Recommended: RED Gardens

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

We are back on a gardening theme this time, but with a major difference. RED Gardens: Research Education and Development Gardens.

And WOW what a set up they have! I’ll just quote a portion from their About page (where you will also find links to their other social media and Patreon pages).

Based on the explorations and discoveries of a series of food growing spaces, located in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Tipperary, Ireland. This RED Gardens Project (Research, Education and Development) consists of 6 family scale gardens each one 100m2 (1000sqf) and following a different methodology, or approach, to growing vegetables. There is also a larger Black Plot, of about 1000m2 (1/4 acre) which is exploring issues and possibilities of an intermediate scale growing space.

The YouTube channel has been around since 2016. As you can imagine, there is a wealth of information available!

This early video explains the different types of gardens they are testing on, plus there is a Black Plot.

There are a number of videos about specific crops, comparing how they did in the different growing environments. One of their most extreme years was growing 54 tomatoes varieties.

No, that’s not a typo. Fifty four.

No, they don’t grow that many varieties of tomatoes anymore!

Other videos comparing things like climbing beans, pole beans, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, eggplant and more. They even tried wheat.

Interestingly, this was a mix of wheat, not just one type. This plot produced enough to bake a surprising amount of bread. I like how he breaks down the math and calculated how much grain would need to be grown to produce enough flour to make X number of loves per week for a year. One thing I’ve never seen before is burying old, stale bread for trench composting.

And yes, bread was made with flour from this wheat.

How the bread was baked is really something to see! A multi-day process.

Their composting system has evolved quite a bit, over the years, which he explains in this video. I appreciate how he goes into dealing with their rat issues, too.

I think I’ll stick to my “just throw it on a heap” method. We end up burying our compostables in garden beds, anyhow.

Pests are another topic they cover, as well as things like different ways to water, making biochar, saving seeds, temporary microclimates, and so much more.

I like the yearly update videos.

It’s really impressive to see how things have worked out over the years, what was changed and why.

The goal at RED Gardens is to try different things, test and compare, collect and analyze the data, then make that information available to anyone who wants to grow their own food, as best they can, for their own circumstances, with the aide of the data provided. Most of us aren’t in a position to try so many varieties, or use so many different techniques. Having this data, even if growing in a different climate zone, can still be very useful.

And I admit – I kinda geek out every time I watch one of their videos.

Whether you’re a new gardener or an experienced on, I think you’ll find loads of great information at RED Gardens!

The Re-Farmer

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