Food, Yarn, & Stuff

How does your garden grow?

Posted on: June 21, 2011

I have to admit, shortly after deciding on transitioning to vegan, I decided – “I should plant a garden this year!” We made a garden plot in our yard several years ago with left over bricks from our patio. Our backyard is pretty sloped and not huge, so we had to ‘build’ a flat area for the garden. It’s about 8 ft by 4 ft – nothing huge. For the first couple summers it really was just a weed garden – and I would occasionally throw veggie scraps out there. Last year, my mother-in-law had some volunteer tomato plants that she really wanted to give a home. Our garden was in no state for planting! She volunteered to take the time to clean it out and plant the tomatoes. She spent an entire day out there pulling out the weeds and planted 4 tomatoes. Unfortunately, we had no fencing, so those poor little tomato plants didn’t stand a chance against the rabbits! They were all but gone the next morning! And, the weeds quickly filled back in. I didn’t pay much attention to the garden until fall. Amazingly, one afternoon I noticed a strange green thing hanging out the side of the garden… what’s this?

Surprise!

It’s a tiny pumpkin! Holy moly! Where’d that come from?? Apparently I had put the two ‘baking pumpkins’ that the kids got at pre-school the fall before out there and the seeds took! So, I did some investigating in the weeds. There were a few more things that managed to grow in the garden!

Tomato Harvest 2010

There were even 3 tomatoes that managed to survive. There were a few more that had grown, fallen off and rotted – because I wasn’t tending the garden. These were delicious on tacos!

Pumpkin Harvest 2010

Then came Thanksgiving 2010… I had a ‘homegrown’ pumpkin pie! It turns out there were 2 pumpkins growing out there… who would have thought! I may have picked them a little early, but I roasted both of them and made them into a pie – they were delicious!

Fast forward to spring 2011! I was feeling very motivated one day while the kids were at school, and so I cleaned the weeds out of the garden yet again. Then I ventured out to Home Depot to get garden soil, since most of what was filling the garden was back fill clay, gravel, and some dirt that was moved out from the back yard when we put in a retaining wall. I knew we needed a ‘healthy’ top layer! So, I bought enough organic garden soil to fill a couple of inches deep and help mix in to the existing soil. That weekend, I went to Lowe’s and bought my garden plants – I had nothing in particular in mind, but I kind of knew I actually didn’t want tomatoes this year. I’m not a huge tomato fan, and at the time I didn’t feel like I would use them, so I didn’t want them to go to waste. So, on May 21st, 2011 I planted my garden…

My Garden - May 21, 2011

I planted 8 romaine lettuce, 4 cauliflower, 2 strawberries, 8 sweet peas, 2 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 zucchini, and 4 sweet corn plants. Oh, and a fence… this year I got a fence! And, the rabbits have stayed out!

Here’s what it looks like today…

Strawberries

Sweet Peas

baby Yellow Bell Pepper

Zucchini

My Garden - June 21, 2011

I’ve done nothing but water a few times, thankfully we’ve had rain regularly so I haven’t had to impact our water bill, and I pull out the grass and weeds that keep trying to invade every few days. I really haven’t been so proud of something in a long time! I can’t wait until I can start picking things – although I did steal a ‘not quite ready’ sweet pea the other day – it was deliciously sweet! The zucchini is doing amazing – I have a feeling I’m going to have way more zucchini than I know what to do with! And, I’m hoping that the romaine and bell peppers on that side manage to survive despite the zucchini monopolizing that corner!

Are you a gardener? How’s your garden growing?

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1 Response to "How does your garden grow?"

My mom and I do a garden every summer, and usually winters too! This year we did corn, pumpkin, zucchini, strawberries, chard, spinach, mint, onions, tomatoes, grapes, peas, string beans as well as our already and continually providing fruit trees: plums, lemons, apples, peaches, grapefruit, apricots…. I love to weed the garden, it is wonderfully meditative and i always think about pulling the metaphorical weeds out of life… I also love to make a garden salad and sit in the garden while i eat it…. That’s about as local as it gets!!!

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