Friday, June 1, 2012

The Garden Map

I think the main vegetable garden is finally in. We planted a packet of fennel and some beets last night, and I think it's full to the brim. We started the season with a garden about a third of this final size, and quickly filled it up with just the cold crops. So we took down the fencing on the western side and expanded it.

We went a little potato crazy this year. Which is good because we eat a lot of them, but we forgot that we ordered potato sets from a seed company, and then bought some as well from a nursery.

Beyond this garden, we have a corn field with five different types of corn, a pumpkin patch that we also put in yesterday, and an asparagus bed.

I'm most excited about the tomatoes. We planted 42 heirloom plants and I can't wait to sink my teeth into those juicy fruits!

I drew this map (please don't look at the horrible spelling errors, evidently the word spaghetti is beyond me, among others!) anyway...I drew this map as a guide for next year. I'd like to rotate the crops one third cycle each year, though that may get interesting when the pumpkins are in the middle? The garden is sectioned off in threes. The early crops to the right, the tomatoes and peppers in the middle, and the pumpkins, squashes and melons to the left. I feel like if we can find a good layout within these three areas, we can just rotate the whole thing each year.

What we yield this year will help us decide what to grow next year, but so far our "next year" plans have been mostly additions.

We definitely would like to put in a strawberry patch, more berry bushes like raspberries and blueberries, more asparagus, and a horseradish plant. We'd like to grow a small field of broom corn and a small field of wheat, mainly to play around with grinding flour and learning about that process. I also love to decorate with wheat around the house, and I have some ideas for wreaths and wheat bunches. I would also like to grow a small area of straw flowers for decorating as well.

Over the years, we would like to develop an orchard on the property. I know this won't happen overnight but it's a goal we'd like to work toward.

I am looking forward to all the canning, blanching and freezing in the next couple of months. We'd like to set up a small farm stand in the front yard or on the porch to sell our extras. If that doesn't work, maybe look into the farmers markets. We have a couple in mind already, but I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, so to speak.

So far we're enjoying lots of lettuce, spinach, early pea pods, chives, and the small garlic heads that we planted last fall. Our radishes bolted because of the warm spell we had early on, and they're putting their energy into seed making rather than radish making.

It's been a wonderful experience so far. I'm still amazed at the simplicity of it all. You put a seed in the ground and it grows! It grows into something beautiful and delicious! I also can't believe how inexpensive it is. We planted over a hundred pumpkin and gourd seeds for about $4. With a bit of luck and some water and sunshine, we should have an amazing crop! Wish us luck, as I wish all of you the very best with your gardens and all that you endeavor.   


Amber said...

You need to teach me a thing or two cuz!

Camille said...

Praying for a bountiful harvest!!! You guys have certainly been busy! :)

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