Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | February 12, 2008

The Garden

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This afternoon we had a little chat at lunch about this summers garden.  It was determined last year after my first official summer as farm wife that I was going to have a try at “head garden master” and Loren was to be my “experienced garden consultant” for the next season.  This arrangement meant that he could give me all sorts of advice but as head gardener I could veto whatever I wanted.  Sounds like a pretty sweet deal huh?, I get to be in charge! … Who doesn’t love to be in charge?   Well of course now that I think about it this whole “in charge of the garden” bit, it might be a little more responsibility then I want.  Ha … isn’t that just the way it is … no wonder Loren so graciously gave up the title.   And actually he would take it back, but we are pretty much going to share it I think. 

The deal is, is that I have no experience in gardening.  None.  Well, I should say that I had a tiny little smidgen of experience because I did spend a few Saturday’s here at the farm before we were married.  Those were the days … I would drive over (about an hour) all ready to see my new guy and we would work together in the warm sun for a few hours, go in and have some food that I did not have to prepare, and head back out for a bit.  I did a little planting, a lot of weeding, and some rock picking my first two summers.  Of course it was fun when it wasn’t my garden and I just got to visit the weeds for an afternoon.  I soon forgot about them when I headed back on my merry way to the city.  Now that the garden has become much more of a responsibility the chore seems big, daunting, and a little intimidating.

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Last year we had another year of drought and since I didn’t really know the ins and outs of having a garden it wasn’t the first thing on my mind when I woke up in the morning.  I would think “oh shoot … I bet there is something that I should have done in that garden today!” as the sun would set.  There were lots of new things to learn around here though.  Mainly, that whole “new farm wife” thing that looked way easier from the outside view and that was a much higher priority then spending day after day in the garden.  So even though I was home most everyday the garden received much less attention then it should have.  The lack of rain and the poor soil didn’t help matters.  So we struggled along, and did get a few things, but nothing too spectacular and in the end the weeds took over and only managed to grow a few things. 

I should mention that even though we weren’t in the garden as much as we should have been, I spend quite a bit of time out there, I didn’t ignore it completely!  The garden is big and by big I mean about 100 feet by 100 feet.  Again, I am no gardener but in my little city girl life that is big and seems just crazy.  When I would go out to weed or plant or worse yet water by hand and I would see the looming 100 feet of produce before me it would make me sick to my stomach.  I see no good in a row of 100 feet.  Give me 2 rows of 50 feet, or even 4 rows of 25 feet and I am much less fearful of getting lost in the row.  Because Loren is a man he looks at 100 feet as practical and that is great for him, but for me I need shorter more attainable rows.  That is pretty much where it came about that I was going to have some say in this years garden because if I am going to be in there learning to be a better farm wife this summer, then I need to be able to look at the garden with confidence and not nausea.

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The garden was never a dictatorship before, I just simply didn’t have an opinion because I knew nothing about it.  Now that I have a year of “full time” gardening under my belt I know more what I think will work and what will not.  It is so great that I have a husband who values my opinion.  I know that not everyone is blessed with that. 

So at our little garden powwow this afternoon we made a plan for the garden and I gotta say that I am pretty confident in it.  With the drought last year we really have missed having good organic fresh veggies in the freezer and so we are hoping for a good growing season.  No plan yet as to how long our rows will be, either 50 or 25 feet.  But it has been determined that  no 100 foot rows are allowed!  

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Here is our tentative veggie list …

100 feet of:

cabbage

broccoli

carrots

beets

green beans

corn

squash

melons

peppers

200 feet of:

peas

tomatoes

dry beans

onions (with some garlic in the rows as well)

500 hundred feet of:

potatoes (some red and some russet)

We will also do some spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, possibly some herbs, maybe parsnips and kale (not my favorite so my vote is no), but not too sure how much.  Maybe just a few feet of each. 

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So there you have it … the plan for the garden straight from the mouth of this summers “head garden master”.  I should probably use that fancy title a lot this year since I might fail miserably and have to give it up!  Ha.  Or, maybe I will gladly give it away after this trial year.   Only time will tell. 

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Responses

  1. I remember way back in the late 70’s my first husband and i bought an acreage. My master paln was for a garden (HUGE) and to raise chickens. There is nothing better than boiling a pot of water, then picking the corn, shucking it and cooking it. My mouth waters just thinking about it! The potatoes we planted were small but they melted in your mouth. That summer was wonderful in the garden. We even planted Indian corn for decoration in the fall. The chickens were insanely huge and we had chickens in the freezer for a year and a half! I froze green beans for days! That garden pretty much ruined me. Buying veggies in the grocery store didn’t taste near as good. Have fun with your garden and enjoy your time in the sun!

  2. Poofer,

    I was wondering how you get water out to your garden, and more importantly, how far you have to carry it?

    I was thinking that you could array your rows around a central watering spot or cistern. I am picturing a big livestock (city boy here so bear with me) watering troff thing in the middle of your 25 or 50 foot rows. You could array the rows like a plus sign with the water in the middle.

    You could fill the water tank up with larger buckets if the rain didn’t fill it up, and when needed you would only have to make short trips with water from the center out.

    Or… lift it up a few feet in the air and attach a 50′ hose to the side and water like a city girl!

    Just had that picture in my mind while I was reading so I thought I would share it. :)

  3. Wow, Poofer. I feel ambitious in considering a summer garden of maybe 10 x 10—for me, just doing that much would be a huge feat. I can’t imagine having a garden as large as the one you’ve got at your farm! The difference, of course, is that you have your smarty-pants husband to help you figure out what to do and how to manage it all. I’m pretty much on my own. (My husband is a smarty pants, too, but not about that!) Thank goodness for gardening books, that’s all I have to say!

    Good luck, and have fun!

  4. Poofer, I would imagine that you’ll be the head master gardener for many years to come. Some things will go well and other things won’t but it will challenge you and you likely won’t be able to give it up until you figure out the secrets to success. By then you’ll be in love with it all. Your mind is already bent in that direction since you already have an opinion on the row lengths and what will be planted. Enjoy, girl! Nothing finer than a garden, grown well, at your direction :)


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