Because the garden currently looks like this:
And my cow had icicles on her fur and ears:
And because I devoured The Intelligent Gardner and Teaming With Microbes in 6 days. And because I can’t stop thinking and scheming about this year’s garden and my massive garden expansion plan. I realized it would be a good idea to take this downtime (between hog butcherings, chick acquisition, indoor seed starting, etc.) to finally get out a recap of our first gardening experience on our new homestead. [As a quick meandering tangent (oxymoronic, no?)…I’ve decided that the moniker “homestead” is indeed the most fitting for what we are building. Farm is too big and we aren’t (currently) selling anything, Garden doesn’t cover what a large part animals play in this thing. Farmstead would be an option but I prefer homestead and all that it implies. We have settled on an actual name too! That will be reveled later, but for now? Glad we got that sorted.]
Rather than drone on and on about the minutiae that doesn’t really interest anyone but me (even my husband is kindly polite when I get going on all things garden), I’m just going to show you some of my favorite pictures from the season. While there was a bit of a learning curve (Fungal disease from too much moisture was not something that happened in the desert. Ever.), growing stuff here is amazing. It gave me a glimpse into a world where I really could produce superior food for my family and make a substantial dent in our food bill. My previous successes were limited to “Hey, something grew! And it almost looks normal!” No more, friends. We can garden for reals now.
Quick note: Morning Glories are weeds here. We had to work hard to grow some for Naomi in Vegas and even then only got a few. Best. Move. Ever.
The spider’s name is Quatro.
We probably got 20 lbs of pecans from our pecan tree that we didn’t even know we had until a few months ago. And there are still about 5 pounds on the ground because holidays commandeered my pecan harvesting time. I think only homemade bacon from my own pig has rivaled the joy and pride from serving pecan pie made from my own pecans on Thanksgiving Day.
I love canning. Do you love canning? If no, Can I can for you? Because I love it. I have an entire attic space that is now an attic pantry full to bursting with everything from bread and butter pickles to wild black berry jam to chicken pot pie filling. Happiness radiates, nay…exudes, out of there from under the door. Seriously, it looks like puffs of yellow glitter.
- 44.5 lbs summer squash
- 22 cantaloupes (averaging 4 lbs each)
- 58 lbs sweet potatoes
- 112.5 lbs cucumbers
- 105 cups wild blackberries from our woods
- 157 lbs. tomatoes
- 6 lbs. peppers
- 25 ears of corn
- 6 watermelons
- 5 big pumpkins
- 9 lbs. green beans
- a few small cabbages and cauliflowers
- a ridiculous amount of arugula
- 2 large acorn squashes
- handful of small random squashes