There’s a reason my fingernails and toenails are stained, my farmers tan is well on its way, and my hair has been in a pony for most of the past 2 weeks…the garden has landed.
The ground breaking actually began when I was in AZ. The Hubs and the kids cleaned up a fence row and piles of picked stone (stone picking anyone? a fun first job for most farm kids). These piles had been dumped when this fifty acres held nothing but alfalfa.. but now that there’s a homestead here, we’ve been cleaning up a few of the old piles In this picture I’m dumping some of the stones beside our laneway, to widen it a bit. We borrowed this fine tractor from our neighbour…what a treat it was to drive…may I remind you that this was precisely the kind of tractor I THOUGHT I had bought at the auction. sigh.
The tractor (of my dreams) also had a rototiller feature that was fantastic for working up the ground and preparing a beautifully soft seedbed.
The Hubs then smoothed out the remaining gravel we had piled up at the end of the laneway, and ta-da, we had a wider laneway.
The kids have been such great helpers…hoeing and planting and staking the rows so that they’re straight. Gabe helped The Hubs build a pole bean trellis for the plants to climb and also a cucumber trellis, which is a bit of an experiment. I’m hoping the pickling cucs will climb up and provide a bit of shade for the lettuce which loves cooler temps. Time will tell!
This is what it looked like after it had all been worked up and our extra patio stones had been laid for a walkway.
Yesterday was the day for irrigation. We’ve had enough vegetable gardens to know that if we don’t consistently water it, we’re gonna end up with puny veggies or dead plants. Our go to method was filling up watering cans and slowly walking through the rows. This worked okay, but watering the roots is a better method than spraying the entire plant with water, and I also know that from previous years, we lose steam about halfway through summer and just pray for rain. This year it had to be different. The Hubs read a few articles on using soaker hoses and watched a few you-tube videos, so we thought we’d give it a whirl. There is a bit of an initial investment, but this system can be broken down and used for many, many more years to come. It involves using a large container for a water holding tank, this one was sourced from The Hubs workplace.
He hooked up a pvc pipe to the tote of water, then put valves on the pipe where our soaker hoses begin.
(sorry about the photo quality, I took them last night after we finished )
So far I’ve gotten the following in: Peppers (red and green) tomatoes (several varieties including cherry and beefsteak as well as an organic extremely sweet plum tomato..thanks to my favourite organic farmer) pickling cucumbers, dill, garlic, red onion, shallots (which have yet to pop and I may have buries too deep) pole beans, cauliflower, kale (love this in the a dutch dish that mixes mashed potatoes and kale) bok choy, 2 varieties of sweet corn (staggard plant every 2 weeks so that we don’t have 300 cobs the same week heh.) leeks (I have a fabulous cheesy leek dip from Jaime Oliver that I’m drooling for) I also have some sunflowers, lavender, holly hocks, and a pink grass starting in there so that they too get lots of water.
Still to plant: Mesclun mix, romaine lettuce, and butternut squash and the remainder of the corn area.
Pretty soon, I’ll have to dust off that canner and get my mason jars in the dishwasher!!