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Gardening. Anyone here raise food?

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My father always had a small garden when I was kid.  It was for fresh eating only as we never canned.  After marriage I was too busy working and kids to have a garden.

Living in southern Indiana there was always nearby farm stands to purchase produce cheaply so I never felt compelled to start one.


While I still bought produce from the farm stands, I noticed tomatoes were changing.  They were becoming those bland tasteless orbs like those in the grocery store.  I found out, at least in my area, that many farmers were now selling at large farm markets or wholesaling.  Those old time tomatoes do not travel well so farmers started raising more of the commercial types that have less taste.


For many including myself, homegrown tomatoes are the #1 veggie for home gardens.  So several years ago, I started with a few plants.  I started checking around and and saw a few backyard gardeners were growing in tubs, window boxes and totes.  I started out by drilling holes in two 18 gallon rubbermaid totes.  Filled them with potting mix and put 2 tomato plants in each tote.


The tomatoes were great.


The next year I had 6 totes, 12 plants.  Plenty for me plus family and neighbors.  I then became involved in heirloom tomatoes and seed savers.  As I collected more seeds from others I was up to 30-40 tomato plants with each a different variety.  Of course filling 30+ containers with fresh mix was not cheap.  Luckily I live in an old, small subdivision with large yards outside of town.  So the next step I had someone come in and till me a 25 x 40 spot for a permanent garden.


I downsized my tomato growing and started other produce.  Besides tomatoes, I now grow several varieties of heirloom lettuce, eggplant, cucumbers, several varieties of peppers, green beans, snap peas, squash and various greens.  I always have plenty to share with neighbors.  


Since I am 71 I moved to my next step.  I am finishing 10 8x4 raised beds for this year.  I had this planned for the last 2 years of growing less and succession planting in the dirt.  It worked pretty well so I made the leap this year.  I start many plants indoors under lights which allows me many different options for selection.


That is my story.


I know the last couple of years a lot of folks started backyard gardens during the pandemic so I am wondering if there are any other gardeners out there in Bengal World?




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We grow chilies and tomatoes on the balcony.  Unfortunately, our balconies face due east and due west, so it's not deal for anything except shade.  1st world problem I suppose.  Last year we had some lemon drop chilies and cherry tomatoes as well as a bunch of herbs.  This year we're branching out into habanero chilies and artichokes.  we'll see...



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