Monte of MiCHIgan's Garden

Monte of MiCHIgan's

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2005-05-16 garden from above 2005-07-19 garden from above

Above is a picture from July 19, 2005. I've let the volunteer plants take over the walkways

Above is a picture from May 15, 2005 You can see the basic layout of the raised bed gardens

hot house 2005-05-11
looking NE 7-17-2005

Above is a picture from May 11, 2005
I make hothouses for plant nurseries

Monster Tomato Plants

Here is a view of the garden looking NE towards the house.

lots of basil for pesto!

My neighbor has an empty lot. Fred used to raise dahlias, but when he moved out to the country he decided to let me and another neighbor garden this plot. Here you can see the monster tomatoes.

Monte by his monster plants

I've got 20 basil plants in my herb garden. Lots of great pesto is being made! I keep meaning to have a pesto party, but this never seems to happen. The last couple of years I raised basil from seed, but you have to plant it really early to get a good crop. This year I lazed out and bought small plants from the Ann Arbor Farmers Market that happens on Saturdays.


I admit to using a little bit of fertilizer when I first planted the tomatoes. These are almost as tall as me!

yellow squash

My favorite tomatoes this year were these little golden cherry tomatoes. They were super sweet, and very easy to pop off the vine and munch. I canned 38 quarts of tomatoes, and canned 5 gallons of tomato juice. 

To Make Tomato Juice
I used a lot of different types of cherry tomatoes with regular tomatoes for the tomato juice. After cleaning them, I'd chop up the large tomatoes and run them all through my Champion juicer. Then I'd let the juice separate out, drain off the water, then heat the remaining juice in a stainless steel pot, adding fresh basil, thyme, lemon juice, and salt. I've got a large pressure cooker that will cook 7 quart jars at a time, so I used that to do the final step in canning.

ever-bearing stawberries in raised bed

I planted ever-bearing strawberries last fall. The plants have been sending out shoots and taking over this box. At today's writing (Oct 18th) I am still picking fresh tasty strawberries! I've been cutting the shoots that go over the side and transplanting them to another box that should be quit a producer next year. I was eating strawberries in mid May this year because in the winter this gets covered with plastic.

I've had lots of volunteer plants of all kinds this year - lettuce of various kinds, tomatoes, dill, cilantro, kale, brussel sprouts, strawberries, Swiss chard, wild flowers. I've tended to not pull all the volunteers, which leads to a very shaggy looking garden, but lots of good stuff to eat!

Stuff planted on purpose this year - 8 types of tomatoes, basil, lettuce, potatoes (red, white, and even blue!), yams, Swiss chard, cilantro, Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), beets, raspberries, summer squash, butternut squash, peas, cucumbers, onions, garlic, & peppers (3 types).

Herb garden includes: parsley, sage (three types), rosemary, thyme (lemon, lime, regular), lemon grass, orange mint, chocolate mint, spearmint, catnip, stevia (sugar substitute), oregano, chives, and comfrey.

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last change Dec 5, 2006