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Growing Edibles At Home

Regenerative gardening practices on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Regenerative gardening practices

We learn about healthy fertile soil on a visit to Red Thread Farm, a micro family farm in Franklin TN. There's no mechanized tillage that happens here, just a liberal use of broadforks. Keeping the soil covered is a priority, either with a thick mulch or cover crops. And there's no commercial pesticide use on the premises. All methods used are meant to enhance microbial activity in the soil, and in turn, produce nutrient-rich vegetables.

Growing Cherry Tomatoes for Market on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Growing Cherry Tomatoes for Market

Jeff Poppen learns the methods necessary for growing a successful crop of cherry tomatoes in a market garden greenhouse. Bloomsbury Farm in Smyrna TN uses mulched leaves as compost to improve the soil structure. They use the Florida weave trellising system for some varieties, while with others the Lower and Lean Method is used.

Evolution of a Garden on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Evolution of a Garden

Gardens are constantly evolving. Tammy Algood takes us on a stroll through one such garden where there's always room for another plant. In this case, there's room for a new way to grow vegetables.

Fall Greens on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Fall Greens

In autumn, the display garden beds at the entrance to Andrew Jackson's Hermitage are planted in heirloom varieties of greens. These tasty greens are plants that you can cut continually until first frost, and beyond.

Thornless Blackberry on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Thornless Blackberry

Marty DeHart recommends Prime-Ark Freedom Primo cane blackberry plants for homeowners that want to try growing fruit. The attributes of this hybrid are many: the fruit is large, firm and sweet, the canes are upright and thornless, and it is ever-bearing.

Propagating blueberries on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Propagating blueberries

Jeff Poppen harvests blueberries from Southern highbush plants that are 5th generation from ones he purchased 40 years ago. He demonstrates how to propagate from root runners, and how to plant for the best chance of success.

Fall/Winter crops for the home garden on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Fall/Winter crops for the home garden

No doubt that the summer harvest in Tennessee is plentiful. There are so many vegetables that grow well here. But a fall garden can produce a big bounty too. Tammy Algood is at Red Thread Farm in Franklin Tennessee to learn what varieties of carrot, radish, and kale they grow in their high-yielding garden.

Planning a Late Summer Garden on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Planning a Late Summer Garden

Biodynamic farmer Jeff Poppen underscores the importance of planning when it comes to a late summer garden. He plants beans, squash and cucumbers in June and July to harvest in September and October.

Mushroom Production-Sustainable Agriculture on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Mushroom Production-Sustainable Agriculture

Lion's Mane, Oyster, Shitake and Chestnut. These are some of the consumable mushrooms in production at HENOSIS near Nashville. Mushroom cultivation is quite different from growing garden vegetables. We follow the process from substrate mix to harvest and learn how truly sustainable it is.

Early Planting of Tomatoes on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Early Planting of Tomatoes

Annette Shrader visits a grower who loves fresh tomatoes so much he's developed a method that will produce the ripe red fruit in the beginning of June.

When a Chef Becomes a Farmer on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

When a Chef Becomes a Farmer

Tammy Algood introduces us to Tyler Brown of Southall Farm & Inn. We gain insight into farming from his perspective as a chef who strives for great flavor coming straight from the field. It;s here where guests are encouraged to explore the various gardens and growing sites on the farm.

Tennessee Tomato Club on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Tennessee Tomato Club

We visit with a couple who are part of a grassroots group that call themselves the Tennessee Tomato Club. Members get together during the winter to cull seed catalogs and decide what they'll be growing for the coming tomato season. We visit their large tomato patch to see how those selections are producing.