About Dan Murphy

The author of this Blog lives in Climate Zone 7, in the Central Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA. He is about 75 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

He has gardened his entire life. His parents had gardens and except when he lived in an apartment as a student he has always grown food and flowers.

Dan favors the organic approach to gardening as it produces a healthier food and is kinder to the earth. Gardening feeds not only the body but also the spirit – and for this Dan is immensely grateful.

You can contact me privately through the contact form below.




6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Old,Old AARP Member on March 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I have always said that photographers can do wonders with touch-up work.


  2. Posted by Tom Allen on January 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Well Dan… the gardens are not so little. The pictures make it appear the organic garden and the Japanese garden are taking up a lot of room, and that there is not much room left in your back yard. It looks like you have much to do and that you will be outside many hours….which is a good thing… I like being outside. My rule of thumb is that I would not spend more than an hour or two working in the garden daily or it would begin to feel like work.
    Happy hoeing,


    • Thanks for posting Tom. Actually you cannot see the front yard or the Japanese Garden in these photos. This is only the back yard. The gardens are very small by typical vegetable garden scale I think. I have one raised box that is 4 foot by 8 foot, and three that are 4 x 4. There is also a small cold frame (4 x 6) but I do not count that as gardening space since it has a special use. So I have only 80 square feet of garden space. Solomon advocates 1000 square feet for the typical family garden with 100 sq feet just for tomatoes. He advocates spaced planting though in contrast to the more concentrated planting I have been using. I am coming to agree with Solomon however. I found that the intensive gardening did not work well as all for lettuce, spinach and beets. My experiment in 2011 will be to plant fewer plants but space them more and not do the intensive dense planting. We shall see what results. Bottom line is that I need more space. My family wont allow me to tear out the lawn in the back (I’d do that in a heartbeat) so I am very limited until and unless I can acquire more land. I agree that being outside in the garden is good for the body and the mind. This time of year I do not get out there much. From March – October though I will. I’ve done all the hard work building the garden areas in the back over the past several years. Now it is just a matter of working the soil, composting, planting, hoeing, tending and harvesting! You know, the easy part. The front yard however still requires a lot more work. — Dan


  3. Posted by Thomas Allen on May 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Its May 22nd and we are still here (Earth ending days predicition for May 21st came and went). I have planted in the 3 community garden lots to date. 181 onion starts, 76 garlic (I replanted 2 heads in May because the garlic seed I purchased from Irish Eyes had gone bad…. that is the last time I will order garlic from the Northwest, which seed is ready to plant in the fall and not in the spring) 60 leak 81 variety of potato plants ( I like Viking, Caribe and the French fingerling with the white German potatoes of Butterball and Yukon), and 30 Kohl crop of cabbage, broccli and califlower. I have also planted beans and peas (sugar snaps and flat Asian pole climbing peas). That takes up one garden and I have two more to grow. I plant over 40 sweet potatoes of Northern varieties in the one garden. This week I will dig the other rows and hills for hot and sweet peppers (2 rows) and two rows of tomatoes (about 18 plants, and squash and melons). The last garden will have two four foot rows for greens and root veggies, with the remainding half to be a squash patch with some melons. I made an additional row for the overage of kohl crops and cukes that I have planted on ladder trellises. Anyway, each garden is 18 x 18 (360 sq ft) or 1,080 sq ft with six rows in each garden about 2 and half feet. I will get the peppers and tomatoes in after memorial day ( planned weekend trip) and will plant the rest of the squash and cukes at that time as well. I hope to have a bounty of food thru the summer and through out the winter( I freeze with a vaccum sealed plastic bags) after harvest.


    • Hi Tom and thanks for the post. You have a great garden going! It is far larger than anything I can manage on my postage stamp sized back yard. I will be posting news of my garden work soon. Right now the only thing I have going well is garlic planted last fall. However I have lots of seeds going in the green house.



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