gardening / homesteading

homestead: garden bounty

Every year, I grow starts from seed. Sometimes these seedlings will grow as expected, sometimes they won’t. Sometimes I’ll know why, sometimes I won’t.

This year they grew happily in the greenhouse. Hundreds of them. From flowers to veggies. Then I placed a few in the open sun to harden off. And then I let the hens out of the coop.

And, well, you know what happened. Thankfully, the hens only half-consumed the broccoli and cauliflower tray.

I’m giving them a go in the garden anyway, but we all know they would have been eaten by mealworms.

There’s this thing with gardening, like farming: I’m entirely dependent on the weather. And yet I play my hand year to year because I love growing plants, I love watching something thrive under my hand, I love growing my own food.

What I’ve done in the garden this year:

  1. Cut old raspberry canes and tied others back. We’re now reaping those raspberries and adding them to morning parfaits for our bed and breakfast guests.
  2. Planted satsuma beans, aka soya beans. In case I decide to open a roadside sushi stop.
  3. Covered my lettuce starts with cover so they don’t overheat. Why is lettuce the one vegetable I struggle to grow from year to year?
  4. Firmly inserted a pea fence with green trellis netting. Reaping loads of snap peas for sautés.
  5. Planted fewer bean tripods. Everyone doesn’t want this many beans anyway.
  6. Snipped strawberry runners and replanted them along the rock wall. I’m making strawberry rhubarb jam with regularity.
  7. Pruned the fruit trees and surrounded them with wire protection. Don’t need deer to nibble at them though they’ll still come into the yard, despite Violet. I’ve underplanted them with more comphrey, chamomile, oregano, and dill to enrich the soil.
  8. I identified a prickly plant in the garden. It’s a wild raspberry! So I tied it to the back garden fence, espalier-style, and I’m eating them for breakfast.
  9. Planted spaghetti, acorn and butternut squash.
  10. Planted watermelon and pumpkin. A dozen watermelon plants will trail over the rock wall into the fruit orchard.
  11. Planted cucumber over metal trellises on the walkway. Very pretty if you’re a cat walking underneath.
  12. Planted bee balm, forsythia, lavender and hydrangea JUST like last year, because Violet slept on them over winter. Not something I’ll eat, but something the bees will enjoy. Pollinator plants bring on the bees.
  13. Planted a verandah pot, again, with a fig tree, in hopes to replant it in the orchard in fall.

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