I have been very busy the last two months preparing the garden beds and planting. This year has been amazing. Everything is already sprouted and going strong. Usually in my area, plants do not get this far until mid-June or later. I live in one of two areas in the States with the shortest growing season. I do “cheat” using raised beds. The soil thaws anywhere from one to two months earlier than normal.
All of the boxes finally need replacing. After figuring out the costs, we decided to replace them all next year when we will let the garden rest for year and change the boxes to the 8″ tall x 16″ long x 6″ wide cement blocks. In the long run, they will save us money and they do not have to be mortared together unless I go up another level. No more splinters when leaning over the boxes and grabbing the sides! I will fill the holes in the blocks with soil and compost and plant herbs that assist the particular vegetables growing in the bed instead of intermixing like I do now. Cool.
Another upside is if I do ever stop growing our food, doubtful, the cement blocks can be reused in other areas of the property. Win-win. We had thought about using the blocks when I first started, but I was not sure how things would grow in our area and if I would want to continue growing most of our own food. The health benefits of gardening coupled with clean food is something I prefer. The taste of homegrown vegetables is wonderful! They are like when I was young, before big ag started substituting junk that messed with your DNA (RNA now too) and poisoned you with glyphosates, which is why people think they are gluten-intolerant. They are poison intolerant. So far, no study has shown just how long the poisons stay in the blood system or lodged in the intestines. ugh!
Below is photos of the garden today. I am sorry they are so small. I need to reset my old digital camera to larger images.
The kitchen garden as I call the one in the front has: tomatoes (slicing & paste), cherry tomatoes in hanging planters, peppers (sweet & chiles), onions (yellow, sweet & red), garlic, scallions (green onions), carrots, celery, lettuce (butterhead, leaf & crisphead), radishes (regular & daikon), Chinese cabbage (green & red), kohlrabi, spinach, swiss chard, zucchini, cucumbers, pickles, pole beans, dry beans, and peas. The herbs include: dill, basil, oregano, marjoram, and savory.
These are the two 12′ long beds of strawberries. Has anyone ever seen them stand-up like this before? In the last 10 years, we have not. Even the old plants to the right are standing up. Weird. They are blooming and should be giving us plenty of strawberries, as they will throughout the season and into the fall. Knock on wood, but it looks like a bumper crop of strawberry jam will be going to the family this year.
The back garden has 24-feet of trellis and 1 pole-teepee of peas, three 12′ rows (4 plants across) of green beans and 5 pole-teepees for pole beans. The variety for the latter can either be eaten green or left to dry for a great soup bean called, ahem- Lazy Housewife. The dried bean seeds are large, white and roundish. They make a lovely soup. I will be digging up sprouts from my lilac bushes and planting them around that side of the house this month, too. I forgot to take a photo of the blooms that are now, sadly, about gone. In the early morning and at night, the scent is stunning. I open the windows and fill the bedroom and rest of the house with the sweet scent. It is heaven.
Across from the carport and drive, I have four 12′ long beds of potatoes coming in with an over-spill box that I put any remaining seed potatoes. In the 4 rows I planted white, yellow, red and cipolini onions and garlic. They all play well together. There is 108 potato plants that should be coming up. We like potatoes is an understatement. During the winter when we need to “do something” about all of the potatoes, I pressure-can them. For a meal, I rinse them off and either fry, roast or mash them, or even add them to a soup. Yum!
The little patch of plants in a circle of fir trees was one echinacea plant that spread into many plants, a valerian plant, and a tiny lilac that is already spreading. I did not add in the image there is a couple of catnip plants popping up. Catnip has many uses besides making cats goofy. The 3 lilacs to the side of the area are doing well. In a few years I will have hedges of lilacs. During blooming season, oh my…
I will be posting more recipes, a (hopefully) perfect Zinger-like cake recipe (raspberries are coming into season) and some musing on the Lenormand cards I bought along with how to make soft-boxes for your cards yourself to protect them. The boxes that come with most decks are either flimsy or cumbersome. Making your own box puts your energies around the cards. It sounds wrong to say a soft-box will protect a card deck, but they do, much better than a bag like some use. Another upside is you can bead, embroider, Russian needlepunch, fabric paint the material or just sew favorite fabrics or quilt them into a good box. The choices can be a lot of fun to do. I made one for my oldest grandson’s baseball card collection with his favorite movie character on the box in Russian needlepunch. It came out nicely boyish, too. ;D