Gardens, Bread and Bees - Yes!

 
 

My name is Clarence Whetten.  I set up this site on the web to share information about growing and storing food.  My wife LeeAnn and I have a large family.  We face all the same challenges every other family faces with employment, school, budgeting time and finances, etc yet working together we grow over 50% of the food we eat.   We haven’t always grown this much of our food.  Getting here has been a process of trying, learning from successes and failures, practice and hard yet enjoyable work.  As we continue to try and learn we know we can get that percentage even higher.   Through this journey our view of life and what is important has changed.  We have better health physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The food we eat is better quality and has more flavor than what we can buy. 

The USU Extension Service Master Gardener program has been an invaluable resource in helping us with this journey.  I have been involved with the Master Gardener program since 2006.  LeeAnn started in the program fall 2011. 

The navigation bar across the top of each page will take you to the major sections of this site.  Below is a brief overview of what you will find in each section.  Each section is a work in progress and continues to grow as time allows. 

Recipes - One of the difficult things about having a large garden is learning to use all the produce that is grown.  This section shares some of our favorite recipes and food preserving ideas. 

Vegetable Info - We continually try new vegetables and vegetable varieties in our garden.   In this section I share growing tips that have worked for us, the best resources I have found for information and our favorite varieties. 

Garden Blog - I am often asked “What should I be doing in my garden now?”  This blog is an  attempt to provide an ongoing answer to that question by describing what we are doing in our garden on a weekly basis.  There is a lot of good information here but I have not been successful with making consistent entries.  Each year I vow to do better but something has always gotten in the way.  Regardless there is a lot of good information here.

High Tunnel - A high tunnel allows us to harvest from our garden all year.  I think everyone should have a high tunnel or a cold frame.  They are inexpensive to build and produce an abundance of fresh vegetables all winter with no heat other than what the sun provides.  This section describes how I built my high tunnel. 

5 Bed Garden Blog- Here I am writing about what I am doing in my high tunnel as I am learning how to grow in it. 

We live in Lindon Utah on the west side of State street.  I have always loved to garden.  I live in a USDA zone 5 climate at an elevation of 4,496 feet.  During the winter of 2004 I discovered and read Elliot Coleman’s book Four Season Harvest.  That book changed my whole perspective of what a garden could be.  I wondered if it would be possible to actually harvest food from my garden every week of the year here in the Intermountain West.  I decided to try but I needed to learn much more than I currently knew.  I needed to know what my local weather conditions were so in 2005 I built a weather station to gather and record weather data.  That station has turned into one of the handiest garden tools I have and has made me a much better gardener.  I knew that I would need to grow varieties of vegetables that were not available from the nurseries and I would need them at times they would not be available so in 2005 I also built a small 6 x 8 foot greenhouse to start them in.  Though I have a degree in horticulture and have taught greenhouse bedding plant production in the past, starting plants for just one garden in a small greenhouse for extended season production in my climate was a whole different set of scheduling criteria and challenges.  It took awhile to learn to do it well.  I am still learning, refining and perfecting my techniques in the seed starting greenhouse.   

I started learning to extend my growing season through plant variety selection and the use of floating row cover in 2005.  I learned that I can easily start transplanting plants into my garden about March 15th and I can keep my garden going until about Thanksgiving.  I document the process of seed starting and planting in my Garden Blog.  Click on the link above to read about what I am doing in my garden. 

To continue my garden from Thanksgiving to March 15 I needed a high tunnel, which is a plastic covered unheated growing structure large enough to walk and work in.   I studied plans for several years until I figured out how I wanted to do this.  In the fall of 2010 I built my first high tunnel.  I have documented the construction of the tunnel in the High Tunnel link above. 

The 5 beds of my garden in the high tunnel are located in a totally different climate zone.  I have very much to learn about how to use this space effectively.  I am documenting what I am doing and learning about growing in a high tunnel in the 5 Bed Garden Blog.  Click on the link above to read that blog. 

My backyard garden is 36’ X 50’ and I have a 100’ X 100’ garden on another lot across the street from my home. 

I also have bee hives and produce our own honey and we bake our own bread.  I hope to document those adventures as well in the future. 

 

 

Welcome to my place on the web

Four Reasons to Garden

1 - Family

2 - Knowledge

3 - Health

4 - Food