Learning to Garden – The Work of a Lifetime

Jen at Conversion Diary is hosting a write-every-day-this-week-challenge.  I’ve got a fear of commitment, but I’m trying.

We climb a hill  behind our house to where it flattens out and do our gardening there.  The area around the house is shaded by large trees, and the property is quite hilly so we have to walk a little ways to find a suitable spot for growing veggies.  Our gardening place is hot and sunny but breezy, quiet and very private; it can’t be seen from the road.  Every once in a while a small plane flies over and I wave and say “Hi Google!” or “Hello, Obama!” or “Howdy KGB!” depending on my mood.  It’s probably the tax assessor.

We’re sandwiched between a pond and a wide winter creek and this is New York State so it’s pretty humid even when the temperature is low, but that means we don’t have to water very often (last year’s semi-drought excluded) and the garden can stand some neglect – which is good because, as I mentioned it’s up and away from the house.

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Weeds in the foreground, strawberries and blueberries just after them. Wheelbarrow full of weeds.  Various garden plots with grass between.  Corncrib and barn in background on right. Pasture in background on left.

It feels like we’ve planted a lot, especially because I broke most of the sod myself with a spade, but yesterday when my neighbors asked if I had a large garden, I said, “No, it’s pretty small.”  I wasn’t lying, but the particular neighbors who were asking happen to be Amish and I think they’d get a good-natured chuckle out of the result of my efforts.

Our big small garden has potatoes, white and sweet; tomatoes, four kinds with marigolds; a small section of corn, the kind that’s supposed to mature early, but won’t because we’re not using commercial fertilizer and because we might not quite have enough to cross pollinate; and the three sisters – beans, peas, and pumpkins.  There are also strawberry and blueberry plants.

Even if we get no produce this year, I feel like a success just for working at it.   Learning persistence and losing a few pounds is nice too.

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