Garden update

We are still about a month away from our last frost date, but I’ve gotten massive amounts of work done already.

Without really thinking about it too much, my husband and I are edging closer and closer to a more or less sustainable lifestyle. I guess the goal is to produce as much of our own food as possible. If we can’t or don’t grow it, then we try to buy local. (You may remember the Great Strawberry Jam Festival of 2008.) I’m willing to make a carbon footprint for a few things, like coffee and tea, but the list gets smaller every year.

This year’s veggie garden in 350 feet long and 6 feet wide. So far I’ve planted potatoes, onions, garlic, two kinds of peas, lettuce, spinach, horseradish, and rhubarb. Waiting on deck for the days to get a little warmer are the seedlings that I’ve been pampering: cucumbers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, a couple kinds of flowers, and pumpkin. The pumpkin is allegedly a variety that you can actually cook. I’d love to make this year’s Thanksgiving pies from scratch this year. (Most of this year’s seeds came from High Mowing. I recommend them with enthusiasm!)

The tomato and pepper seedlings from Seed Savers should be here soon. When they go in, I’ll plant the squash and bean seeds. Oh, and I planted a cover crop (green manure) of red clover. After that is tilled in, I’ll replant with a mixture of red clover and buckwheat.

We also have wild berry bushes growing on our property. These are mostly left for the birds to eat, I’m trying to tame them a bit into hedges this year and fertilize them. Maybe next year we’ll ask the birds to share.

What else? I have a bunch of herbs…. this afternoon I am going to experiment with propagating lavender. And we are still trying to figure out if this should be The Year of the Grand Chicken Experiment.

The more we do this, the more fun we’re having. I’ve had to unlearn some consumerist habits. For example, when I realized how many different kinds of seeds I’d be planting this year, my first inclination was to drive to the store and buy row markers. Silly me. When I thought about it, I realized that a) that would be a waste of dollars and fuel, and b) I could make the things by myself. I’ve been chopping a lot of wood this year, so I’m more comfortable with both axe and hatchet. I took a very dry maple log and split it into about 50 rowers markers. It was very easy to write on the smooth wood. At the end of the season, I’ll use them as kindling. Also, instead of buying plastic cups and pre-packaged dirt to start seeds in, we saved up egg cartons and used a mixture of composted dirt and worm castings. 

How is your garden doing?

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