Making the garden work

100_4574Howdy. I’ve asked my pal at Moonmooring to come up and take some pictures so I can show you this peculiar garden of mine and stop trying to figure out how to describe it. It’s a third strawbales, a third containers and a third in the ground. This is my first summer living at the farm, after working on the house, going broke, and numerous health problems that I won’t bore you with. The gardening problems coming in included no discernable sign of a former garden anywhere and all the reasonable places grown up in trees. There’s a level place at the front and on the west side, but its problems include a gigantic many trunked mimosa tree, a cement shuffleboard court, and non-farm-raised family members saying “You can’t put that there, it’s the front yard!” So the bales are down one side of the shuffleboard court (hereafter referred to as “the court.) with cattle panels just off the edge to give tomatoes something to grow up (also cucumbers and pole beans). The containers are of various sizes, and they round the end and come down the other side of the court, letting me water all with one long soaker hose. The containers include yard long beans (trellised), horticulture beans, nasturtiums, chard, mizuna, carrots and beets. Herbs include basil, lemon balm, garlic chives, tarragon, thyme and lemon thyme, rosemary, tansy, rue, spearmint, lemon verbena and eucalyptus.

Over under the mimosa, I had a spot plowed and tilled despite lots of tree roots, and planted eight short rows of potatoes (Green Mountain, Kahtadin, Burbank Russets and Red Pontiac) and a couple rows of late onions (they didn’t mean to be. I was just late getting them in). The north half of the space was too shady to grow food, so it’s grown up in green perilla and lamb’s quarter, and now I have many meals of wild greens volunteering to feed me.

Then a friend came over with a chain saw, took pity on me, and lopped off one particularly offending trunk of the mimosa, and now I have sun in the north half. My plan is to keep eating greens and pulling the plants, planting a row as soon as that part is clear. I’m thinking kohlrabi, sprouting broccoli and maybe some chinese cabbage to go into the fall.



Jumping The Gun!

IMG_0335Hm. Well, it seems I jumped the gun on offering a tour of the album. No photos yet on my blog, but you can see them at Moonmooring or wait until I get better at this. Here’s my cranky story. I was waylaid by illness this spring while attempting to start a new garden and didn’t get things planted in a timely manner or get the garden spot developed enough to hold all I wanted to plant. However, a former owner of my little farmette kindly left behind a cement shuffleboard court (they were from California — what can I say?) and I’ve used it to start a garden of straw bales and containers. The original garden has been given over to potatoes and greens, the wild kind, mostly. The strawbales are hosting a variety of eating, canning and drying tomatoes, along with two kinds of peppers, cucumbers, pole beans and an eggplant. In pots are horticulture beans, yardlong beans, chard, mizuna, and nasturtiums. Smaller containers hold rosemary, tarragon, English and Lemon thyme, tansy, rue, eucalyptus, lemon verbena, italian parsley, sage, lemon balm, garlic chives and basil.Everything’s doing nicely, thank you, helped along with weekly fertilizer and rabbit manure tea. All are watered by soaker hose. I use 2″ wide electrical tape to seal off areas of the hose that are not adjacent to areas I want watered, like between containers and such. It’s my first try at bales and I don’t know much about container gardening, but I’m loving the experiment and it seems to work no matter how much I screw up.  More to come about varieties, harvests and ephemera.