Alright! this is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com,
and today we’re in suburbia. Its summer time here in California, as you can see. Here in
the suburb a lot of people have lawns, and, you know, even if you’re out watering your
lawn in the hot summer heat it turns brown and doesn’t look so nice, and, you know, lawns
are pretty much a waste of resources here. You can see a lot of other houses here in
suburbia. Lawns are a waste of resources. So, why don’t you come on and I’ll show you
what I’ve done here. Lawns are pretty much a waste of resources, you know. They waste
a lot of water, especially water that waters lawn, like overhead sprinklers. Sometimes
people will put out their sprinklers, they’ll water, and by the time they come back and
that waters running down the street which is definitely wasting water, and, you know,
we want to conserve the earths resources these days. So, you know, let’s show you what I
got. I’m using drip irrigation so it’s only watering at the roots of each plant, and,
you know, I want to show you some of the other houses in my neighborhood here, and I want
to show you what you can do with your front yard and your front lawn. So come on, and
I’ll talk more about it. Why did I choose to have a suburban home and grow my own food?
There’s a couple reasons. Number 1, I want to save money. So, it’s going to save money
by growing my own food. The other thing is that it’s going to save resources. Now only
am I saving water resources, you know, not having to put chemicals or pesticides or herbicides
or anything on my lawn, to keep, you know, the weeds at bay. The other reason is for
environmental reasons. So, I could eat local. I mean, there’s nothing more local than opening
your front door, stepping out 5 feet, grabbing some kale, and eating it. My kale does not
have to travel thousands of miles. If you’re in New York or somewhere in the Midwest, a
lot of the food is grown here in California. So, it’s picked, it’s hydrocooled, it’s shipped,
and in that shipping process, you’re losing nutrition. You’re also losing life force,
or the quality of the food, you’re losing some of the taste, definitely, because guess
what? When I taste old kale, it tastes really, really bitter to me, and I think my kale,
some of it is so sweet, it’s as sweet as lettuce. So, you can see we’re coming up on my house
here, and you can see in the front of my house is all raised beds, and in the front here,
I’m growing peppers, melba spinach, and then we have (unclear) and tomatoes in the back,
and I have a nice armor here that todays project was we’re hanging some planters form the top
and we ran irrigation up there so we’re maybe going to hang strawberries or we’re maybe
going to try cucumbers or some kind of (unclear) to vine off and hang down so that you can
hang it and fill in. I’m really about maximizing the use of the space to grow more food, you
know. I mean, in the time of the world wars, there were victory gardens, and I think we
should get back that fact that we should have victory gardens and we should have our own
foods. I mean, not in the time of war, well, I think we are in war, aren’t we, I don’t
know, but in any case we should all be growing our own food anytime. I mean, even to save
carbon emissions. The food has to travel, it takes resources to grow that food in California,
you know, petroleum products, fuel, they need to get picked, and then they acierated or
trucked across the country. You’re losing nutrition, and you’re also wasting a lot of,
you know, environmental- there’s a big environmental impact on food that is not local. So, you
can see in this front bed here I’m growing a lot of what’s called square-foot gardening
methods. So, in square-foot gardening you take, basically, a whole big area and then
you just divide it off into 1 foot sections, and then that 1 foot section you could grow
a certain number of plants. So, for example, in a 1-foot section I’m growing 1 tomato plant,
or here’s some arugula, and this wild arugula actually took one whole square. When I planted
it, it wasn’t that big, but they definitely fill out. I have basil in one square. I mean,
back here we have 4 Bok chois in 1 square. So, you can see some things you can plant
more tightly than others. Why don’t we come back here a little bit and show you. So, if
you want to get a look down the side of the property you could see a whole bunch of the
raised beds. I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and then the 8th one going in the underhand of
my house, and I’m on approximately 1/10th of and acre. So, this is what you could do
in 1/10th of acre. I mean, I don’t even have a whole acre; I have 1/10th of an acre. So,
you could grow a lot of food in 1/10th of an acre. I mean, this is more than enough
to feed a family of 4. Probably even more than that. So, why don’t you come on back
and we’ll show you what I got here. So, in this bed we have, you know, it’s basically
a 4-foot bed, about 15 feet, and this is just a melon patch. So, we have melons vining and
in this bed I think we have ’em, probably, there’s about 70 melon plants. Every 1 square
foot is a melon plant, and normally melons like to vine out and be really long and take
a lot of land space, but when you trellis them up, you know, you could really save space
and grow more tightly. So, you can see here that’s a crane melon, you know, that’s going
to be ripening up hopefully pretty soon. Here’s another kind of melon over here. They’re all
just hanging in there. It’s really cool, and this bed here, it’s about 40 feet long by
about 4 feet wide. I have a lot of dino kale, and a lot of kale, and actually we’re about
to replant this. Actually, every 6 feet I have some fruit trees. When we come up back
here, this next bed is the green bed and we have things like apola Navaho cabbage, and
some lettuce, and we have some hoops on here so we can put some cover over it so it won’t
get too hot. The next bed over here we basically have some pepper plants and then some squash
plants. The squash plant actually takes a 3×3 area, so you can’t plant them as densely
but they put on a lot of squash, plenty of food, and here’s a really cool one. Check
this one out. This one’s a banana squash and, I mean, this one, this thing is so huge. I
don’t even know how much it weighs right now. This thing’s got to be- oh, man, like 30 pounds
worth of banana squash there. So, we have them on trellises, you know. Normally they
would be viney type plant and they would like to vine out and have a lot of space, but when
you don’t have a lot of space, like in this situation I have 1/10th of an acre, you know,
you have to grow on a trellis and grow vertical to use the space wisely. This next bit here
has been very successful. We have lots of cucumber plants and the cucumber plats are
planted every 6 inches, and you can see some. They’re all in here, and you know, once again
we’ve trained them to go up and that’s actually working really well, and the last bed here
we have is just our green bed. So, this is just a mixed green bed. One of the things
I really like to talk about right now is the tree collards. I’m sorry, tree kale. So, the
tree kale, basically I’ve had these for 3 years now and they’ve never gone to seed.
So, they just keep putting off leaves indefinitely. Some of the leaves get actually nice and big,
and this is a sweeter variety of kale that actually makes excellent eating. So, I have
those planted along the edges to keep some of the things in the middle of the bed cooler
and shaded off, but, yea, really, I really, really, really want you to know that you can
grow, you know, your own food in even as little as 1/10th of an acre, or even less. Just start
out by some raised beds. I happen to have filled my lawn, and, you know, it’s saving
me water, it’s saving me money, it’s having my- I’m getting a higher quality of food than
I could buy anywhere, it’s less transportation, less global impact, and, you know, everybody
should do this. Most people’s lawns just sit there. Most people don’t use their lawns;
it’s just for like a show. Lawns were, from, you know, like in the olden days when there’s
royalty, and royalty in England had big lawns to show their estate, that they were rich,
and nowadays, like in the ’50s that kind of got transferred into houses and making lawns,
and then your neighbor has a awn and you want to have a lawn, too, but with all the resources
they take these days, lawns are just plain dumb. So, this is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.
Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to start growing your own food, and you could definitely grow
your own food. It’s really easy.