Monday, July 6, 2015

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Anyone remember our pathetic attempt at a garden last summer? Radishes the size of fingernails ring a bell? If not, no worries - we've tried to block it from memory too. We were first timers who jumped into this whole pseudo "farm" idea head first and really had ZERO clue what we were doing.  

Well friends, the tables have turned in 2015.  We put some raised beds that came with our property to use this year - filling them with an amended compost mixture and dividing each of them up into square foot sections to maximize our growing space. I cannot even tell you how night and day the difference is from the sad little plot that we planted last year.    

I took all of these pictures about a week ago and cannot believe how much everything has grown since then!  
 Mmmmmm watermelon....NomNomNom! I'm so excited for these to start producing fruit!
 This bed has a little bit of everything - cucumbers to the left of the trellis, broccoli to the right, and an insane number of chili peppers and jalepenos because if you buy a 6 pack of plants you absolutely must plant all 6 (yes, Matt?)
We've got a long row of green beans planted on the left side of this long trellis.  They get plenty of sun but seem to be taking their sweet time when it comes to growing.  If nothing else - this garden is testing my patience!  Toward the back of the bed we have both green and purple kohlrabi and then a few tomato plants.
We're intentionally tomato-heavy in the garden this year and I have some pretty grandiose visions of a pantry full of tomato juice/sauce.  I have no clue how to can, but I've recruited one of the most knowledgeable ladies that I know to come visit for a weekend later this summer to teach me a thing or two. I promised to pay her in blackberries!

 This has been our go-to bed so far this summer as its filled with lots of early producers. Sugar snap peas are a huge hit with the Ritchie boys and are gobbled up as fast as we can pick them. We've also got radishes, carrots, green onions, and some more broccoli rounding out the space.
Ahhh--then there is this girl. Our crazy, overgrown blackberry "bush" is slowly but surely being tamed into what it is SUPPOSED to be.  Old fruiting canes have been removed, making room for lots of sunshine to hit the ones that are producing berries.  Supports have been erected to keep the tips of the plant from rooting themselves into the ground.  (I sound like I know what I'm talking about, right??  Don't let me fool you!)  I'm kind of making things up as I go and am eternally grateful to the internet for kind-of-sort-of teaching me how to tame this beast! I must be doing something right, though, as we've got TONS of flowers and berries that are starting to transition from green to purple. This is by far and away my favorite part of our little "farm."

So there you have it...our second attempt at a garden. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would find this much joy in gardening, I probably would have laughed in your face. But my oh my, just looking at this picture makes me smile. Maybe its the slow pace of it all. Maybe its the quiet. Maybe its the excitement on our boys' faces as they find things growing in the space. Whatever it is - our hearts (and tummies) are happy.

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