Wednesday, May 30, 2012
THE GARDEN IS IN!
Hello everyone! This weekend we worked at planting the garden. After working all day for three days, I'm happy to report it is in. Now for the next four months, my time will be spent weeding and watering, harvesting and preserving. This is no lady-like, garden-gloves type hobby garden, but a real "provide food for the family" garden. It takes up the better part of one suburban lot and yields enough to feed a family of four, plus plenty left over for family and friends. There are five plots each about 30 feet long by 6 feet wide, plus we grow grapes and blackberries along the fence and have a strawberry and blueberry patch. On a second lot, we have a small "handkerchief " orchard of semi-dwarf apple, pear and meddlar trees. Since we are vegans (for the most part) all we really need to buy is flour, yeast, sugar and coffee and a few other staples. Unfortunately, we also indulge too often in a bit of cheese or eggs to bake with, hence we are not true vegans. But if we were in a bind, we could live off this garden, and in the summer, we often do, not stepping inside a grocery store for weeks at a time. Not only does that save a lot of money, it saves a lot of calories because I'm not good about fattening and unhealthy impulse buys! All of our plants are started from seed, including the onions, which make it very economical. One plot is dedicated to our favorite type of food, Italian. All the tomatoes, peppers, onions and eggplants are old heirloom varieties. If you are going to go to all the trouble to grow a garden, why settle for ordinary varieties that you can find in the grocery store? It's so much fun to taste something that perhaps the pilgrims ate. Each year I plant something unusual. Last year it was broccoli rabe, which was a disaster. This year, it's woad, an herb used for dying. So far the plants look like they are doing great. Oh! By the by, the roses I started died from neglect when I was sick, so my apologies to those I promised one. But if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. I'll give it another go and see what happens. What have I got to lose? Here's on of my favorite quotes about gardening:
"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust."...Gertrude Jekyll
Pretty much sums it up doesn't it?