It’s hard to believe that only six weeks ago it was April, and we were digging up a 10′ x 16′ patch of grass (weeds) to plant a vegetable garden. We both have gardening in our blood (as well as a serious commitment to eating real, home-grown food), so it was only natural for us to plant a garden this year. Things have been progressing nicely since we planted: we’ve received nice weather with consistent, periodic rain and abundant sunshine and warm temps (usually in the 70s and 80s). This is the type of weather that plants love, and thrive in – which is clear to see from our garden. While it’s not necessary to bore you with updates on all of the plants, I’ll give the general overview of the highlights.
Several people have commented on our maximum-security fencing around our garden (6′ of chicken wire, enclosed on all sides), and though it looks like an overboard measure of safety, I’m happy to report we have not had ONE instance of plants getting eaten by an animal. It looks a like overkill, but it’s worth it! We originally started out with 3′ of chicken wire, but added another 2′ last week once we started producing viable veggies (that could tempt a deer into hopping the fence).
So far, we have 4′ tall tomato plants (a few heirloom varieties, romas, and some early girls) which have been totally unruly. We planted them about 2′ on center, and this has proven to be far too close of spacing. We have also enjoyed a tremendously productive crop of Bibb lettuce, in that we have been able to take full heads of lettuce to many of our close friends, family members, and neighbors – and yet we still have over a dozen large heads left. We’re also seeing the very beginnings of cucumbers starting on the vines, bell peppers, pole beans, and other assorted plants. We also have big beautiful heads of broccoli forming, which will undoubtedly find their way to our menu next week.
We transplanted our pumpkin, cantaloupe, watermelon, and butternut squash plants to pots on the deck – as we feared they would overrun the garden if left untouched. And finally, on one fateful afternoon, we found 10′ tall Black Mission Fig trees on sale at Home Depot for a measly $40, so we crammed one into Hayley’s Mazda 3 and brought it home. Every few days, another fig ripens and I eat it in one bite. I think we need a few more to support my fig habit.
We still have a lot planned with the garden in the coming months. We will definitely be revisiting our pickle recipe to make some improvements (that’s for sure), and will be posting periodic updates and photos to our facebook page. It’s hard not to feel a great sense of pride with growing your own food. It’s wonderful to have some degree of independence from a largely oppressive food system (organic farmers, home gardeners, and CSA’s notwithstanding). And best of all, Our meals are delightfully influenced by what is in season. We could not be happier with the progress, and hope to serve as inspiration to you all in taking on some real-food endeavor of your own. Whether you have acres and acres of land, or a sunny window in your house, there is a gardening option for you. Tell us below about your garden, and what you enjoy most about growing your own food.
[abundant sun, good soil & water.... that's pretty much all it takes!]