money, you are thinking inside a very small box.  My advice to you is simply this. Don't get discouraged. Free organic material is everywhere. Old building supplies are everywhere.  You can do this. Don't let the idea that you need money to do it stop you. There is a saying that goes something like "whatever you think you can or can't do, you're right".  Gardening and especially homesteading take time. A lifetime even. Don't be too quick to throw your hands on the air and say you can't do this.
 
Michael Cox
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I have, over the space of a few weeks, built a 400sqm vegetable garden with raised market garden style beds. My total invested money to this point is £46. £40 was for a second hand mantis tiller, £6.00 was for fuel for it.

My beds don't have hard edges, which in my climate and growing conditions I find preferable. Hard edges provide places for pests like slugs to hide, and unweedable edges that the buttercups rooted in. I've spent considerable effort removing boards put in place by the last land owners. In general I would prefer not to till, but it as necessary this time to get the soil quickly workable over a large area, and to allow me to get rid of the perennial weed root systems. From here on I anticipate light surface hoeing and mulching with woodchips and compost. I had no potting mix pre-lockdown. I haven't spent anything on it, for the first time in years. I have been making my own using a pile of ancient well rotted leaf mulch, so batches of homemade biochar, and some mature chicken manure to add nutrients. The plants are loving it.

As others have already said above, there is no need to spend that much money on a vegetable garden to have a highly productive setup.
 
Trace Oswald
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I watched your damage video again and another thought occurred to me.  There are trees down everywhere that people will want to have cleaned up.  Someone will come in with a chainsaw and remove the larger wood.  What is you offer to clean up all the branches that are left in everyone's yards?  You could get paid to do it, or work out a barter.  Personally, I would barter for someone to go to the nearest Home Depot or wherever and rent a wood chipper for me for half a day.  If you remove all the branches from all those trees and have a giant pile of them ready to go, you could create an enormous pile of wood chips in that half day.  You could put wood chips a foot deep anywhere you want to plant a garden, plant in holes filled with compost, or use your raised beds this year and have really excellent gardens in a year or two when the wood chips break down.  Fresh green trees like that with the leaves still on make the best wood chips, and they are everywhere just waiting for you to clean them up for people.  A few hours work will get you a really fantastic base for gardens.  If you aren't familiar with gardening with wood chips, Google Back to Eden Garden film.  It's free.
 
Ryan M Miller
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D Nikolls wrote:How needed, is needed?

Can you get pallets?

When I was gardening in the side yard of an apartment, I built a ~40x4 raised bed with pallet-wood. I used half cheap topsoil and half compost to fill it, after cutting and flipping the extremely compacted sod below with a beefy thrift-store kitchen knife.

I have been surprised at how well pallets will last, used this way; I try and avoid the very lightweight ones unless I can ID them as pine. It can be bloody labour intensive, but sometimes one gets lucky and scores pallets built tightly enough to just use as is, or after trimming down.



I apologize for my angry reply last night. I haven't been able to think clearly these past two months. There is a garden center within walking distance of my house that might have wooden palettes left over from orders of mulch and potting soil they get weekly, but I would need to know how many standard sized palettes would be needed for me to make a 4ft x 4ft x 1ft garden bed. I'm concerned that I might need more than one palette to build a single garden bed. If I'm building 16-24 new garden beds, that might add up too quickly.

Nicole Alderman wrote:I'm looking at your video, and I'm seeing some resources you could maybe use to make garden beds. There's some big ol' trees  that fell down. Those make nice garden boarders--a lot of my boarders are small tree trunks laid down on the ground, or rounds of wood one after another....
...I'm sure your neighbors probably would like the broken remains of their trees off their property, and might be happy with you hauling it off. If you have a chainsaw, you--or your dad--could use it. I used a hand saw on smaller logs and branches, because I don't feel comfortable  using a chainsaw.

All those leaves on the trees look like nice mulch, either for above ground around transplants/perennials, or in a lasagna style garden bed....



I thought about using the fallen tree leaves for composting material while they were still on the ground, but I didn't have any space left for compost bins at the time and the logs were hauled away too quickly for me to use for lumber. My parents (especially my father) are also unreasonably picky about the appearance of the garden. Earlier this year I was forced to remove four plastic raised bed frames from the garden solely because they didn't look good next to the other garden beds. Even if I were able to use the logs from the fallen trees from last year, unhewn logs are not currently an option for me given my nonexistent carpentry skills an lack of any specialized woodworking tools for notching logs or sharpening tools. But as I already said, all the logs are gone anyway. The neighbors hauled them away before I had any time to shape them.


My other idea was to build a modified three sister/ lasagna garden as you mentioned, but without defined wooden raised bed frames. So far, I have not been able to find detailed resources on building a three sister garden using borderless raised beds. Although lightweight vining legumes can easily be grown up corn stalks, I don't know how much space vining cucurbits and tomatoes take up in a modified companion planting/ three sisters bed. If there is a link to a detailed guide on this site you can go ahead and share it here. My public library has been closed for two months so I am not able to pick up any physical book copies right now.

Until I can get the fruit trees planted, I might have to continue to rely on galvanized steel trellises for larger vining plants like passion flowers and grapes. For fruit trees, I have been trying to find sources of non-suckering native North American plum trees (especially Prunus mexicana), but they seem to be hard to find where I live.
 
denise ra
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I too am not flush with cash so look for inexpensive ways to do what I want done. How about doing some tinkering to adjust a used bike trailer for hauling materials? Here are some ideas. Images loaded bicycle trailers
 
Nicole Alderman
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I've actually never done three sisters in a raised bed. I just followed the distancing recommendations (there's a good thread or two here on permies about the spacing). Interestingly enough, my three sisters gardens are the only ones I've made without boarders.

I remember when I first started gardening, it was really hard to tell what was an essential recommendation for growing things, and what's really just a suggestion. Like, do you have to have a garden boarder for the three sisters or not? Probably not! But, when you're starting out, it's hard to be able to figure out if it's necessary or not.

It's hard! You'll see people saying "just plant the seeds!" and people saying "you must plant everything this specific square foot garden way" and it's really confusing when you're starting out to see what's essential and what's not!

There's a lot of right ways to get going. You have some garden beds already. Use the square foot gardening you know in those, and experiment in other areas. There's a lot of ways to get things growing, and you learn by trying.

One of the things I like about permaculture is that we leave a lot of room for diversity. Some garden beds might work better for some plants than others. So, try a lot of things! And, if it doesn't work great for that plant, you can try something else in it next year.

Permies really helped me when I was starting out. I joined 6 years ago, knowing very little about growing. I read a bunch of books, but my brain was so confused by all the info and I couldn't tell what was essential and what was just a recommendation. So I asked here on permies, and people helped me figure it out. And this is why I love permies. I have been helped SO MUCH by people on here. I am so glad when I am able to give back.
 
Ryan M Miller
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I calculated the costs for my original budget and it appears that the major drain on the costs was the galvanized pipes for the trellises. (The total assembly would cost $1,607.71!). I could easily save $600 by using wooden palettes for the raised beds, but I still need to figure out how essential trellises are until I can get my fruit trees planted for training my vining plants.

(Edit): I did some research on cattle panels, and if I can get enough of them, I can cut the price of my trellises down to $300-$400. Unfortunalely, cattle panels are hard to find where I live.
 
Michael Cox
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Lets backtrack a bit:

  • You have a need to grow large quantities of your own fresh produce to save money and because of dietary needs.
  • You have a substantial plot of land available, currently under grass.
  • You have limited funds and materials available.


  • For some reason - which is not quite clear - you have settled on the square foot gardening method. I'm not an expert on this, but from my limited amount of background reading and sketchy memory it is a high intensity method, that uses lots of imported materials to build raised beds. And those raised beds are then intensively managed to maximise yields. It seems like the square foot method is simply incompatible with your current circumstances (no funds and resources). But many other methods of preparing land and growing plants exist. Most alternatives will be cheaper and need less material.

    The photo I have included with this post is of my vegetable garden. Much like you I find myself needing to rapidly expand my growing space. This was mostly grass just a few weeks ago, with the exception of the rhubarb patch and fruit bushes on the right. There are now 20 raised beds. I used a cheap second hand tiller and busted up the grass a bit at a time over a period of a few weeks. I let it sit for the buried grass to die off, then used the tiller a second time to turn the surviving weeds back under and build the bed shape. Each bed is 75cm wide, with a 25cm path. I can step across, or straddle each bed easily, and can keep the paths weed free if required by simply running the tiller along them if needed. I got a great price on the tiller, but if you can't buy one cheap second hand you may be able to borrow or hire one. Or get a shovel and start digging.

    My bottom line is that you seem to have fixated on a particular method, and that fixation is maybe stopping you from making progress.

    In the meantime, while you find a way to get your planting area sorted, what have you done about getting seeds planted and germinating in pots?
    veggie-garden.jpg
    Raised beds, prepared from lawn over a period of about 3 weeks, using a small tiller.
    Raised beds, prepared from lawn over a period of about 3 weeks, using a small tiller.
     
    Carol Denton
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    Have you considered building an arched trellis? They have become very popular lately, not only because they are extremely functional, but also because they look great. Roots and Refuge on has a youtube video that shows how to make one for thirty or so dollars. I couldn't get it to link here, but you can find it on youtube, and probably other videos that show the same thing.  I actually put up three a few weeks ago with some old cattle panels someone gave me. It was easy and fun.
     
    Ryan M Miller
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    Michael Cox wrote:
    In the meantime, while you find a way to get your planting area sorted, what have you done about getting seeds planted and germinating in pots?



    I was so overburdened with homework that I didn't have time available to start pepper or tomato seeds indoors this year. From my past experience observing volunteer plants sprout in my garden, the growing season in my location (Dayton, Ohio) is long enough to direct seed tomatoes and still get a sizable crop. Unfortunately, my growing seasen doesn't seem to be long enough to direct seed peppers. What few volunteer peppers I have observed sprouting in my garden never mature fast enough to yield mature fruit. On an average year, I get about 160-170 consecutive frost-free days a year. The month of May is marginally cold for tomatoes in the first few weeks of the month and frosts in October are unpredictable and can occur at any day of the month.

    I plan on growing some short-season determinate tomatoes to make up for lost time and to use for freezing and canning.
     
    Michael Cox
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    Get them germinating now!

    I did min on paper towel in the kitchen, on a plate with a lunch bag over it. Took approximately 60 seconds to setup. Transplanted them a week later to small pots once they were big enough to handle. Total invested time to germinate them and pot them on 20 minutes.
     
    Ryan M Miller
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    Carol Denton wrote:Have you considered building an arched trellis? They have become very popular lately, not only because they are extremely functional, but also because they look great. Roots and Refuge on has a youtube video that shows how to make one for thirty or so dollars. I couldn't get it to link here, but you can find it on youtube, and probably other videos that show the same thing.  I actually put up three a few weeks ago with some old cattle panels someone gave me. It was easy and fun.



    If I can find a reliable source of cattle panels, I will definitely use them to build arched trellises. Nevertheless, cattle panels are not readily available at my local hardware stores where I live.
     
    Mike Barkley
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    You could use some sticks to make trellises.

    I use 3 sticks to make a tall pyramid, with a few short sticks fastened between each leg for strength & stability. Then build another pyramid a few feet away. Then place some horizontal sticks between the pyramids. Works great. The only cost is some twine. Maybe a dollar per year.
     
    Pearl Sutton
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    A weird, sideways thought: If part of the parameters for your garden beds are they have to look perfect, due to your father's restrictions, is there a neighbor who wants a garden (older lady perhaps?) who wouldn't put those restrictions on you? Or better yet, who has one, that she can't deal with and would love to have you do the work, and make sure she gets some fresh stuff out of the deal?  
    Personally, I have only edged one garden bed in my life, and after one season, I removed the edging. I make a ridge of dirt along the edge, and that's it. I think not working within your father's parameters might help your stress level too, I know working within other people's rules stresses me out badly when their rules conflict with what I feel is correct.
     
    Ryan M Miller
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    Pearl Sutton wrote:A weird, sideways thought: If part of the parameters for your garden beds are they have to look perfect, due to your father's restrictions, is there a neighbor who wants a garden (older lady perhaps?) who wouldn't put those restrictions on you? Or better yet, who has one, that she can't deal with and would love to have you do the work, and make sure she gets some fresh stuff out of the deal?  
    Personally, I have only edged one garden bed in my life, and after one season, I removed the edging. I make a ridge of dirt along the edge, and that's it. I think not working within your father's parameters might help your stress level too, I know working within other people's rules stresses me out badly when their rules conflict with what I feel is correct.


    I have a neighbor who likes to garden living across the street. I might ask if it's okay for me to put the extra boxes in his yard if he wants to use some of the produce that comes from the garden.

    The good news is that I contacted my nearby garden center yesterday and they said they would have extra wooden palettes ready for me to use by next week. The bad news is that I will have to discard a good portion of my original boxes due to severe fungal rot on the inside walls. At least two of the beds already had half of the inside wall flaking off. I could save some of the more severely rotten wood for compost material, but it will be hard convincing my father to save the beds that are in better shape.

    I believe a previous commentor mentioned something about saving compost for garden soil. Over last fall, I collected about four to five cubit yards of shredded leaves from three different yards. I have little experience making leaf compost so I don't know how much compost the leaves will yield. I guessing a yield of one to two cubic yards. I'll ask on a separate thread.

    Ultimately, I'll need eight and a half cubic feet of soil in total to fill the new garden beds. This does not include the extra six cubic feet of soil I have left over from last year. The total amount of soil needed for my garden will be about forteen and a half cubic yards.

    Right now I'm trying to communicate with a gardener on Facebook to find out if a three sisters lasagna garden is an option with the space I have in case such a garden layout would save myself setup time and resources needed for planting.
     
    Ryan M Miller
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    I woke up to a rude surprise this morning. My father told me that I'm not allowed to garden at all this year. Now I'll have no way to take my mind off having to deal with the stress of having to study another degree in a field of study I don't enjoy. My father insists that I work in a hospital laboratory to pay off my $100,000 in student loans I accumulated studying for my previous degree. From my bad experience applying for jobs in the past, this means I'll likely have to work third shift or full time and not have any time left for adequate sleep or even to care for my garden. With the recent shortages of food due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the past produce recalls due to contamination from hepatitis and E. coli, thi means I won't have any safety net in case there is another shortage of produce.

    I want to pay off my student loan debts, but I don't want to make the next six years of my life miserable doing it. Part of the reason I needed a fundraiser is because my father refuses to support my gardening endeavors. There has to be a better way to pay off my student loan debts.
     
    James Freyr
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    Hi Ryan!

    There are a couple things in your most recent post that struck me, and I offer my words as gentle, heartfelt advice.

    Ryan M Miller wrote: My father told me that I'm not allowed to garden at all this year.



    My father insists that I work in a hospital laboratory...  



    I don't know how old you are, but it seems to me your father wants you to live his life. He has his own life, I hope you make choices and decisions for yourself and not to make someone else happy. I think if you choose to do what he insists, you may not be happy with your life. I hope you chart your own course in life and I wish you abundance and happiness!

     
    Michelle Heath
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    I'm so sorry Ryan.  I know the cost of living is likely considerably higher where you are, but is there any chance of moving out?  Is there a chance that your father will change his mind?  I don't know your father or do I have an complete understanding of your situation, but being miserable to please somebody else isn't healthy.  I've been in that situation and would never go back to living like that again.

    I'm still paying off student loan debt too but only a fraction of what you are paying.  I worked two jobs for years in addition to taking classes.  At one point I worked three jobs and actually had to stop and think where I was so I would identify the correct business when I answered the phone.  Of all of those jobs, the one I liked best was working at a nursery.  It seemed that the solitude of watering and weeding the display beds alleviated the stress of everyday life.  

    Would your neighbor allow you to do some gardening on her property?  That would at least allow you to grow some food and give you a bit of solitude as well.
     
    Ryan M Miller
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    James Freyr wrote:I don't know how old you are...



    As of December 23, 2019, I am currently 25. I haven't even been able to get a job or a driver's license yet so I'm trapped at home and I had to start studying a second degree to get experience for a job to pay off my first one. The worst part about the whole affair is the frequent threats from my father to put me on disability so that I can never support myself at all at any time in the future.
     
    Karl Treen
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    Hey Ryan,

    I hate to say it, but gardening isn't going to get you what you want this season. You simply can't go from nothing to self-sufficiency that fast. It takes many years and a lot more money than you can raise without working. And crowdfunding campaigns are rarely very profitable unless they have serious social media and marketing backing - meaning, you've got to pay to play. I ran a successful crowdfunding campaign (The Food Forest Card Game on Kickstarter) - which was very satisfying but, considering all the work it took, I would have made more money delivering pizza. Also, I made a product to sell. Until you make a product and spend a year publicizing it, you probably won't succeed in that game.

    On the bright side, life is long and full of opportunities. You made some choices that you regret, which stinks. But you are not alone. Many people are in similar situations right now. You just need to use your smarts and figure out ways to get beyond some of these obstacles that you mentioned. You've got challenges, no doubt, but you can find solutions.

    And, yes, you need to find ways to earn money. Even if you were to grow the most amazing garden in the world, it isn't going to support you, and it sounds like you can't rely on your parents much longer.

    After I graduated from college, I ended up working in a pottery factory for a year - squirting glaze into pots 8 hours a day. Then I became a salesman for 4 years until I got a handle on my finances. It sucked. It was only at the age of 30 that I finally settled into a job that didn't totally suck and that I could raise a family on. 20 years later, I am able to do more of what I like - which is gardening. Your path will be different, but it's going to be challenging - just like it is for everyone.

    If you love plants, gardening will help you feel better. Find a community garden, or you can take up landscaping if you don't want to work in a lab. There is good money in mowing lawns and cutting bushes if you do it right. To start, simply borrow a lawnmower and put up some flyers. If you're ambitious enough, you can easily earn $200-a-day mowing lawns. Then you can afford to shop at the farmer's market if you're living at home and earning that kind of money. You might also find someone who wants help with their garden.

    And maybe watch some Gary Vaynerchuk videos and follow his advice on finding what you really want to do with your life. I can't say it any better than he does.

    You're going to get through this. It's just a tough time - for everyone. Meditate on it. If you're religious, pray for guidance. The answers will come, but they won't be easy answers.

    Best wishes and stay well!
     
    Ryan M Miller
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    Karl Treen wrote:
    If you love plants, gardening will help you feel better. Find a community garden, or you can take up landscaping if you don't want to work in a lab. There is good money in mowing lawns and cutting bushes if you do it right. To start, simply borrow a lawnmower and put up some flyers. If you're ambitious enough, you can easily earn $200-a-day mowing lawns. Then you can afford to shop at the farmer's market if you're living at home and earning that kind of money. You might also find someone who wants help with their garden.
    Best wishes and stay well!



    Unfortunately, landscaping and community gardens are not an option for me with no car or reliable public transportation. Not only do I not have a car or a driver's license, most of the time there's an opportunity for me to practice driving, my father refuses to take me driving because I hadn't gotten adequate sleep the previous night. I'm wondering if my lack of a driver's license is keeping me drom getting a job anywhere. Not a single time that I've applied for a job have I ever been hired. I've tried applying for a landscape position many times, but I've never been hired because of my lack of transportation.
     
    John C Daley
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    Ryan, you may have stumbled on to something that can help you, get a drivers licence. That way you world may on for you.
    Good wishes to your efforts
     
    Karl Treen
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    OK, you want answers. Here's what I'd do.

    1. Tell dad that you'll take the job at the lab if he lets you have a reasonably sized garden and use every penny you earn to pay down your debt.
    2. Get your driver's license.
    3. Work for 3-4 years, until you are debt-free.
    4. Keep working on your gardening skills.
    5. Save more money, buy a bit of land, live the dream.

    By the time you're 30, you could be doing what you want, with your own landscaping business, living debt-free. 30 is really, really young. Seriously.

    But you've got to get out of this funk, and you've got to stop thinking someone else is going to fix this. It's all on you. It's hard, yes, but nobody is going to solve this for you. You can do it. Be well.
     
    Catie George
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    First - i'll say that I understand overbearing and controlling fathers. Mine has told me again today that I should continue working the same job I hate until I'm 65, and never quit. I'd probably jump off a bridge long before I'd reach 65 if I took his advice :) So i won't.

    When I was 21, I had recently graduated university, lived on my own, and was too cheap to buy car, too young to rent one. I moved into an apartment 8 km from my work, and public transit took 45 min, sometimes 1.5 hrs each direction.

    But I had a bike. A decent bike, with a good rack on the back, a set of very cheap panniers, and some bungie cords meant I could live independently without worrying. I biked 16 km a day in total, to and from work. I biked to the grocery store, I biked to go garage saleing, I picked up small furniture on the side of the road with that thing. A bike is an amazing thing, it's independence on wheels.  

    I only had a tiny top of stairs landing to grow food that first summer, so I bought two over the railing boxes, a large square planter, and bags of compost, and drove them home on the back of the bike. The garden centre was about 1.5 km away, and I had to walk the bike home, because I couldn't balance it. That year I grew herbs peppers and flowers in the railing boxes, and tomatos in the planter. I top dressed and fed with vermicompost, and had plenty of tomatos and herbs, it was a bit shady so not too many peppers. It looked pretty,  because of the flowers. The summer before that, I lived with my sister, and wasn't allowed to garden. I grew tomatos and herbs in large pots in her backyard, and culinary herbs with one or two flours in planters in her front yard. I got tons of compliments, and my sister never guessed that I was snacking off the front planters too!

    The following year, I had a community garden. It was about 6 km away, and by that time I owned a car, but occasionally on weekends I would bike over. I'd strap my gardening tools and a container to bring home produce to the back of the bike, and off I'd go. A bike is a magical thing.

    Put up flyers in your neighbourhood- anyone interested in letting me garden in exchange for produce? Within biking distance, I'm certain someone (or maybe several someones) would be willing.

    Good luck !
     
    Michael Cox
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    You have had lots of great practical suggestions here, but throughout this thread your responses have all had the same theme; an explanation why that won’t work for you. Lack of car, lack of funds, a need to get a job to pay debts, pressure from your father, etc...

    The impression I get is that you don’t actually want this. At least not enough to actually make sacrifices to make it happen.

    Let me describe to you a colleague of mine; she and I work stupidly long hours teaching in a boarding school 7 days per week, she has no car, she has no land of her own (a tiny paved yard 5ft wide by 9ft long), she is near retirement age. Despite this she gardens two allotment plots, each over a mile from her house. She walks down there three or four times per week and harvests most of her food through the summer months. The difference I see between her situation and yours is that she routinely makes the choice to go to her garden for an hour or so after a long day at work, or on her weekend, or early morning before work. It is what she does by choice to relax, but also means she doesn’t spend her free time on eg social media, tv, etc... she makes that choice. And she has comparable obstructions to what you described.

    Literally anyone can find time to have a small garden, and being time poor is not a reasonable explanation for not doing it.

    Let’s run through some simple examples:

    Dig one small garden bed ready to plant - 1 hour
    Direct seed runner beans - 5 minutes
    Collect junk poles and use string to build a frame - 1 hour
    Water occasionally during dry spells - 5 minutes per week.
    Pick beans daily through the summer - 5 mins per day

    I would suggest that you have already spent as much time reading and responding to this thread as it would take to get the above done.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    I had a friend that I used to work with. She told me some stories about her husband and his family. His family sheltered him, and then encouraged him to go to college and wrack up tons of debt. They never showed him how to apply for scholarships, or how to budget. He never had a job. They didn't let him get a drivers license. And, all through this, they told him it was his fault, that he would just need to keep staying home.

    My friend wouldn't stand for that. She liked this guy. She helped him get his drivers license. Showed him how to apply for aid. All through this, his parents tried to get her to go away. She didn't. She married him. Together they paid of 10s of thousands of dollars of student loans.

    Narcissistic parents want need their kids to need them. They need to have their children continue to be their puppets, and to do that, they make the kids feel like everything wrong is their fault and they just have to stay with their parents forever. A narcissist doesn't even always know they're doing this, they might even not like what they're doing...but they do it anyway.

    It's hard to know when this is happening in a situation, because a narcissist will always work hard to make their puppets look like the bad/incompetent guy. The narcissist needs physiologically to look like the nice/smart/good guy. So, an outsider looking in will thing the narcissist is just being reasonable...because they manipulate their puppet in private, damaging them psychologically so that they believe they cannot do anything.

    I found the https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/ reddit really eyeopening because my husband and I have known quite a few narcissists.

    The biggest thing is to know that there ARE options. You CAN do things. You are NOT stuck. No matter what has brought you to where you're at, you are not stuck there. Skills can be gained. Debt can be paid off. You can do this.
     
    Trace Oswald
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    Arnold Swarzenegger talking about all of us having the same 24 hours in a day.  He came to this country not speaking English, age 21, no money, no license, no place to live.  He became wildly, vastly successful in every field he decided to pursue.  He did it by deciding what he wanted, and doing it, with no excuses.  Sleep faster.

     
    Ryan M Miller
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    I'm sorry to keep everybody in the dark about what has happened so far this week. Later on Thursday evening, after I had already posted on this thread, I found out that my father was actually planning on buying cedar raised bed frames for the garden to replace the severely rotten garden beds. By this time in the evening, he had already calmed down from what had happened earlier in the day so he could explain more clearly what he was planning to do with the yard. It is often difficult to communicate with my father since he has a tendency to exaggerate when he is anxious and he has trouble communicating with other people on a regular basis. I have inherited a lot of my father's social awkwardness so it is often hard for me to communicate rationally when I am anxious. In the meantime, I still have no idea how many cedar raised bed frames he intends to buy this year for the garden. I'll find out later in the week.
     
    Ryan M Miller
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    I spoke with my next-door neighbor who gardens about materials to use for trellises and he suggested I use 4-gauge wire remesh if I cannot find cattle panels at any tractor supply store in the Dayton, Ohio area. He showed me a sample of remesh cage he had saved from previous years when growing tomatoes and the wire was still sturdy and pliable. There was a slight coating of rust on the remesh wire, but it was not enough to ruin the structural integrity of the wire. I checked the stock of the local hardware stores in the Dayton area and they all carry wire remesh, but it is not the right gauge wire (nothing under 10-gauge). I'll keep looking. I found a supplier of cattle panels online, but I need to check to make sure it's a reputable supplier.
     
    Ken W Wilson
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    If you can’t make enough raised beds, planting in the ground still works.

    For vines you can just cultivate a little 1’ circle.  As the vines spread out, mulch around them. You can even use cardboard.  Some vines like pole beans or cucumbers can grow up a fence.
     
    Morgwino Stur
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    I feel like while people here are well meaning, they sometimes forget what it's like to live almost completely under someone else's power. It's easy to say 'you aren't doing this right' 'you aren't trying hard enough' when they can't see that you are trying your very best and still feeling like you're getting nowhere.

    Successful people that got that way by working hard have one thing in common: they didn't have someone who was able to sabotage every effort they made. In this situation, Ryan could put in the effort or the money, do whatever he could to get the garden put in. Success, right? Wrong. his father could decide on a lark he doesn't want it and tear it all up, absolutely destroy everything, and Ryan would have no recourse. We liek to think parents wouldn't do that, that they'd behave fairly and rationally, but people by definition are not fair and rational. and maybe his father has been destroying things of his like this, as far back as Ryan can remember. His posts certainly sound like that is a possibility. it's easier to blame the victim than the victimizer sometimes, especially when no action can be taken against the victimizer.

    Maybe that's a little dramatic and heated, but most posts here are based on 'You're an adult' and while that is true, I assure you all that Ryan's parent doesn't see it that way. Nicole, I feel like you hit the nail on the head. Even if a parent isn't a 'textbook narcissist' they can surely display several narcissistic behaviors which can really affect their child for years to come.

    Ryan, this situation smacks of communication errors, which you can only do so much to solve/prevent. your father has to meet you halfway on that, but meanwhile I would try and prioritize what to grow, either by looking at the quantity you eat or the cost. In my case, my garden is going to have a large spinach area, because the only spinach my store sells is the expensive organic/ non-gmo kind (which is worth it, but still ouch) and a large broccoli area because I eat it alot. Carrots are less prioritized because the store sells them cheaply, and I'm not even trying to grow potatoes because the store ones are so cheap.

    I'm in a pretty similar situation to yours and I'm not too far away (Cinci area). If you need someone to talk to, feel free to send me a PM
     
    Whatever you say buddy! And I believe this tiny ad too:
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