Monday, May 30, 2011
Food Production in the Garden
I have to say, I am on the fence lately about vegetable gardening. Maybe because it tends to be peppered with a robust bit of frustration. And, it is a lot of sweaty work. I like gardening, but I don't like sweating. And getting all itchy. And being attacked by biting ants. And strategizing on how to foil the deer and the bunnies and the groundhog.
You see, I rarely have harvests that leave me speechless. I grow more along the lines of grazing opportunities. Our small cold frame has actually been the most productive part of our growing food endeavors. Along with the rhubarb. And a lot of rhubarb, as much as I love it, is, well, A LOT of rhubarb.
But, I remain hard-wired to continue and try. And so, a quick inventory of this year's efforts.
Garlic - So close to harvest time. Garlic scapes are happening right now.
Broccoli - I hate it. Willa loves it. So I grow it. But I missed its fleeting harvesting moment this year and it bolted within a day.
Asparagus - Entering its second year. Slow progress there, but progress just the same.
Collards from seed (*new to our garden*)
Okra from seed (*new to our garden*)
Beets from seed (*new to our garden*)
Swiss chard from seed (*new to our garden*) - The beet seedlings look exactly like the swiss chard seedlings. And I didn't mark them. This should be interesting.
Sugar Baby watermelon - A favorite that grows easily under the walnut tree.
Tomatoes - Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Sungold and Yellow Pear cherries
Strawberries - Presently residing in two containers on the deck.
Connecticut Field pumpkins - A Willa request.
Sprinklings of Red Russian kale, shelling English peas and sugar snap peas (The peas were discovered by the deer a few weeks ago and were decimated rather quickly - a few survivors are keeping the faith and sending out new flowers and pods. The garden is now wrapped within rebar posts and deer netting.)
Just as I question the labor, I'll then watch Willa gobble down something - straight from the garden - and it sends me back out there. To do battle with the brier patches, quack grass, evil-looking spiders and the bald sun. I want her to know what these things taste like, fresh from the earth, warm from the sun and grown from a seed that she planted all by herself. Turns out, life experiences involve a little sweat equity. I think I can live with that - and plan to garden from 8 - 9 p.m. during the summer months.