The Garden

Muddy boots

It’s been consuming our weekends, this garden. The tilling. The building of boxes. The filling of boxes. Breaking tough clods of Virginia clay. The endless planting of so many seeds. We may have bitten off more than we can chew, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Last year we had a small square-foot style garden with four boxes, but we really only used two. This year we have what seems like half an acre devoted to the green stuff: Several rows of root crops in the ground and the rest in about 10 wooden 4′ x 4′ or 2′ x 4′ boxes. In other words, quite the expansion from last year’s prolific endeavors. Whole boxes are dedicated to carrots. Only carrots. Indeed we many have gone a bit crazy. You see, we planted 360 onion sets, not counting the onion seeds (we eat a LOT of onions), four bags of seed potatoes, rows and rows of turnips, a box each of shell and snap peas. Other tasty promises include three different types of tomatoes, two kinds of broccoli, two kinds of cucumbers, bush beans, and summer squash.

We will also plant a corn, pole beans and squash in a traditional “three sisters”grouped and staggered planting so that the beans and squash climb the corn.

The Garden -- root crops above, Three-sisters corn and sunflowers below

Our hope is to put a large amount of this fresh produce away for the winter months. This will be a major boon to our budget, which used to center around our food expenses, our housing situation and our eating habits being what they are, but will very soon shift towards a more mortgage-centric style.

While we do still need to figure out a fencing system, this being deer country and all, we do have a devilishly clever pest control system. Next week our chicks will arrive. Not only will they provide us with eggs and meat, but they will be our first line of defense against the invading hoard of stink bugs!

If you need me, you know where to find me — in the garden, with this kiddo.

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