This is our veggie garden story...
2004-2009- the early years
years we have wanted to have a garden on our other acre, but the soil
was in bad need of amendment. It was hard and clay like and only grew
field grass (and poorly at that). Husband bought a tractor and all the
implements and started working the soil around 2004.
was added, as well as bone meals, blood meals, cotton seed meal. And with
lots and lots of tilling all that good stuff into the soil. Then each
fall we planted a winter cover crop which we turned into the soil each
spring. On our 'house' acre we created raised beds (which we named our kitchen garden), and during the amendment process we grew, potatoes, tomatoes, onion, carrots, beets and the like in these raised beds.
2009- let the fun begin
In 2009 we decided it was time to make the move to start the big garden. The
north and west sides of the space were already fenced so we needed to
fence the east and south, but we had to put extension all around to
about 7' to keep out the deer. That in itself was a pretty large
undertaking. We fenced off 60' x 160'.
runs through with the tractor and we had some beautiful (sift through
your hands) soil- real soil- and we were thrilled. We enlisted our
youngest son and his friend to help us 'toss' up the raised beds. That
was a huge task, very strenuous work (and that is how I tore a muscle
that took a really long time to heal). But when the rows were complete the garden was a thing of beauty, bare, but a thing of beauty.
next step was to bring in multiple trailer loads of straw for the walk
ways. That too was fun- seriously- I enjoyed it. Walking down the paths
with several flakes in my arms distributing was I went.
we were ready to begin planting. Husband spent a fair amount of time
getting the irrigation up and running. We hired my brother to install
several valves and mechanical system, then there was pipe to lay and
sprinkler heads to install and adjust.
remember kneeling in front of a bed on a hot day after a few days of
solid rain. The earth (I swear) was talking to me. You could hear it
crackling as the water heated up and began evaporating. You could smell the
wetness, and the rich, rich soil. It was almost a spiritual experience. I
turned and sat in the wet straw and just took it all in for a while.
Then got back to work, lovingly dropping seeds into their allotted rows
and patting soil over them.
And then we were ready to watch it (and the weeds) all grow. There's
nothing quite like stepping back and looking at all your hard work and
watching as sprouts sprout, and blooms bloom. Then there's the thinning
and more thinning. Tedious but necessary work- that pays off big time.
first year on the other acre we grew peas, pole beans, bush beans
(Renegade and French Filet), several potato varieties (fingerlings and purple), 19 tomato plants
(various), 5 different kinds of carrots, 5 kinds of beets, sweet onions,
chippolini onions, purple onions, shallots, leeks, radish, 3 varieties
of squash, and 3 of pumpkin. We tested our might with growing broccoli
and were surprised it went well.
is nothing quite like the taste of a fresh harvested carrot, knowing
you nurtured it from seed to harvest, caring for it, watching it grow
How does your garden grow?
I'll be posting more soon- watch this space...