Breaking New Ground in 2016

Breaking New Ground on Small Scale Gardening in 2016
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Breaking New Ground on Small Scale Gardening in 2016

Breaking New Ground in 2016

As I sit at my dinner table, look at the Small Scale Gardening blog on my computer screen and reflect on 2015, I have to shake my head.  It was one of the craziest years I have ever experienced.  What started out as a quiet year became a frenzied national search for our missing son, which eventually ended successfully with us finding him.  Life in our house changed with a simple and single text message, and we had to react quickly to get boots on the ground and find him.

It was all consuming.  It was our life.  It was life changing.

With support of friends, family and complete strangers, we succeeded in finding him, but we were forever changed. Mentally, physically and spiritually, our family was forever changed.  Personally, I ended up making some big changes and breaking new ground including:

  • Leaving my position and taking a new job
  • Starting a new blog at Small Scale Life (you should check it out)
  • Starting a new podcast called Small Scale Life (you should check that out too)

These were profound shifts and change.  What happened to Small Scale Gardening in 2015?  Where are we going in 2016?

Gardening in 2015

Garden Update - Overview of the Garden

Overview of the Garden on 8/22/15

My gardening efforts started with a massive failure in 2015.  Remember my awesome indoor garden in December 2014?  Remember the March of the Aphids in January 2015?  Yep, I still have those scars from that complete disaster.  The aphids were almost a bad omen for these other disasters that happened:

  • Pepper seedlings were accidentally baked in my oven and destroyed (didn’t advertise that one too much)
  • New pepper plants did not want to grow
  • Seedlings were planted late due to the Bring Danny Home Campaign
  • Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System and potatoes were planted in late July due to the Bring Danny Home Campaign

Regardless of these minor setbacks, I did get the following things done in 2015:

  • Re-orientated and rebuilt the 2’x8′ raised bed (planted with cucumbers, peas and pole beans)
  • Built a new trellis for the 2’x8′ raised bed
  • Built a new removable fence from chicken wire and 1/2″ PVC pipe for the 2’x8′ raised bed
  • Built a new 3’x8′ raised bed (breaking new ground and planted with potatoes)
  • Built a bigger and better compost bin from a re-purposed pallet and some spare materials
  • Reconstructed the frame under the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System
  • Started seedlings for almost all the vegetables in my garden (the two basil plants in the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System were from my mom)
  • Created a “guerrilla garden” for spare onions and tomatoes (successful experiment)
  • Successfully grew potatoes for the second year
  • Successfully grew onions and kohlrabi for the first time
  • Canned pickles and salsa this year

I did lose some produce due to late planting and frost, and I did not make any wine this year.  Overall, it was a good season considering the challenges and changes that happened this year.

Small Scale Gardening Blog in 2015

Homemade Wine Computer

Two Items that Slowed in 2015: Homemade Wine and the Small Scale Gardening Blog

The Small Scale Gardening Blog started on the right foot in 2015.  As you can see in this WordPress activity report, I was pushing to create at least a blog post a week.  Sometimes I met that goal, and sometimes I was doing other things like my son’s basketball seasons, a fun trip to the Black Hills and Colorado in March/April, and then the Bring Danny Home Campaign in late May through September.

I began to make some videos, and my goal was to create how to videos of garden update videos each week for the Small Scale Gardening YouTube Channel.  I thought that would be a great way to tell the story visually.  I used an iPad and the GoPro Hero4 Silver I received for Father’s Day to film these videos.  Did I tell you how much I love that GoPro?  Seriously….love it.  I think I drive Julie and the boys nuts with it.

In the end, I posted up 11 garden update videos and 3 how to videos in 2015.  I do have more footage that needs to be edited and posted from 2015, and I will go ahead and finish those posts to close off the season.  After all, the season did not end in September!

Breaking New Ground in 2016

New 3'x8' Raised Bed for Potatoes

Breaking New Ground: the New 3’x8′ Raised Bed is Ready to Go!

With the launch of Small Scale Life, I suddenly was a bit overwhelmed by having two blogs to manage.  I decided to put a hold on Small Scale Gardening as I was getting systems in place for Small Scale Life.  Now that the blog and podcast are up and running and life has settled into a groove post-holidays, I will be focusing on Small Scale Gardening.  There is a lot to do!

If you notice, the motto for Small Scale Gardening has been changed to “Learn. Do. Grow.”  This is a philosophy that carries through from Small Scale Life and into the Small Scale Gardening Core Principles.

  • LEARN – This blog is all about learning new skills for gardening, permaculture, canning/food preservation and homemade winemaking.
  • DO – These activities are very important to me, and I will keep doing fun projects that develop my skills in those areas.
  • GROW – This has two meanings.  Clearly I will be growing plants and vegetables in my own raised beds.  Additionally, as I gain experience with these skills by doing projects, I will continue to grow mentally, physically and spiritually.  The blog will continue to grow as I passionately present information to the audience.

Small Scale Gardening is a large part of my quest for a Small Scale Life.  We will discuss Small Scale Gardening on the Small Scale Life Podcast, and I will continue to develop videos and blog posts that show what I am learning, doing, growing, getting stuff done and having fun along the way.

Thank You

Christmas Luminaries in St. Louis Park, MN

Christmas Eve Luminaries in St. Louis Park, MN – 12/24/2015

Thank you for your patience over the past few months.  Thank you for checking the blog and staying active with the other social media sites including:

We are breaking new ground in 2016 and pushing forward with Small Scale Gardening.  Get ready!

Learn. Do. Grow.

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