Thursday, May 19, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

For the past two Summers we joined a CSA, I briefly mention that in a couple of previous posts.  Part of the reason is because I went through a mini-food revolution after reading the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and watching the documentary, Food, Inc. My dream was to have a nice big garden that I drenched with water from my rain barrel, worked with my hands, and nourished with compost from our homemade compost bin.

When we looked at buying our house and surveyed our yard one of the things we considered was where we would put our garden.  Coincidentally, the original owners were raising egg layers in the backyard and while I know Jim was drawing the line, my heart was secretly pitter-pattering....Who are we kidding though, I don't know the first thing about raising chickens--or putting in a GARDEN for that matter and we don't live on a farm, we live in a neighborhood.  Still, there is something quite appealing to me about going back to basics, working the land, sustaining, and knowing where our food is coming from. 

That's why the CSA was part of the solution for us for the past two years when we were busy bringing up seedlings of our own at home (the girls) and time and space constraints kept us boxed in to the 3 x 6 world of tomatoes and peppers, hanging baskets, and landscape flowers. Alas, we aren't doing the CSA this year. I think I will miss it--those mid-morning trips to the barn to pick up veggies that the ever smiling farmers and interns had literally slaved over all spring and summer.  The call to get my hands dirty is getting stronger and now a few of the girls are old enough to learn something from growing a garden and the time and space restraints are no more (maybe?).  But if you are local and looking to become a part of something special in the world of sustainable, locally grown, organic produce, allow me to point you in the right direction: Blackberry Meadows Farm. There are still spots open for their 2011 growing season and you can find all the information on their website.

In the meantime, we are late comers to this growing season. In all fairness, Jim works a ton and the weather has been soggy and raining for much of the last few months so we haven't had the chance to really do much more than slog around in the mud and buy a few plants. It will be a learning experience. I have been assigned research, planning, documenting, and upkeep and Jim has been assigned to break his back.

At the moment, the garden amounts to a 9 x 11 plot
 And a table full of veggies.
Here's what we are going to plant and I know we are late on some of these guys, but we are going to give it a go anyway:  garlic (it's in that pot and will most likely remain there instead of going into the ground...Then we will keep the best cloves, dry it and plant it next year.), onions, two types of lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, zucchini, three types of peppers, three types of tomatoes, I think some potatoes too. The girls really want to grow watermelon, but I don't know if we have room for it, so we will see. 

We have some work to do on the soil and we have to put a fence up as deer frequent the neighborhood and I'm sure there are other vermin around who will be willing to snack freely from our buffet.  It is going to be a learning experience this year and I'm trying to keep my expectations realistic.

Anyone else putting a garden in? Any tips, tricks, advice, warnings?


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