Swedish Community Gardens #3

Welcome to Part 3 in my series of Swedish Community Gardens or, in the vernacular, “kolonilotter”… I’ve gotten a bit distracted lately with my Chicago Victory Garden lectures and neglected this series a bit. And I am JONESING to start planting The Yarden but my work travel and the weather have not made that possible. So, I decided I’m going to fast forward to kolonilotter VEGETABLE GARDENS in hopes it will give you (and me) some ideas and inspiration for spring plantings…

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POTATOES I can’t guarantee what type of potatoes are growing here, but my guess is mandelpotatis (almond potatoes) or as we like to call them POPP – Potato of Peter’s – my husband’s – People. If you’re interested in growing this tasty and versatile spud, seed potato can be found domestically from our FAVORITE potato provider Wood Prairie Farm. They call them Swedish Peanut Potatoes but I won’t hold that against them.

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Here’s another enthusiastic potato patch. I must tell you that boiled potatoes served with a little salt are a favorite Swedish side dish. They put down a good base for all the Aquavit the Swedes drink!

RAISED BEDS

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We saw both raised beds and traditional gardens at the kolonilotter. We are partial to the raised bed method as it allows for better drainage  and faster spring planting as the soil warms quicker. This would be very important in Stockholm as their growing season is even shorter than ours in Chicago Zone 5a.

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You can see in this raised bed photo, that they were able to use the beds to terrace on a hillside. As we said in Swedish Community Gardens Part 1, some of these lots are very small so the gardeners have to take full advantage of what little they’ve got to work with.

I can’t say with all certainty but it sure looks like a compost bin in the back right with the slotted wood sides!

TRADITIONAL ROW GARDENS

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This photo shows a traditional row garden. Please note the high-rise in the background!

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This is also a traditional row garden but notice how the gardeners have mounded up the soil to create paths between the beds. They’ve used wooden pegs to define the bed width as you can see throughout this garden.

VERTICAL GARDENING

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I really love the simplicity of this bean teepee. Four broomstick sized poles tied together (I assume) and voila! Sturdy and space saving!

RHUBARB!

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For those of you who have read my blog, you know I am a bit obsessed with rhubarb. [And, yes, rhubarb really is a vegetable even though people use it like a fruit!] While we consider it a spring crop, it grows throughout the season in Stockholm. This picture was taken in August. By this time of year our rhubarb in The Yarden had sprouted large flowers and the stalks were kind of floppy and didn’t taste so good.

If you’re a rhubarb freak too, here’s a post I wrote about one of my favorite foods of all time as well as one of my earliest memories… melted rhubarb.

And, to close, one last look at the vegetable gardens (and houses) of Sweden’s Tantolunden kolonilotter…

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While this post was, ostensibly, about vegetables I really like how these gardeners often combine flowers and vegetables in the same beds.

All photos and copy (c) 2010 www.theyarden.com

LaManda JoySwedish Community Gardens #3

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