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Our Lady's Loom, Larder, and Laundry
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CrunchyMom
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Posted: Nov 08 2011 at 6:22pm | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

Let's discuss kitchen garden planning resources

JennGM wrote:
CrunchyMom wrote:
Mackfam wrote:
I'm immersed in kitchen garden/potager books right now - many with just lovely plans in them! I can't wait to get over to that site you recommend!    And, I'd love to hear more about your cedar boxes!



What are some of your favorite books you've been browsing with kitchen garden/potager plans?


Let's start a new thread...I'm interested, too.

You should see the stack I have from the library!


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Posted: Nov 08 2011 at 6:28pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

You gals are fast! I've been meaning to start a new gardening thread! I have so many delicious kitchen potager books to link for you! And some pretty blogs that are terribly inspiring!

Back in a bit!

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CrunchyMom
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Posted: Nov 08 2011 at 6:29pm | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

My Tiny Plot

Family Kitchen Garden

Pretty

Raised Bed Gardens

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Posted: Nov 08 2011 at 6:34pm | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

How to Build a Kitchen Garden from Scratch

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Angel
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Posted: Nov 08 2011 at 7:08pm | IP Logged Quote Angel

Ooh! We're building a potager!! I'd love to talk potagers and raised bed gardening!

Here's the book that inspired us: Designing the New Kitchen Garden

Lovely pictures in this book. Our garden is a maze design... or at least that's what we're aiming for. Right now we have almost all the outside beds built: 4 L-shaped beds at each corner with 1 rectangular bed in between on each side. Inside those beds will be 4 more smaller L beds arranged in a square. Our goal is to make brick or stone paths at some point. We got a surprising amount of produce out of a very small space this year... or at least until the squash bugs killed most of it in the heat of the summer.

Right now we have a fall garden with a lot of bok choy, chard, and lettuce, some carrots, and peas which probably won't bear.

Surrounding our beds we have a hedge of blueberry bushes, a long asparagus bed (which needs edged), and another hedge of blackberry bushes that we're going to try to grow on wires.

Our plans to mix in flowers and ornamental beans didn't quite materialize this year, but... maybe next year. My dh is going to be planting apple trees shortly... he ordered 10.    

I'll try to get outside and take some pictures in the next couple of days! Looking forward to reading about y'all's gardens, plans - etc.!




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Posted: Nov 08 2011 at 8:46pm | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

I just the word POTAGER.

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Posted: Nov 08 2011 at 9:42pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

I'll list inspirational and informational resources by author:

Jennifer Bartley
Angel wrote:
Here's the book that inspired us: Designing the New Kitchen Garden

This is a wonderful book, and is actually my favorite book on kitchen gardens! If you only get one book, this is the one I recommend! I especially like it for its focus on American kitchen gardens and design, but of course, if you're not in America, feel free to disregard this reason!    The book contains a beautiful history of kitchen gardens to include a special emphasis on monastery gardens and designs. There is so much to this beautiful book - lots of lovely images to inspire, but the back of the book on Potager designs is particulary inspiring if you're in the planning phase...or even if you're not!

The author has just published a new book which I'm waiting to arrive! The Kitchen Gardener's Handbook promises to inspire gardeners which seek to incorporate ornamentals/flowers within the productive side of their kitchen gardens. I definitely fall into this group! I'm looking forward to my copy!

Jennifer Bartley has a several lovely spots around the web:

American Potager
The Kitchen Garden column at Planters Place
American Potager: Seasonal Living from the Garden - her blog

* * * * *
Ellen Ecker Ogden

The Complete Kitchen Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden - this is a fantastic book of garden designs that really focuses on the different seasonal purposes a kitchen potager would have. I enjoy the seasonal focus and the many designs. Lots of illustrations and pictures and a great deal of recipes to try.

From the Cook's Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden

Ellen Ecker Ogden also has some web resources:

Ellen Ecker Ogden: Fresh Ideas for the Kitchen Gardener
Ellen's blog
The Cook's Garden - Ellen is co-founder of this organization

* * * * *
Georgeanne Brennan

Potager: Fresh Garden Cooking In the French Style by Georgeanne Brennan - recipes are arranged seasonally and there are a lot of pretty photographs. My favorite part of the whole book are the last few pages in the final chapter entitled: A Simple Potager Plan for a Small Space. It's a succinct *what-to-do* in rotating a seasonal kitchen potager.

In the French Garden: The Joys of Cultivating a Potager by Georgeanne Brennan - This little book is really an extension of that last chapter in her other book, Potager: Fresh Garden Cooking in the French Style. Brennan is really inspired by the time she spent in France, and this book is very influenced in that regard. I like the way it is set up: seasonally. And there are some good ideas for the how-to of approaching the different seasonal chores and delights of a kitchen potager, as well as some design ideas, but I didn't care for the illustrations in this book as opposed to the lovely and inspiring photographs in some of the other books.

Georgeanne Brennan's website

* * * * *
Anna Pavord

The New Kitchen Garden: A Complete Practical Guide to Designing, Planting, and Cultivating a Decorative and Productive Garden by Anna Pavord - If you're familiar at all with Dorling Kindersley (DK) books then you'll have a sense of the format and the layout of this book. DK books are illustrated beautifully with a mix of hand-drawn (highly accurate) illustrations and photographs. I find the book a great source of information especially because Pavord really spends great effort to incorporate strategies for berries, flowers, flowering trees, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs, root vegetables :: ALL OF IT! There is a nice section on gardening styles at the beginning. The middle/meat of the book spends time looking at individual page spreads of information on growing many, many different vegetables, herbs and fruit. And the end section of the book has planning and cultivation techniques. It's a very informative book - more information here than inspiration. (I have the 1996 version of this book)

Just as an aside, Anna Pavord has written a number of other gardening books that seem delightful.

* * * * *
Random and Lovely Kitchen Potager Blogs
The Kitchen Potager
Potager

Independent Articles
A Kitchen Garden - article at Country Living by Sharon Lovejoy
A Potager at Your Door - article at Hobby Farms by Amy Grisak

* * * * *
So, that's what is in my kitchen potager inspiration basket these days! We're working on 3x6 cedar boxes for our potager. I have visions of a pergola in the center with grape vines climbing the pergola structure. We hope to have raspberry, blueberry and blackberry bushes growing on the perimeter of the garden...and one day fruit trees. Right now, I have a small potager herb garden in my front gardens, and I'd love to expand it.

In addition to my potager books and inspiration, I love the foundational ideas in Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza and Dick Raymond's Joy of Gardening and also his New Kitchen Garden.

Just Inspiring...and Happy
Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden by Eleanor Perenyi - Delightful! 72 essays on different gardening topics. It's full of the author's opinions and delights on everything from artichokes to mulches. I quite like the little essays, but I haven't yet finished the book. I have skimmed the last chapter entitled Woman's Place - interesting points, lots of agenda here, not sure if I'll read it more closely and let it spoil the rest of the book or not. Fair warning though! My sister told me about the book and after I found it I noticed that there is a whole Modern Library Gardening series that looks intriguing! Anyone read any others in this series?

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Posted: Nov 08 2011 at 9:45pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

stefoodie wrote:
I just the word POTAGER.

   Me too!   

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 7:52am | IP Logged Quote SallyT

Oh, I have that second Georgeanne Brennan book! (and I love the word potager, too). And that Eleanor Perenyi book, too, though I haven't read that much of it. All my garden books are inherited from my late dad, who was a marvelous gardener.

My challenge is that I have very, very little sunny space for vegetables. My vegetable garden is a strip along our driveway on the south side of the house, the only place that gets anything like six hours of sun a day. I haven't measured it, but it's maybe 20'x about 6'? Maybe. So I'm constantly trying to configure it in a way I like . . . and putting in a patch of asparagus was probably a mistake, but I couldn't resist.

I love the model of the colonial kitchen garden -- our local museum has a wonderful outdoor "back country farm" exhibit with a garden that just makes me drool. It's surrounded by a kind of twig-paling fence and has a mix of herbs and vegetables, including an impressive stand of Jerusalem artichoke, which I'd love to have someplace for aesthetic reasons if nothing else.

So I'm reading all this with interest and maybe a little sunny-space envy, even as I'm also constantly searching for designs for shady woodland gardens . . . but that's another thread!

Sally

eta: I have put edibles in in random places -- I have some sweet potatoes in the bed at the back of my backyard, where we do get some sun (not enough for most vegetables, though -- I've tried, and though I now have roses, lilies, blue sage, morning glories, bee balm, etc, veggies have never flourished there). I also have some baby blueberry bushes in that area and plan to put in more. I'd love to have a gorgeously laid out potager, but our property is more a "grab your spot of sun where you can" kind of deal).

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 7:56am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

SallyT wrote:
Oh, I have that second Georgeanne Brennan book! (and I love the word potager, too). And that Eleanor Perenyi book, too, though I haven't read that much of it. All my garden books are inherited from my late dad, who was a marvelous gardener.


I really liked her Children's Kitchen Garden, and had no idea she did more. Off to do another author binge!

Sally, I have loads of tangents. My biggest one is how to fight the battle of the squirrels if I want to do berries or fruit trees.

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 7:57am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

Mackfam wrote:
stefoodie wrote:
I just the word POTAGER.

   Me too!   


Me three! I just had to use it as the subject instead of kitchen garden. At this point, I think my dh would think I was nutty and pretentious if I started using it in place of "the garden", but this is where I come to be amongst kindred spirits in matters such as these         

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 8:02am | IP Logged Quote SallyT

Jenn --

Squirrels -- no kidding. We tried corn last year, and they utterly destroyed it. I felt like Pa Ingalls with the blackbirds. They tore up our sunflowers, too, so that I didn't even bother planting them this year.

On the other hand, they don't seem to like figs much. I have one fig tree, and the vacant house next door has a fig tree which leans over our wall, so I help myself to what's on my side. The birds will get them if I don't pick them fast enough, but this year I managed to get a decent little haul.

But that is a tangent, you're right. Maybe we can start a "Squirl's Good Eatin'" thread. That's about how I feel about them.

Sally

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 8:09am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

JennGM wrote:
SallyT wrote:
Oh, I have that second Georgeanne Brennan book! (and I love the word potager, too). And that Eleanor Perenyi book, too, though I haven't read that much of it. All my garden books are inherited from my late dad, who was a marvelous gardener.


I really liked her Children's Kitchen Garden, and had no idea she did more. Off to do another author binge!

She has a lot more!. She wrote The Children's Garden with her daughter, Ethel. By the way, I also have Georgeanne's book The Glass Pantry - LOVELY!!!

JennGM wrote:
Sally, I have loads of tangents. My biggest one is how to fight the battle of the squirrels if I want to do berries or fruit trees.

We don't have as much trouble here as our squirrels mostly stay in the wooded treeline behind our property, but my folks do! They have a live trap (you can pick these up at Tractor Supply) and do a trap and release of the squirrels. It isn't too hard to do and really cuts down on squirrel population for a time. We have to do it every couple of years. The squirrels are taken a few miles away into a wooded area and released.

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 8:11am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

CrunchyMom wrote:
At this point, I think my dh would think I was nutty and pretentious if I started using it in place of "the garden"

I use it anyway.

POTAGER
POTAGER
POTAGER

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 8:14am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

An article on Georgeanne and Ethel Brennan.

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 8:23am | IP Logged Quote Angel

Mackfam wrote:
CrunchyMom wrote:
At this point, I think my dh would think I was nutty and pretentious if I started using it in place of "the garden"

I use it anyway.

POTAGER
POTAGER
POTAGER


We use it all the time.

I think it was just an excuse for my dh and the boys to draw stuff on graph paper, though. If it was just "a garden", we'd have probably just gone out and stuck stuff in the ground.

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 8:23am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

SallyT wrote:

My challenge is that I have very, very little sunny space for vegetables.


This is a challenge for us as well. I just planted garlic, yesterday, in a bed on the north side of our screened in porch because it was there and we hated the cover plants in it anyway. I hope it grows.

We are planning our garden, but we have SO MANY DEER!!! So, our challenge in addition to clearing an area (which will be further out from the house since our entire yard is on the north side of the house) to get enough light in our yard is that it needs to have a tall perimeter fence.

We like this design:



But when you start adding the cost of a fence, it gets pricey quick. So, we're trying to figure out a plan that will allow us to start small but expand over the years.

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 9:20am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Anyone have cold frames? I'm looking for ways to add lettuce through the year. I'm in a suburban HOA neighborhood, so I have to be minimalist and unobtrusive.

Also thinking of composting, again, minimally.

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 9:41am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

I've enjoyed glossing over The Family Kitchen Garden. There is a neat section by months (best to plant/grow), an A-Z of plants section, and ofcourse a basics. The pictures are just wonderful and some great recipes. Now, if I could just grow something...anything!!

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Posted: Nov 09 2011 at 9:43am | IP Logged Quote SallyT

Lindsay --

Every fall we spend some time on this beautiful mountain farm/woodworking school -- I realize that you can't see the garden well in any of these pics, but the woman who lives there has the most beautiful, flourishing kitchen garden I've ever seen in my life. While her husband does woodworking workshops, she teaches cooking workshops and feeds everyone from this garden.

These pictures, from several years ago, don't show a fence, but this year when we were up there there was definitely a fence, and I'm sure it was to keep out deer. They're up in a mountain holler near the TN-NC border -- it's the middle of nowhere, and they live on a hundred acres, so they have deer! It wasn't a fancy fence, just heavy wire mesh about seven feet high. The garden's so lush, even in November, that I hardly noticed the fence. Anyway, it seems to work.

I'd love to see this garden in the summer. We go in late fall, when the couple are taking a group of woodworking students overseas (this year they were at a workshop in Italy) and my brother and sister-in-law, who are both artists, are house-sitting for them. It sure is a primer for how beautiful a late-fall garden can be, though!

(more pics here. These people built their house themselves, all by hand -- every door latch is hand-carved, even. Can you see why my kids think it's the most magical place on earth? But back to potagers!)

Sally



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