Bounty of the Earth

Boy did we get lucky this year.

We had the best of intentions for tending our little garden. We really did. But to be honest we pretty much just half-assed the whole thing; planted at the wrong times, weeded occasionally, watered when we remembered, put up a ridiculously flimsy fence to keep the deer out. We pretty much did the bare minimum. We had no idea what we were doing and just made it up as we went along. And it worked!

From a little ramshackle garden with 4 4’x4′ boxes came much glory. Sweet, crunchy carrots, the tastiest, so red they were almost purple skinned potatoes and buttery yellow ones, crisp and peppery lettuces, and cute little butternuts. Not everything grew well. We got few peas, no onions no matter how many times we replanted, someone small and crawly ate the broccoli, most of the zinnias froze, and the sweet peppers, though prolific were bitter. But if you want jalapeno peppers, cherry tomatoes or green beans we can hook you up. No really. Please. Come take them. I don’t know what to do with them all.

One of the things I’m looking forward to most about our new house is having a bigger, more intentional garden, an orchard, chickens and one day maybe even bees and goats. Our garden plot was laid out and designed long before the house ever was with 8 4′ x 4′ boxes for “square foot” style gardening with pea gravel paths, a small storage shed, high deer-proof fence, and a stone wall along the back side. We plan on planting an orchard next to the driveway to feed our apple cider, sauce and turnover habit (we finished off all the apples from Ev’s parent’s trees in just a few weeks and are still craving more). My goal is to hopefully incorporate something home grown/made in every meal. Soup with homemade stock and veggies from the garden. Our tomato sauce and pesto with our own basil for pizza night. Maybe even cheese from our goat’s milk. That sounds like a LOT of work. Am I crazy? I did a lot of saucing, pressing, drying and freezing this year. Except for peeling 20 lbs of cherry tomatoes for sauce (NEVER.AGAIN.) I didn’t really feel like it was too much work to grow and process our own food. Since we’re a 20-50 minute drive to anywhere with a decent grocery store I found that I could put that time into our own food. And it was cheaper. And fresher. And tastier. And healthier for us, our neighbors and ultimately the world.

Got any gardening tips for two newbies? What is your favorite thing eat/cook garden fresh? Anyone want some tomatoes?

– B

Bright jalapeno peppers

Apples and cider from our own trees

Our ragtag green beans have produced enough to fill three grocery bags


2 Responses to “Bounty of the Earth”

  1. I share your feelings on the homegrown food. If Dan and I can ever build a house on some land there will be some food growing on that property. I can’t believe how much I spend on produce every week! We live in a great climate for growing all kinds of things for a decent amount of time out of the year. I know someone that gardens in Oregon and she has a much shorter time to grow. Do you know how difficult it is to keep bees? I’m curious because I do love honey. Plus I understand the honey bee population is in decline so it couldn’t hurt to help it out.
    Thanks for the great posts.


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