Zero Fruit and Veg Challenge

After watching a TV series by BBC on the future of food (on youtube) I started looking at gardening in a new light. Rather than momentary flashes of colour, I decided to grow edibles.  After researching and reading a lot on Permaculture and Dervaes family, I decided to do my part, and convert my garden from "useless" pink flowers to edibles. After all pink is not my colour.

This is a zone 5/6 garden in the city after all and my lot is only 50 x 150 foot, including house and all.

In 2013 I took up the challenge. I will buy no fruit or vegetables (nothing but bread, dairy and meat) for 3 months of summer. Generating no food miles in my small effort towards future generations. Tough on a 2 year old garden, yet I more than succeeded in my challenge. I did however have bad mushroom and fresh cherry cravings and so I believe I needed some tuning.

In 2014 I pushed for 4 Months or 1/3 if the year. From May 21st to September 21st, but due to the late season landed up to be 1 June to 30 Sept. But then I was still eating leeks, kale, potatoes and squash in late December and past that even. On top of that I made a small batch of sauerkraut and Kimchi and this got me thinking that I could with effort/storage make this work for up to 9 months.

2015 I made it 6 months. Mostly as my fruit trees are far too small and some not even bearing yet. Getting much longer than 8 months means I have to start growing winter keepers. Potatoes, winter squash, storage veggies and that Kimchi

2016 Was a early year, starting in first week of May and my first store purchase was December - That was a full 7 months and I was still eating things from the garden in January. I grew a number of winter squash though, but due to bad storage, much of it was wasted. More importantly, I switched up my growing to growing a lot more fun stuff. Peppers, Wasabi mustard, lesser known herbs, mushroom logs etc. I can truly say I became a salad lover.

2017 I took a vacation early December and left most of the kale, etc in the garden. by the time I got back the ground was well frozen. Its early March and there are early signs of green. This made me think I need to extend the early season veggies. I bough 2 tiny 2 x 2 foot plastic greenhouses and started a few winter hardy veggies earlier. will 8 square foot and some leftover kale help me get eating earlier. Maybe not...

2018 I have added the Ghetto greenhouse.  By end of February I had already planted some kale, mustard, lettuce and green onions in the greenhouse and I am hoping to add at least a month in the start of the season.

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