Saturday, December 5, 2009

Summer Garden

This is a trellis that I added to the yard this summer. In the photo you can see the tomato plants working their way to the top of it--which means the tomatoes are nearly 8 feet tall. Which is nothing, really--not to brag, but when I grew them in my friend Virginia's green house, they got to be 12 feet tall. In places where the glass had broken out of the top of the roof, they went through and kept on climbing. Fantastic. Last year before the freeze (I'm in Minnesota), I picked all my green tomatoes and they were still ripening into December. It's wonderful to have fresh homegrown tomatoes that late in the year. . .in Minnesota.
Here's me in late summer: the happy-half-Mexican-garden-Goddess with my arms full of French tarragon and fresh basil that I have just harvested from the garden. I will hang the herbs to dry for winter use or sale, as the occasion calls for.

Yeap--eggplant. I love the close-up of the rich, black soil in this photo. That soil was made on our own place and consists of a year's worth of kitchen scraps, oak leaves, pulled weeds, and last year's garden refuse, as well as additions from my neighbor's cut grass.

This year, I added five new raised beds along the edge of the original garden plot (pictured below). And that's one reason why I haven't written on the blog for so long. Here is one of the raised beds. You can see that it is growing yellow peppers and marigolds. The box in the back (you can't see the frame) contains brocolli and leaks. Bursting out from the original garden on the right, you can see nasturtiums. You can also see that I have been putting woodchips on the ground. Part of my yard is a lawn, but in the garden I put chips between all the garden beds, and that way I don't have to mow or weed there.
In this photo, Sohi's acorn squash overtakes the native prarie wild flower garden. The wildflowers occupy a central place in my front lawn. They attract the birds, bees (and yes, humming birds) who pollinate the plants in the whole garden. My neighbors stand in awe, watching those humming birds. They have been hanging plastic sugar-water containers in their yards for the humming birds, but if you were a humming bird, where would you eat? It's a little like us--eating at MacDonalds, when we really crave steak. . .or buffalo. . .or, by God, fresh tomatoes.

The is a view of the "original" vegetable garden in my FRONT lawn (yeah, "Food, Not Lawns"--that's me). This is a, roughly, 27 by 14 foot plot. Here, at the height of summer, it is in full bloom. Now that it's December, my daughter and I are making paths back to the grocery store--something we seldom do in summer. I have noticed that when our fresh supply of food dwindles, our garbage increases dramatically--because of all the packaging of factory food, of course. This year, however, I canned, dried, and froze more food than I have in past years, so we are making fewer trips to the store than in most Decembers. Oh, and yes, I have more money in my pocket. That helps. Anyway, in what you can see of this garden, there are tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, a few beets, one squash, and a variety of herbs.

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