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Luke's attempt at 100,000 calories

 
pollinator
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This post is an ongoing project to fulfil the Grow and Harvest 100,000 Calories BB.

In 2022 I built my current vegetable garden with my partner. It was a bit of a race to get the garden finished and the crops in - we probably missed the ideal time to get early potatoes in the ground, for example!

Our vegetable beds are mounds of organic compost. We applied a little dolomite lime to raise the pH and I have applied an organic blood-fish-bone powder once, to give an initial feed (as the compost was quite woody still - it comes from the local council).

Between the beds we have mulched using cardboard and applied a thick, woodchip top-dressing to suppress weeds and retain moisture. The weeds still come through but we are spot-weeding and it is easy to keep on top of them. We will apply more wood chips in the winter (and probably add some mushroom spawn).

The first few paths were also turfed and those were laid, face-down, beneath the compost for a simple hugel-style bed. This proved to be a lot of work however and we soon abandoned that idea.
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The site before we began work
The site before we began work
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Grass turfed and mulched, mounds
Grass turfed and mulched, mounds
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Making progress!
Making progress!
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Paths in place
Paths in place
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A few months later...
A few months later...
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Growing well
Growing well
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The garden sits in our field
The garden sits in our field
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Some produce is also grown at home
Some produce is also grown at home
 
Luke Mitchell
pollinator
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On Sunday I harvested the last of the potatoes with my partner. We pulled 35 kg. We'd previously been pulling a plant or two at a time and had stored, eaten and sold a further 13 kg. The photos for these are now attached.

Potatoes harvested: 48 kg (36960 kcal)
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Red "allouette" potatoes
Red
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White potatoes
White potatoes
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Pulling the last of the potatoes
Pulling the last of the potatoes
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The last haul!
The last haul!
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Weighing was... fun
Weighing was... fun
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10kg
10kg
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25kg
25kg
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gardener & hugelmaster
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Location: Gulf of Mexico cajun zone 8
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That's an excellent looking garden Luke. Please read this post before it's too late to get the pix.
 
rocket scientist
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi Luke;
What a great job you guys have done!
Your garden looks great!

I have a question, is there no deer where you live?
No bunnies or other garden munching critters around?
Around here, a garden open to the fields  would not last a night.

 
Luke Mitchell
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I grew garden peas, for shelling (not "mange tout"). The variety is "Serpette Guillauteaux", meaning "pruning knife" in French as the pods curl at the end like a traditional French folding knife.

I've been weighing them in their pods as this is how I've been selling them. After weighing a few empty pods I've concluded that the peas make up 40-60% of the weight. I'll be using an average of 50% for this calculation.

When I find pods that have dried too far, or that have sat around and started to dry out, I'm removing the peas and drying them in a basket for storage. I'll use these later in the year.

I have harvested 8.2 kg of peas, weighed in pods, so far this year. There are a few plants still producing so I've left those to fatten up their peas.

Peas harvested: 8 kg in pods (4 kg shelled) (3520 kcal)

Total: 36960 + 3520 = 40480 kcal
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Peas in the garden
Peas in the garden
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Saving the dried peas
Saving the dried peas
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Luke Mitchell
pollinator
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thomas rubino wrote:Hi Luke;
What a great job you guys have done!
Your garden looks great!

I have a question, is there no deer where you live?
No bunnies or other garden munching critters around?
Around here, a garden open to the fields  would not last a night.



Thank you! And no, we don't have any deer or rabbits here. There are lots of foxes which, I believe, take care of the bunnies. There are badgers that dig the occasional small hole (mostly annoying because it disturbs the compost and moves it into the path) and the birds flick stuff around a bit. I think we are very lucky, all in all.
 
Luke Mitchell
pollinator
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I grew three different varieties of courgette/zucchini this year. In hindsight, I grew too many! Unfortunately I've not had much luck selling them. Still, they are delicious, if not very calorific!

I'll definitely be adding to this weight for courgettes as they are still going for it.

Courgettes harvested: 5.7 kg (969 kcal)

Total: 36960 + 3520 + 969 = 41449 kcal
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Growing in the garden
Growing in the garden
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They are quite pretty
They are quite pretty
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master gardener
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Luke Mitchell wrote:I grew three different varieties of courgette/zucchini this year. In hindsight, I grew too many! Unfortunately I've not had much luck selling them. Still, they are delicious, if not very calorific!



We had the same problem last year in our shop: a few customers bring in their surplus vegetables for resale and one had some lovely yellow courgettes. They were the last to sell. People are just too used to homogenous dark green ones and are a bit afraid of any that are different. Yours look gorgeous! You could look at this thread it's zucchini time!, maybe include some recipe cards for people.
 
gardener
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My mother makes a delicious zucchini crumble. Just like the apples but add a little sweetener.

Personally I like them as noodle substitutes. Better than pasta in "pasta" dishes.  Lasagna in particular doesn't take as much fiddly cutting and there's a surprising variety of recipes covering most diets.

Edit : Didn't type the last half of a sentence.
 
Luke Mitchell
pollinator
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More courgettes... They just keep coming!

Courgettes harvested: 5.6 kg (962 kcal)

Total: 36960 + 3520 + 969 + 962 = 42411 kcal
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Luke Mitchell
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And I picked the last of the peas too!

Peas harvested: 1.453 kg (0.725 kg shelled) (638 kcal)

Total: 36960 + 3520 + 969 + 962 + 638 = 43049 kcal
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Luke Mitchell
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And our squash are started to swell already! It seems about a month early but it has been quite a dry, warm summer. There are hose pipe bans coming from next week which is very unusual for this area (apparently the first time in 30 years). Thankfully the high organic matter in our beds means we don't have to irrigate.
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Luke Mitchell
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I cut the first of the squash on Saturday. They were getting too big to easily move and store (and to eat quickly, before they start to go bad once cut!)

This variety is 'Boston Winter' from The Real Seed Co. They may have crossed a little with the Hokkaido but, as they were in well ahead of the Hokkaido, I think they may well be true to their variety.

I'm very impressed with how these plants have fared. They are clearly loving the available fertility and the hot, dry weather we are having.

Squash harvested: 28 kg (9520 kcal)

Total: 36960 + 3520 + 969 + 962 + 638 + 9520 = 52569 kcal (over half way now!)
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Luke Mitchell
pollinator
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...and the courgettes keep coming. They aren't making much of a contribution to the overall calorie count but I may as well include them, as I'm tracking the harvest anyway.

Courgettes harvested: 1.3 kg (221 kcal)

Total: 36960 + 3520 + 969 + 962 + 638 + 9520 + 221 = 52790 kcal
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