global small kitchen garden
Originally uploaded by darceyb
I’m not likely ever to grow prickly pear fruits in my small kitchen garden. What produce have you imagined growing… knowing it will never be?
The most notable challenge in writing about your small kitchen garden is that I don’t live where you live. My growing season isn’t the same as yours. The pests that might damage my vegetables and fruits aren’t the same as the ones you need to deal with. My soil conditions are different from yours… Even the vegetables and fruits available for me to grow differ from the ones you can grow.
The personal ramification of our differences is that I’m a little jealous: I want to be able to pick grapefruit in my yard. I’d love to grow avocados and mangos. I’d be thrilled to start the two+ years wait for pineapples to mature in my yard. It’d be really cool to have prickly pear cactus fruits growing on the property line… and I can’t even name the root crops that seem altogether exotic when I see them in the produce section of the supermarket, but I wish I could grow some in my yard.
Global Participation, Please!
I know the Your Small Kitchen Garden blog will never be all things for all home kitchen gardens, but I love to learn. Among the things I think would be most entertaining to learn would be what types of fruits and vegetables are growing in the rest of the world, and what challenges gardeners must deal with to grow those things.
So, please chime in! I’ve just added a page specifically to explore the global small kitchen garden. From time-to-time, I’ll add articles, links, photos, and videos about gardening in environments beyond my United States zone 5 experiences. What’s growing in central Africa or in the Amazon rain forests? What’s your garden like in Hawaii or Indonesia or mainland China? How do you even grow food in places like Siberia and Northern Canada?
I’ll learn what I can through research, but it’d be much more fun to hear from folks whose small kitchen gardens are in these places. If you’d like to write an entry for the Global SKG page, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a topic to share but you’d rather not write it yourself, let’s collaborate: you tell me what you want to contribute, and I’ll write it up. Of course, you can always contribute to the Global page by submitting a comment there.
Localized Small Kitchen Garden Guides
While trying to broaden my knowledge about growing food everywhere but in zones 6 and 5, I came across a source that looks really promising. I found a series of books with the common title of Guide to STATENAME Vegetable Gardening where STATENAME may be the name of the state in which you live. Here is the generic description for any book in the series:
The books in the vegetable gardening series are easy-to-use guides that tell readers when, where, and how to plant. Each book includes suggestions for varieties of popular vegetables and herbs that grow in a particular state. Also included are helpful charts with information on the number of days required from planting to harvest.
This sounds like a great series. Unfortunately, the best supplier I could identify offers only 19 books in the series (hence, 19 states). These range from the gulf coast up to Minnesota. I’ll keep an eye on things and let you know when (or if) books covering more states become available.
In the meantime, the same supplier offers a number of regionally-focused books about vegetable gardening that could fill in the gaps in the state-specific books. Among the titles:
- Subtropical Vegetable-Gardening
- Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening
- Commonsense Vegetable Gardening for the South
- Vegetable Gardening in Florida
Click any of the titles to visit the site and pick up a useful gardening guide. You’ll find far more titles than I’ve listed, but beware that many of the books in the catalog are out of stock or out of print. One more note: the link is to books specifically about vegetable gardening. A search on the term kitchen garden turns up a different set of books—most generally about kitchen gardens and kitchen garden design. Only a few have a regional focus:
Admittedly, I’ve signed up as an affiliate with this book store (my wife tells me I need to start contributing to our finances); I make a bit each time someone clicks through and buys something. So, please click through and buy something. A regionally-focused gardening guide will eliminate a lot of doubt about what and when to plant in your neighborhood.