05/14 — Mini-Keyholes Monitored

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xDSC_0007 It is amazing the response we have received from people who are now into keyhole gardening. Some of these comments came at Dr. Deb’s recent keyhole garden tour, in which we participated. Too, we are constantly hearing success stories from individuals who have purchased our kits and are raising great gardens, such as a man and his family from Hamilton who dropped by today to see our gardens and update us on the success he is having with his two keyholes.

xDSC_0038One thing about keyholes is that it’s never too late to start, since you can raise crops year-round. It’s simply a matter of matching the crops to the season.

This past weekend, we attended the Festival in the Garden held by the Helping Center Garden in Marble Falls, Texas, the event sponsored by the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association. It was complete with gardening demonstrations, information booths (of which we participated with our keyhole kits), door prizes, and refreshments. It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed visiting with their patrons who were interested in witnessing first-hand the most recently innovations in gardening.

xIMG_1664xDSC_0035-blossomAt our experiment station in Clifton, the gardens are becoming very lush, filled with a big variety of crops that are taking shape nicely. We have been picking the best spinach, onions, peas, and lettuce you have ever eaten and our tomatoes are starting to form, just to name a few. Our sunflowers look very healthy as do our zucchini and squash plants, not to mention healthy looking watermelon plants.

On this page are some recent photographs. Just click on the photographs to enlarge them and then click off them to have them reduced.

One of the photos is of our garden named “Holy Cow,” in which holes were drilled on the side (for experiment purposes) to allow additional crops to grow out of. Other images are some close-ups of the packed crops.

In the front yard of our place is another mini-keyhole named “Blossom” that consists mainly of flowers.

We are still shipping keyholes to schools, which provides a wonderful experience for students — learning that will last a lifetime.

xDSC_0029xDSC_0035The “key” advantages of keyholes is that they conserve water, you can plant crops very close together, because of the raised bed it is easy on the back, there is little or no weeding, recycling provides an excellent way to naturally nourish the crops through the internal basket, plus the fill material in the garden is primarily recycled material (like paper goods, cardboard boxes, twigs, leaves, etc.). With our kits, you can get right up to the plants to work them (ADA compliant), they are durable (our oldest kit-related keyhole is in its sixth year and still going strong), plus they are lightweight and semi-portable (can be partially disassembled and moved).

Even with the prolonged Texas drought, we have had great success year after year raising huge, tasty crops in our keyholes with minimal watering. It’s a great way to feed the family or at least supplement the food supply in a natural, healthy manner. I don’t know why, but when you grow your own crops they tend to taste better. You pick them yourself, fresh from the vine, and have total control over these elements.

Too, it is a constant learning experience that, quite literally, takes you back to the roots of raising crops. I consider it a very pleasing adventure that allows you to get back to nature and witness not only the growth of crops, but learn more about the creatures that are part of the process, like the three B’s — birds, butterflies, and bees. It’s an adventure the whole family can enjoy.