Posted: July 01, 2009
Entirely Homegrown: Meetings with gardening consultant, greenhouse builder slated
The latest segment in one man's quest to subsist on his Denver backyard garden for one monthMike Taylor
The most encouraging development so far, with exactly one month until I try subsisting only on what I grow myself, occurred last week when I blanched and froze one plastic bag of spinach and one bag of broccoli.
It was a good feeling, having those two bags stockpiled for August, the target month of the backyard-only diet. But then I did some nutritional research in my “Better Homes & Gardens” cookbook. Based on volume estimates of those two plastic bags of greens, I’ve got about 100 calories of food – about 1/20th of the average daily requirement. There better be a whole lot more vegetables where that spinach and broccoli came from.
My two biggest concerns remain:
1) whether any of my four young hens will be laying eggs by Aug. 1 – and preferably a lot sooner so I can start stockpiling, and;
2) whether any actual potatoes are growing underneath my 30-some potato plants. The visible part of the plants are growing magnificently, some of them as tall as 2 ½ feet, green and bushy. But like I said, I have no idea what’s going on underground potato-wise.
I’ve noted before, the business purpose of this backyard homegrown experiment is to introduce some local businesses as various challenges arise. A while back I interviewed Pat Karns of Colorado Pure Distilling to talk to him about how I might make potato vodka, even though Colorado Pure Distilling uses beets or corn to make its custom-label vodka.
Two more local experts are on the agenda for ColoradoBiz TV segments. Early next week I’ll meet with Joe and Lara Frankovich, owners of The Organic Backyard, a Parker-based business that helps backyard gardeners get the most out of their plots – perhaps even enough to feed the whole family, according to Joe, who has a degree in plant biology and a landscape design certificate. He markets himself as “Joe the Gardener.”
I’ll follow that up later next week with an interview with Cheryl Longtin of Nexus Corp., a Northglenn-based greenhouse manufacturer that is perennially one of the top woman-owned businesses in the state. Although obviously you don’t need a greenhouse to grow vegetables in Colorado, Cheryl will explain the benefits of having one to lengthen your growing season, and what you should look for when you’re shopping for one.
Look for those segments coming up on ColoradoBiz TV.
In the meantime, if anybody can tell me how to stop predators (cats? squirrels? foxes?) from getting in my fenced-in garden and trampling my corn, I’m all ears (pun intended).
Mike Taylor is the managing editor of ColoradoBiz. He writes about small-business money issues and how startups are launched. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.