Monday, July 12, 2010

Our Garden

Digitalis (Foxglove) I planted last year, put to sleep under straw for the winter, then did a happy dance when they emerged this spring - victorious!  Bees like flowers too, so a constant bloom on the property should help attract bees and therefore boost our production.  Thats the idea anyway.

The rest of the front flower bed.  Bees have been coming through regularly and I should be able to start collecting seed soon.  We have flowers in almost every planting bed.  This bed only has the large, nasty/noxious weeds pulled.  Food beds keep me busy enough with the weeding.

The two beds on the right each measure 4'x20' and are made with FREE scrap wood from our local mill.  The shorter bed on the left is new this year and measures 1' x 18' +/-.  We call the little beds "strips" because we've been putting them up in free/unused space.  They are made from salvaged feed-lot fence boards (also free).  Pretty doesn't grow plants (good thing lol).

These are three more "strip beds" behind our house.  This area has some nasty clay soil spread over it (containing a TON of weed seed) so we're hoping that the soil in the raised beds will be enough for the plants to thrive.  Not sure they will, our pumpkins are struggling but seem to be gradually getting better.  The right bed contains only root vegetables though, so maybe they'll have a better outcome...?

Our home & front beds.  The bed to the right of the sidewalk is 5'x60' and our neighbors regularly stroll by to check its progress.  I know this because I am usually weeding, watering or thinning.  The "squash boxes" (this year anyways) are new this year also, and are simply a way to use our lot more completely.  They are only 18" or so square and are very quick to do.  Just dig out the sod where you'd like to put one, build the box and fill it with soil.  Simple.  Much easier than trying to keep the grass back from the squash.  They are also made with scrap lumber.  All we purchase for these beds are nails.  It's good to explore your community : )  Our lot is 9,000 square feet for those of you who are curious.

In the evening the leaves of several of our vegetables cup in order to collect moisture.  Pretty cool.

Everything needs a place to water.  By supplying a water source you attract all sorts of life that you otherwise wouldn't see: caterpillar-eating birds, aphid-eating lady bugs etc - good guys.

There is one more bed on the north side of our home.  Richard dug a 5'x40' section of horrible, hard clay(then added and turned in organic matter), so that he could plant a swath of sunflowers out our kitchen window.  He raised them from seeds brought from California - from sunflowers he planted for me there.  They are the only thing he has started and/or planted this year.  I love sunflowers, and they're right out my sink window now.  Their sole purpose to say "I love you" every time I look out.  Pretty words would not begin to compare to the beauty of them stretching ever upwards in love.

There is somewhat of a lull in gardening, mostly I maintain right now.  Still weeding grass, watering of course, and dragging Fort Rabbit around the lawn.  If we have enough to sell at Farmer's Market, we will be going this Saturday.  I have been thinking up value-added products that are easy to do and use the things we have the most of - I'll be implementing them soon!  We'll even have something special for cats (due to the mass of catnip growing in the "wild corner" of grasses, trees, catnip and mint).

Our rabbits should be butchered this weekend, but if Richard continues to work every day (as in 7 day work weeks) then I'll have to find time to do it in the evening after he gets home.  When the kids and passerby aren't around to see me thumping rabbits on the head.  Ugh.  I can hardly believe that these are even considerations I'm making.

On a positive note, we were encouraged by a farmer friend to be unafraid (not dumb, just not fearful) of making a big push to get us started on a grander scale.  He says not to pass up on a good thing just because we're afraid of failure.  Nice to hear things like that from someone who knows better than we do about these things.  It makes me wonder what gems of advice I'll have when I've got a few more decades of gray on my head. 


Christina said...

1. I love your garden, and it's even more beautiful in person.
2. The sunflower story is so sweet. Sometimes the daily, visual reminders of love touch the the voiced words can.
3. As I read I had an idea. If you have an over-abundance of tomatillo plants, mint plants, etc., you might consider potting some and trying to sell some at the farmer's market in addition to the fresh produce. Just an idea. : )