I am pretty excited about the garden right now. For the first time we decided to actually tackle the overgrown mess that it becomes by the end of every summer in the fall rather than waiting until the following spring. Okay-I am saying we-but Jonny is doing all the work. I am following behind and planting seeds as he clears out and prepares the beds. The plants in the foreground of the above picture are strawberry plants. We have three beds of those and one asparagus bed, but the rest of the beds are being totally cleared. I am all worked up about growing our own food again, probably because I have been listening to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle on CD. We have plans to totally renovate the garden next year-the gravel paths between brick lined beds has been a disaster. The weeds grow right through the plastic and gravel paths we layed years ago. The soil from the beds overflows into the paths because we are always mulching our beds, therefore raising the soil level every year a bit. This just adds to the weed problem between the beds. Right now the plan is to shovel out all the gravel and raise our beds with some sort of lumber-unfortunately the only affordable option is pressure treated because our garden is so big-but I will have to do some more research. We will widen the paths between the beds and plant dutch white clover in the paths. This can be mowed and then used as a mulch in the beds.
For now I just want a clean neat looking garden over the winter, and a cleaner slate to begin with next spring.
I am planting: collard greens, siberian kale, lettuce, spinach, maybe a type of broccoli I just discovered that overwinters giving an early spring start, and maybe some cabbage as well. For beds that don’t get planted with vegetables I am planting crimson clover as a cover crop. It will be so pretty blooming late next spring.
My mind is really racing about food right now. I wish we could afford to do all that we want to. We would love to convert this big walk in cage on our property into a chicken coop. I would love to raise dairy goats, and we have been talking about getting bees for years now. But all of that is expensive! So for now I have to be happy with my veggies and be grateful that I can buy my eggs, and honey locally. As far as dairy goes, I am still trying to come up with a plan. We tried a raw milk co-op a couple of years ago-but it was springtime and the milk tasted so strongly of grass that no one could drink it. That isn’t the case at other times of the year-so maybe I need to look into trying it again now.
I will have to tell the story at some point of how we ended up on this property and in this old house. It’s a pretty amazing story of how God used all sorts of things-even natural disaster to put us in the perfect place. I love our little old house and our beautiful property, and am so grateful that God gave us this place where I could have my own big garden and even have the option of bees, chickens, and goats. This place is just me and while we talk about moving to a bigger house one day-I can’t quite imagine ever leaving this place. I guess the reality is that at some point we will have to leave it…unless we just add on the house-that’s an option as we will have four boys that can help Jonny!
Fall Gardening…a first
October 8, 2008