Monday, July 9, 2012

ISLAND GARDEN THE LEAN YEARS

This is our veggie garden story...


2010-2011- early 2012

2010
A while back I shared my first post about our lovely island veggie garden- after years of hard work and soil amendment we harvested several hundred pounds of food on our first year attempt. We were so excited by that we tried again the next year.

In March (as usual) we tried to till the field. But the soil was so wet hubby got the tractor stuck and it took days to get out. I stayed clear of that- imagining the cursing and throwing of shovels.

Our neighbors goats at Mystery Bay Farm (famous for their award winning goat cheese)  didn't seem to mind few sunny days {this little kid is being held by my little kid, Evan}.


In the middle of May we were finally able to till- but didn't start planting until the middle of June due to cold weather. Mid-May is usually our planting time. Nothing did well- well, I shouldn't say NOTHING- the weeds did fine. Tomatoes were no good- no bees to pollinate. The days remained cold and therefore the soil never warmed up. After a month of total frustration we gave up and as crushed as I was I knew I had to give it up and emotionally walk away. That was a very difficult and sad decision, but it had to be done. After all, there was always next year, right?

2011
As it turns out 2011 was about the same as 2010. A cold and wet spring occurred once more, tilling took forever- and once again the tractor got stuck axle deep in the mud. 

We walked through the entire process again- finally getting the tilling done in late May. And then we began the planting. Rows of onion, and carrots and beets, beans and peas. Then came super wet weather, and unexpected business travel. By the time we could make it out to the garden to thin I could tell it was ALL OVER.

not even our rhubarb was very happy that year

I knelt in the garden for 2 hours thinning carrots and got up to take a lunch break- when I arrived back to the row I couldn't tell where I left off. Now- THAT'S DISCOURAGING.

At the end of that day, I realized it was year 2 of garden disappointment and cursed the pacific northwest weather, and vowed to start back up for 2012 with renewed vigor. I had to remind myself that at least we had 2 local veggie stands on the island, as well as 3 wonderful farmers markets nearby...things could be worse.

early 2012
It is July 3rd (our summer, we swear, starts July 5th) and as I sit here writing this post, there's a huge black cloud that is racing toward us from the Olympic Mountain range, and is dumping mass quantities of big fat rain drops on us as it heads over the sound to the mainland. And last night it did the same thing for 45 minutes. 


This year we've managed to till and plant (close to our mid-May mark), and while we've had some warm days toward the end of May, most of our weather has been in the high 50's and low 60's. Needless to say there are not a lot of happy plants trying to grow in the garden. But that story is for another post in this series.


In our 'kitchen' garden on the house property I am harvesting our daily lettuce, and sighing as I look across the field in hopes that on July 5th we'll be blessed with some warmth so I might get a harvest after all.


Watch for my next installment on our not so secret island garden, and send some good energy to my garden please...