Posts Tagged ‘garden’

It has taken some time, but we FINALLY have the garden in.  This year we got it up to about 1/4 acre.  with a lot of effort, the trenches were dug, fences raised, irrigation put in and many many plants and seeds planted.

This spring was not very conducive to getting plants in the ground and going.  And, well, we’ve been a bit behind the 8-ball this year – again.  But, despite all the excuses and justifiable delays, we got it in and things are actually doing amazing well.

We have two full rows of tomatoes, a total of 28 tomato plants, a row of chard, beets, carrots and kale, a row of turnips, parsnips and rutabagas.  A row of onions.  A row of potatoes.  A row of winter squash.  A row of eggplant, cucumber, and cauliflower. A row of tomatillos.  A row of peppers.  A row of beans, strawberries, dill and cilantro.  A row of beans and carrots.  A row of pumpkin, winter squash and summer squash.

We still have melon and gourds to get into the ground, which should happen this week.  The biggest challenge was getting the row covers up in time.  Just over a lunch break today, the birds got their sneaky beaks onto several of our freshly sprouted beans.  Last year, our biggest nemises was birds and ants.  This year, it still appears to be quail and ants.  Row covers and bird netting will take care of the birds.  Ants…well, today they got cornmeal to hopefully start taking care of the problem.  We’ll get the buggers under control eventually.

We also planted four artichoke in spare tires.  Finally found some places that they can be planted without having to be moved in future years.

We still have about 6 fruit trees and several berry bushes that need to be planted.  Hopefully this week.  But, we’re making steps.  Now, I pray the garden produces.  I can’t wait for harvest and canning season.

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We moved in early May and didn’t get our garden in until late May.  Being in a new micro-climate combined with new “pests” made for an interesting first season.  Our biggest enemy early on were quail, what a bunch of buggers.  Nothing scares off those little sprout nipp’n birds.  Second biggest enemy, ants.  Man, they can wreak havoc like you wouldn’t believe.

But, certain things did amazing this year.  Especially our tomatillos.  The winter squash were doing well until a hard freeze about 6 weeks back.  Tomatoes were hardly worth the fertilizer used this year.  Corn, did pretty well.  Beans, pretty well.  Given how busy we were, how late things got going, it was an interesting year.

So, fast forward to today.  We know we have freezes on the way, and we knew if we were to get what is left out in the garden preserved, we had to harvest this weekend.  Yesterday was occupied with Chet going out and cutting two cords of wood and me with the kids transporting to a birthday party and trying to make Gabe’s Halloween costume in time for his piano recital today.  So, today, while I was trying to finish Gabe’s Halloween costume and after we dropped a crock-pot full of homemade chili at the Silver State Striders Fall Colors Half-Marathon finish line, Chet ventured out to finish harvesting what he could from the garden.

But, today was amazing weather wise.  We’ve had hurricane force winds most of the day here at the house and have had a solid 10 hours of rain, and much of it of epic proportions.  I joked today that perhaps Chet should be out building an ark not harvesting the garden.  However, he was out there in the torrential storm harvesting peppers, tomotillos, potatoes and what not else.  P.S. I got Gabe’s costume substantially completed just before we lost power.

It was awesome.  About two bushels of tomatillos, estimated about 80-100 lbs. of potatoes, half a 5 gallon pail of peppers (is that a peck?), and several summer squash.

Next up this week will be preserving all the harvest.  We need to build some crates to store the potatoes in the basement/cellar.  We’ll pressure can the tomotillos and I’ll probably process the peppers into more jelly.

If we’re going to put the time and energy into a garden to rely upon to sustain the family to some degree, then you have to not let it go to waste.  That means sending the husband out to harvest is the worst weather imaginable.  Okay, seriously, I would have been out there with him if I hadn’t had to sew costumes, but I’m very appreciative of his hard work.

Now comes the continued hard work of preservation, but it’s also very gratifying to see the fruits of your labor literally and figuratively.

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