Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I'm In The Garden: Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in every day life ~

Pretty, happy,  funny, real all wrapped up together in our garden we call Hortus Rustica (rustic garden) since we named our farm Pax Rustica (a rustic peace). The kids usually say mom's garden. 

We started on the garden early 2016. We drew up plans, ordered seeds, planted seeds and claimed an area we knew would get enough sunlight. 
It's hard to believe people lived on this property for years but never planted a garden before. 
We fenced the garden area since the sheep have free range over the property and would love the variety of flavors in a garden. Craig thought 6 foot high fence walls would be good, and it has been, except the peacocks who occasionally fly over to get a nibble of my blackberries just before they are ripe.

We used cinder blocks from the old little house for three beds and planted yellow and red onion and garlic in the small spaces. So far so good. 
We made the wooden beds with treated wood and filled with organic dirt mix with fungus from a local provider. I was a purest in the past using non treated lumber, and had to replace annually. We use chicken poo fertilizer, also from a local provider. I still need to get a good system for my own compost. Right now our chickens usually spread any piles I try to start. Plus since mine are pastured chickens, their poo is spread all through the property.

We have the edge bedding with top soil and sand, just by accident of location. It works well with the strawberries, beets, watermelon, carrots, sunflowers, lettuce, marigolds and kale. The corn did not thrive in it. 

I have hobby gardened for years and wanted to get serious and be successful this year. I went to a master garden class, poured over catalogs and garden magazines, studied what worked best where, but the best advice was to try and make notes of how it went and what worked best where, etc. It has been interesting to experiment.

I've enjoyed the process. The smell of tomato plants just makes me happy, even though it a love/hate kind of smell for me.  My next plan, when I can get time on my husband's weekend calendar, is to mulch the downed pine trees to use in garden walkways to keep the weeds down. I weed the walkways more than the beds.  His plan is to bring power and water to his shop, and give me a water spicket for the garden and maybe even power. I'd like a fountain for my flowered area someday.

The beginnings:

If the kids don't know where I am, they look in the garden first. 

I love seeing everything grow and see my "t-post garden" turn into a living green filled space. Unfortunately it isn't producing as much as I had hoped it would at this point. I do have high expectations and I'm thankful for everything it produces!

We had some early peaks like peas, spinach  and quinoa. The corn never really came in strong, one stream of watermelon and cantaloupe didn't even try. 

We have tomatoes, blackberries and strawberries. Okra is coming. I didn't realize asparagus weren't a first year producer, but I had my hopes. Next year.

Celery, cucumber and the herbs are coming up strong. There are flowers on the squash and peppers, let's hope they produce. 

Where we are today:

My mother's day garden seat gift.








Blackberries (just the way the peacocks like them). 

Strawberries were supposed to be a second year producer. I clipped the blossoms and runners, but when I had to ignore the garden during recent torrential rains, the strawberries took off! The berries are small but delicious.

Flowery spot to relax between weeding. It needs a small umbrella, I think.

Outside looking in, so happy to see so much green, but really need to tackle the walkway weeds.

Euly and Ceci took some lavender indoors. It is very fragrant. Hopefully it will flourish indoors as well. 

One of the peacock's nightly perch with the perfect view of the garden.

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