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Our Annual Garden

Growing up, my mom always had a garden. I LOVED tending to it with her. We had strawberries, carrots and so much more. Having my hands in the soil, finding worms and being able to harvest the fruits and vegetables as they became ripe. It was my favorite place to be at our house.

When I moved out of my parents' house, that didn't stop me from gardening. I had herbs and a few vegetables growing in pots on the patios of my apartments. When I was renting a house, I had a decent sized raised bed garden with a variety of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and melon. Along with that, I had pots for herbs and eggplant. Having fresh produce readily available brings me such joy and satisfaction.

Then, we bought our home and I was ready to jump in the deep end. We brought in truck loads of soil and compost and quickly got to it. We started out with ten in ground beds, with just about all of the plants you can think of.

I'll admit that with all of the other things that we had going on, the garden kind of took a backseat. It got overrun with squash bugs and weeds. We tried to remedy it with a lot of labor. We still got a lot out of the garden and canned many things for the winter but it was quite the educational year. But I wouldn't trade the year of some difficulty for anything because it made me feel much more prepared for this year as we chose to double the size of our garden this year.

I came up with a plan to hopefully help with the squash bug issue. I didn't want to have to sacrifice having squashes this year but also didn't want to have to spend so much time this year dealing with the bugs. So my solution was to try growing them in grow bags with a bug net around them. This way, if they get infested this year I can just pick the grow bags up and move them away from the rest of the garden in hopes they won't pivot towards our cucumbers like they did last year. I also planted nasturtiums around the bags to try and help deter the bugs. Fingers crossed them not being in the ground and being covered will keep those pesky bugs off of them!

The other thing we needed to figure out was how to keep the weeds under control. Kurt and Kyle agreed to regularly help weed the beds, which has been a huge help. I try to do at least one bed per day during the week and on the weekends I do multiple each day. This has kept it quite manageable and given me more time to focus on other endeavors around our farm, like baking sourdough bread and writing these blogs.

But more about what you actually want to know, what we are growing this year! The list is quite extensive.

  • eggplant

  • six varieties of tomatoes

  • basil

  • rosemary

  • watermelon

  • cantaloupe

  • english cucumbers

  • carrots

  • spaghetti squash

  • yellow squash

  • zucchini

  • butternut squash

  • acorn squash

  • arugula

  • lettuce

  • spinach

  • cilantro

  • luffa

  • green onion

  • kale

  • garlic

  • swiss chard

  • bell peppers

  • jalapeno peppers

  • sweet banana peppers

And that's just the annuals that we are growing! I am looking forward to seeing everything grow and coming up with new canning recipes for us to preserve things for the winter and also sell to those interested! Be sure to share any recipes you think would be good for what we are growing.

Gardening is like a form of therapy for me. It reminds me of wonderful memories with my mom. It allows me to escape for a bit and connect with nature. I am extremely grateful that our lifestyle allows me to be able to utilize my skills to nourish not only our family but also those around us.

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