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http://www.chron.com...ier-3492953.php

most of the text to give an idea..

AUSTIN — Rural Texas came to the Capitol Wednesday in an effort to bring fresh vegetables and produce to areas that have lost major grocery stores.

For the first time anyone could recall, the Texas House Agriculture and Livestock committee had a joint hearing with the House Urban Affairs committee to discuss ways to help expand community gardens and urban farming. The goal: increase access to affordable and healthy food.

"It's a well worthwhile deal. I see a great need," said House Agriculture Chairman Rick Hardcastle, R-Vernon. "I see it as a true change in demographics because the big grocery stores don't build in urban Texas, or they close up and move out to the suburbs and the average mom-and-pop grocery store doesn't carry fresh vegetables."

Community gardening in inner cities has gained momentum in most big cities around the country, but Texas ranks last, Scott Howard, vice chair of Houston's Urban Harvest, told lawmakers: "It's kind of embarrassing."

He said vegetable gardens should be developed at every elementary school across Texas.

"This is where kids learn where their food comes from and how it's grown," Howard said.

this got me to thinking, what do other haifers do already?

over the course of time I've lived in my house (coming on 4 years) I've added some small vegetable gardens, mostly growing peppers (since that's mostly what I buy when I go to the store), but rotating in some stuff like okra, brussel sprouts, and other favorites of myself.

since my backyard pecan tree doesn't do anything but provide shade for the backyard (backyard is northeast part of the house) my project this summer is to cut it down (I don't like pecans) and plant a fig tree and grapefruit tree. both do well in our climate, and are small enough to not shade the entire backyard once fully mature. it will also allow me more space for garden.

I do everything in raised beds (at least 18") and have drip irrigation. I have a rain barrel under the drip line for the AC and plan on making this the main form of irrigation for the garden. it fills about 10 gallons a week, so I'll probably be supplementing it with normal utility water, but I don't plan on hooking the two systems together, just having them water the same garden.

does anyone else keep a garden? how do you do it? what do you grow?

Edited by samagon
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I don't have a yard anymore so now I have a grow tent fitted with 200W LED's; growing the following:

Parsley

Thai Peppers

Bell Peppers

Italian Basil

Chives

On my north-facing patio I have decorative plants like a foxtails/ferns/philodendrons/ivy/succulents which are easy enough to ignore.

@samagon:

Your pecan tree sounds pretty mature if providing shade. They do better in our climate than figs or grapefruit (imagine rotting masses in your yard) and especially after last years drought I noticed pecan's are incredibly hardy too. You might be able to convince a nab to grow the fig/grapefruit and swap pecans (just a suggestion).

slow day

Edited by infinite_jim
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The pecan is VERY mature. I have no idea when it was planted, but if it was planted (or already there) when the house was built, it wouldn't surprise me at all. while I've only been here for 3 falls (and one was during a drought that lasted all summer) it hasn't produced a noticeable amount of fruit, which worries me about the age of the tree and how healthy it is, which is another part of the reason I'm considering removing it.

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Houston is great for small gardens, even in apartments. When I lived in Midtown I had a small balcony and I grew all kinds of fruits and vegetables. The potted lime tree and watermelons did best. When I was in Cincinnati I grew corn and pumpkins on my balcony. Right now I'm trying strawberries, but they're having a rough time.

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  • 6 months later...

The pecan is VERY mature. I have no idea when it was planted, but if it was planted (or already there) when the house was built, it wouldn't surprise me at all. while I've only been here for 3 falls (and one was during a drought that lasted all summer) it hasn't produced a noticeable amount of fruit, which worries me about the age of the tree and how healthy it is, which is another part of the reason I'm considering removing it.

in my experience, pecan trees can be pretty infrequent producers. We had two that, although mature, weren't as big as it sounds like yours is (they didn't come close to shading our entire backyard, but then again we have a fairly large backyard). Wound up removing one of them several years ago when it became unhealthy. We've been here for over a dozen years, and the pecan trees more often than not didn't produce a significant amount of fruit, but this year seems to be different. Yesterday I picked up a couple of pounds of fruit out of the yard by the surviving tree, and there's quite a bit more still ripening on the tree.

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