Home Gardening Tips with Randy Powers

I’m re-posting this interview from earlier because I felt it’s something worth listening too.

I visited my good friend Randy Powers in north GA where he gave me some great home gardening tips. Since this interview, Randy has acquired a chicken coop with several egg laying hens. I was lucky enough to taste some of these farm fresh eggs and let me tell you, it was worth it!

UnderCurrent Atlanta: What motivated you to start a backyard garden?

Randy Powers: My wife and I, we both grew up in northeastern GA and growing up our entire childhood, we were around gardens and our families gardened and as we got older and went off to school and stuff, we kind of moved away from the idea of gardening; we just didn’t have time but once we got established out here, bought a house of our own and had a little land, we just wanted to get back in to it.

UCA: Now that you have a garden, what are the benefits of growing your own food?

RP: For us, the benefits of gardening are just exponential, one just leads to the other because not only do you have fresh food for your table, you know exactly what you family is eating but it saves you so much money over the course of a growing season. It’s just so rewarding because you get to spend quality time with the people that you care about in your life and that’s really what it’s all about.

UCA: What are some of the things people should think about before starting a garden?

RP: First, figure out how many people you are gonna try and feed for your garden, figure out your P.O.U, your Purpose Of Use. Do you just want to have a random tomato sandwich or do you really want to put product in your refrigerator and in your cupboard for the long haul.

Spinach is really nice, we use it for salads, we use it in hot dishes and of course there are some nice spinach dips that you can make from it; we eat a lot of it and we really like it. When you get it fresh out of your garden, the lettuce that we grow along with the kale and those other things it just taste so much fresher and it really adds a nice, subtle flavor.

We actually have poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, two different varieties. Bell peppers, green, red, yellow, orange and purple. We have a jumbo and a small jalapeno pepper, we use those to make pepper jellies when we have a major harvest a little processing and canning, we can our own pepper jellies, to give them away as gifts and it taste pretty good too.

We went with the white scallop squash which has a very buttery flavor and not only do they taste really good, they are also really beautiful so as you head into the fall season, if you have too many, which sometimes you will because they produce a lot, you can also use them as an ornament for a fall table setting or something like that.

We had a space in our plot so we decided to go with pinto beans. We’ve been able to have at least one good harvest already, we have some that are still on the vine and we’re gonna just take those and dry them and save them and eat them down the road somewhere.

UCA: I don’t have a garden but have thought about building one. What are some other advantages of having a garden?

RP: The garden is an opportunity for us to come together as a family, with our friends also, come around, spend quality time because not only is it something that…you get something back for the work that you put in so you see that direct result but there’s also the opportunity to share knowledge with subsequent generations.
My standard advice for people who want to start to garden is grow what you’re gonna eat, grow what you like because trust me, in the hot summer months when you are out here and you’re keeping everything fresh, thinking about those good eats on the back end is one of the things that keeps you motivated.

Since this interview, Randy has created a website that discusses all different types of survivalist ideas. You can also visit his Twitter or Facebook account. If you are into guns and want to know the proper way to use them, sign up for Randy’s shooting range.