Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9, 2011

This back yard was a vast expanse of lawn punctuated with a few mature trees when we moved in one year ago; the addition of more than 70 fruiting trees and bushes, and a 2,000 sq. ft. vegetable garden have enabled us to live independent of grocery store produce shipped across thousands of miles from domestic and international sources.  Now all it needs is a few chickens to make it a true hobby farm, but we'll save that for a future year.

Spinach season has come to a happy end - on Saturday we cut the plants off at ground level, more than enough to fill a tall kitchen trash bag.  It was washed, and what we did not save for fresh use was blanched and packed into freezer bags to enjoy later.

Each section of the garden is planned seasonally, and we practice succession planting and crop rotation so that no part of the garden goes to waste - something is growing or in production nearly year-round.  Now that spinach is gone, the ground is clear to plant pumpkins.  Bryan dug wells in the middle of the plot and filled them with aged, composted manure.  Even in this little space we grow four varieties:  Prizewinner (giant), New England Pie (sweet), Connecticut Field, and Jack Be Little (mini).  The former are always a hit at the annual Pumpkin Festival in Pumpkintown each October.

"If you grow pumpkins, you will be happy when you pick them.  Savor what you feel, in addition to what you taste.  Enjoy the blossoms - if pumpkins were rare, gardeners would pamper them in greenhouses just for their extraordinary flowers."  --J. L. Hudson as quoted in The Perfect Pumpkin, by Gail Damerow.  Seed will go in the ground this Saturday the 14th.

As an experiment this year we planted nine Aunt Molly's ground cherry bushes from seed - sent as a free gift from a mail order company.  The idea of annual fruit sounds appealing.  Compare the garden now to what it looked like in February, here.

1 comment:

  1. I think I need Bryan to come help me dig in my tiny little plot. Too cold yet to put my tomatoes out.


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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (