Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

SOUTHERN GENT Next up in our series of HOMEGROWN introductions is Hugo, a dirt-under-his-fingernails city slicker from Columbia, South Carolina, who “started my own little gardening movement in my backyard three years ago.” The year one result? “A complete failure,” he reports. But Hugo kept on trucking, “growing my summer and fall garden, and learning bits and pieces along the way. This season it’s more productive than ever, and I even have five laying birds now.”

Speaking of laying birds, check out Hugo’s excellent photo album of his MacGyveresque chicken coop, made from 80 percent recycled materials. “This was a lot of work,” he reports, deadpan. We believe it. (Bonus points if you speed click through, time-lapse-video style.) Also worth a gander: Hugo’s raised beds, with cameos by a cute pooch and a couple of rabbits (“pets, not meat”), and his awesome backyard bounty, from peppers to eggplants to potatoes.

Maybe the only thing Hugo hasn’t mastered yet is canning: "No tools," he says. Anybody out there can without any special equipment and want to send Hugo a few words of encouragement? Or just want to congratulate him on his righteous produce? (It can’t be a coincidence that HIGT is only two letters different from HUGO.) Post a comment below or shoot him a message via his profile page.

What is Meet Your Neighbors? Most of us spend a fair amount of time tending our online gardens, but it’s easy to forget there’s a real person behind every quiche recipe, chicken inquiry, and hoophouse design here on HOMEGROWN. Well, nuts to that! MYN gives us a chance to meet over the back fence and shake hands. (Or maybe hug? We’re huggers. But no pressure.)

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