Sunday, January 6, 2013

Moving to New Ground

We have begun to realize a small dream. We have purchased 8 acres in Berea, Kentucky and hope to make it a small family farm. The plans include an orchard, even larger garden than what we currently use, various stock and eventually a home. All hands are on deck to clear brush and ready the land for the spring. We will be planting our garden in the same place this coming year, giving us more time to properly prepare the land on our farm. "Our farm", words I never thought I would say. 

The back acreage.

The front acreage.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Canning, canning, canning

I have been busy canning salsa, spaghetti sauce and tomatoes. Each evening I find myself, "shopping" through the garden and deciding what to eat from the variety I find. It is a busy time but also a time for enjoying the flowers and watching things change through the season. I have already planted my Fall garden. Peas, carrots, beets, cabbages, green onions, shallots, lettuce, spinach and cilantro are all popping up their little heads. I love this time of year with the frequent rain, cooler nights and days that beg you to clean up and get ready for winter. We have even found the time to lay out under the stars!

That tomato is taller than me!

One of my favorite companion plantings Blackeyed Susan, sage, lemon grass and pumpkins.

Cucumbers, Chinese Red Noodle Bean and Marigolds.

Corn, pole beans and pumpkins.

Honey from our hives!! 
Quadruple batch of salsa.

Bushel of veggies!

Spaghetti sauce ingredients.

Evening pickings.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Child's Garden

My little ones love to garden. They take whatever plants I have left over, transplant them with love and watch them grow. Extra seeds are given homes among the flowers and veggies. I have no jurisdiction in their garden. Mom is not allowed to have a say or tell them what to do. And I am always surprised by the beauty they create.
First plantings in Children's garden, May.

Growing with little hands tending, June!

Trying to Keep Up

  The smells and tastes of summer are all around. Herbs, garlic, salad greens, onions, green beans, carrots, squash, beets, leeks, peas, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and spring potatoes are all making their way to our table. Sauerkraut is fermenting under the couch, pesto is frozen away, pickles waiting on the pantry shelves and frozen green beans piling up. My next favorite thing to eating fresh out of the garden is stocking it away for the cold winter.
   I planned, planned, planned all winter but when it comes to actual yields there are always a few surprises. My heirloom cucumbers have not done well at all. I have had to rely on my hybrid for any cucumbers and thus the very slow process of pickling a quart here and another quart there. I was hoping to have it all done in a week, but it will take all summer before my pickle guzzling daughter will be satisfied.
    The tomatoes are loaded with fruit. Two ripe tomatoes and one green have made it home so far to be savored. For me, tomatoes are the quintessential taste of summer. And the most work as well......

Comparison of garden. June 18th.

First planted. First week of May.
Garlic Harvest!

More Garlic!
Lettuce, tomato, peas, broccoli, basil and spinach.

Tomatoes in their cages.

Green beans.

Catching runners from the strawberries.

Lettuce grown under the trellis.

Beets, green beans, cucumbers, broccoli and lettuce.

Dill, green beans, green tomato and potatoes.


Freezing herbs for the winter.

Preparing green beans for freezing.

I can't wait!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Notable Mention

I have to give credit where it is due. Brian, my husband, is the reason our garden looks so beautiful. He is the one who squares the beds, lays the rock borders, weed eats the grass and sprays the fence line. Without his vision of perfection, we would not be gardening in such symmetry. I am the gardener, he is the builder. He tries to think up the best ways to save labor and time for which I am truly grateful. I like to weed but not a half acre. I like to water but not for two to three hours a day. So, he is there to work out systems and engineer efficiency. It works out well and we both enjoy working together. Thank you Hun!

The Garden Is In

The months of December through February saw me planning away. March through April I was in the greenhouse starting and tending my plants. May is finally here and after several days of digging, amending and fussing over this plant and that one, the garden is in. I love this time of year! The days are still cool enough to get in a good days work. The plants are growing before my eyes. I try to enjoy these moments before I sit down to make out my preparing, canning and freezing schedules. I like to turn my back to all the work that is to come and just enjoy what I have already accomplished. I suppose like anything we do, enjoying today and getting some joy from what has already been completed gives us the strength to tackle even greater challenges. 
Compost from the bin to amend my beds.

Look at all those worms (and a grub which I killed)!

Kittens, kids and Spring!

Brian spent several days putting in rock borders.

The tomatoes in their cages (also made by Brian).

Hoping I planted enough for all the canning.

Anna's garden.

Basil, lettuce and spinach.

Loving the lettuce.

Loving the spinach.

Blackberries are blooming.

Yellow sweet peas are blooming.


My under the trellis lettuce bed, for shade.

Every bed is filled!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Learning Lessons

Over the few years I have been gardening, I try to cultivate one type of plant with perfection in mind. Last year, lettuce was my achilles' heel. I could not get it to grow. So, in retaliation, I have perfected my lettuce growing techniques. Needless to say, a few other veggies needed my attention and did not get it because I was concentrating on lettuce instead. Between bugs and a very bitter frost my broccoli, purple cabbage, cauliflower and Chinese cabbage bit the dust. Well, at least I know which veggies to work on next year. I figure if I pick one veggie per year and learn how to grow it really well then I will have a sensational garden by the time I am 60. Well, here is to ever improving and growing older and wiser.

Thriving lettuce.

Bug eaten and frost damaged....dead.

Well, at least the one behind the failure might make it.