Sunday, May 27, 2007

How does your garden grow????

No silver bells, or cockle's shells here.... Instead we've got swiss chard, spinach, collards, carrots, zucchini (lots & lots of zucchini, hopefully), crookneck squash, broccoli, cabbage, rows upon rows of green beans & long beans, peas, lettuce, 3 different kinds of radish, green onions.... And I'm probably leaving some things out. (Though, DH is arguing that we didn't put in collards yesterday, but I could swear that we did.)

Our garden isn't here at our house. We just don't have that kind of room in our yard. But we've had this garden for now 4 years over at the FIL's house, and the soil is finally looking beautiful. Still somewhat sandy, but so is most of the soil in our area. The FIL is actively talking about a compost heap to mulch into the garden at the end of the summer, which is the first HE's mentioned it. But, I got out in there yesterday in my bare feet, walking up & down the rows, picking out rocks & stumps & roots with my toes, instead of trying to find everything with my fingers. And that's doable this year!!!! The past years, the tilled up soil (my hubby does the really hard work of rototilling) contained far too many clumps & rocks & sticks & such to safely walk about it barefoot. This year, that was the best way to get in there & get the remaining rocks & sticks & leaves out, and to tamp down the aisles between rows.

The garden measures about 30ft by 60ft, and this'll be the first year we've actually used ALL the space. Today and tomorrow we'll be planting in the rest of the beans (we only did one row yesterday, we need more seeds). We're hoping to have a bumper crop of them so that we can can & pickle a good lot later this summer & fall. (The beans did well last year, but in the process of rototilling back up the center aisles, FIL's gas-tank on his rototiller was too full & one of the 2 rows of beans took some heavy spraying of gasoline which burnt the plants & the beans & rendered them inedible. The same mistake won't be made twice. *wink*)

So..... Here's to a reasonably rainy & warm summer, keeping our rain barrels filled & our plants growing. We realized that IF our garden produced to it's fullest, there's no reason we couldn't, both families, can & freeze enough of the produce to last us the rest of the year (or almost). Oh, we'd still have to buy things like cucumbers, tomatoes & peppers. We don't have a green house in which to grow those warmer weather, more tempermental plants. But, we could have all the greens & beans that we could want, if this garden just produces to it's fullest. It would be nice to be able to stop buying these things from the grocery store. That money could go toward other groceries that we can't produce ourselves, like meat & eggs & milk & pasta & bread-making supplies.

And even the meat, if we EVER get a moose or a caribou again, CAN be partially taken care of locally. And we may well decide to buy a whole pig from the local butcher this next winter, instead of getting our pork piecemeal from the major grocery-store. DH really enjoyed the meat that came from the half-a-pig we bought last winter. The flavor has been much better than that of meat purchased at saf*way. And the pig was bred & raised by a small-farmer from Delta Juction (a farming town about 60 miles south-east of us) instead of a mid-western factory farm. It was even brought up here to the butcher's live, where it was butchered & packed by a local person. That's neat. We may not know who raised the pig, but we know that it was raised humanely & in better conditions than the meat we would buy at saf*way. And we may not be in "friend" terms with the people who own the butcher's but we know they live within the same town as we do. And that same butcher's shop is where we have any moose or caribou meat processed (what we don't do ourselves, in FIL's garage) when we're lucky enough to get one.

Anyway... Sorry no pictures, but there really isn't much to show yet. It'd just be a tilled up patch of brown earth that I could show you, at this point. Only a bit of the vegetables that we planted yesterday were seedlings: half the swiss chard, and half the zucchini. The rest were planted in as seed. So, literally nothing to show. Sorry.

I hope y'all are having a peaceful, blessed Memorial Day weekend. To the families of the newly lost soldiers who are now memorialized in this day, my thoughts & condolences on the loss of your loved ones. May your memories of your times spent in the company of your loved ones bring you comfort & peace.

Have a Blessed Day!


peppylady said...

All sound so grand

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I can't wait until you do have something to show! It sounds good.

FoxTayle said...

I am so envious of your garden... *dreams*