Thursday, May 28, 2015

Around the Garden




















Ah, the garden. I am finding much peace in the garden these days, from my early morning walks checking in on everything, to time planting, and harvesting, to sitting back at the end of the day, exhausted but happy after a day in the garden...these are good days, my friends, good days.

Over the weekend the tomatoes went in the ground, and another sowing of carrots, beans, and peas. I have one more sowing of beans to do, and maybe a few seeds, here and there, to plant where previous seeds didn’t come up, but other than that, all the planting is done. It feels good, to have that big job behind us, and to move into the tend and nurture stage.

Cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins have all sprouted, and I hope by next week to show you how we are growing them this year. We are going to try a little vertical gardening in order to free up space in the raised beds. Justin is constructing a little archway, anchored by four large pots, which will grow the cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. It is an experiment, if it works great, if not, we will have learned something in the process. And lucky for us our local farmers will grow all those things and more, and we are happy to support them should our garden not produce as we would like it to.

The blueberries and alpine strawberries have flowers, and the raspberries are doing well. The asparagus hasn’t done anything yet, but from what I read, once you plant the crowns it can take a while to see any growth. So I will keep waiting. The herb garden is in full bloom and in the next week or so I will start harvesting comfrey, catnip, lemon balm, and all heal to infuse for salves and tinctures.  

Reece ran out to his garden on Tuesday morning, and was excited to see his beans sprouting. I just nodded and smiled, with total understanding about the excitement. It never gets old, seeing the seeds sprout from the earth, the slow unfurling of the magic. It is awesome every single time, and now witnessing his joy in the process, well it is pretty amazing.

We are harvesting from the garden daily, morning, noon, and night. Nettles, salad greens, kale, Swiss chard, and chives are making their way into our meals, and combined with the wild foraging we have been doing, and eggs from our hens, we are starting to tip the scales back to more homegrown, local eating, and I can’t tell you how good that feels. Talking about hens, did you see our chicks? They were a month old yesterday and they are growing like crazy. They have lost their baby feathers, and slowly their new feathers are coming in. The entertainment they provide is never ending, and the lessons for Reece, in nurturing another living thing, can’t be beat.

Justin has finished the fencing and gates on the front garden, and has just one more garden to fence in. You can see he has laid out some logs defining the space, and today he should get pretty close to finishing it up. Gravel is being delivered this week, 23 tons of it, to create pathways in the fenced in areas, and to start work on a space for our bees next spring. Whatever is left will be spread on the driveway.

Did you catch the mention of bees in that last sentence? Yes, next spring we will be adding to our little homestead. This is an addition I have wanted to do for a long time. I did a beekeeping workshop three years ago, and then just didn’t step up and get my own hives going. But no more, they will be here next spring. We are spending some time this year creating a space for the bees, complete with a wildflower bed, and a lovely gravel patio for the hives. We are going to create a hugelkultur bed for the wildflowers, just to spice things up a bit, and try something new. We are both pretty excited about it, and have been collecting a few old logs, and twigs to get started building the bed in the next few weeks.

That about sums up what is happening around my garden, how are things around your garden?

38 comments:

  1. It all looks so beautiful, no wonder you find peace there, and, I'm sure, so much satisfaction too, knowing it's all your hard work which has created it. Your raised wildflower bed looks really interesting, and getting bees will be very exciting!

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    1. Thank you Sally. Yes, satisfaction too. You know it doesn't feel like hard work when you enjoy what you are doing.

      I can't wait to share the progress of the wildflower bed. There won't be any planting in it this year, just preparations for next spring.

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  2. Goodness look at all that lettuce! Your garden looks fantastic!
    Our spring is pretty cold and so far nothing much has come up in the raised bed...everything that I started off in-doors is doing ok and I've yet to buy my tomato plants.
    Our chickens seem to be on the blink - haven't had an egg in three days!!!
    Would love to hear more on making salves and and infused oils. Really want to try my hand at soap too - do you use tallow in yours?
    Thank you for your card - it arrived on tuesday and brightened up a very tough day I was having!!! Merci beaucoup!!

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    1. Thanks Emma! Sounds like you are off to a good start, even with the cooler weather.

      Oh no, never fun when egg production slows down. I hope it picks back up again soon.

      What would you like to hear? Honestly, there is a ton of information out there on making salves, soap, etc, I am not sure I have anything to add to the conversation.

      You are most welcome, I am glad it brightened up your day. xo

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  3. Everything is just peaceful and vibrant! Your garden is alive dear friend! mari

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  4. Your world is looking beautiful!!! I really love seeing your garden grow. I thought i would be planting some edilbles this year along with you but travel plans have gotten in the way again. Oh well - there is always next year. Have a great week Kim. Happy Gardening..

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    1. Thanks Erica! Travel plans, how exciting, can't wait to hear more. And yes, there is always next year.

      Thanks Erica, you too!

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  5. Your garden looks fantastic!! I love the fencing, the gates, the trellises, it's all wonderful! Yay for bees! I'd love to try my hands at beekeeping, but it will probably stay a dream. Luckily we have several local places to buy honey at.

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    1. Thanks Anke. I am so pleased with all the fencing and gates, Justin has exceeded my expectations with all of it. I am so looking forward to it. It has been on my radar for far too long, and it is time to just jump in and do it. We are looking forward to the preparations this year, and can't wait til the spring to bring them home :)

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  6. It's looking wonderful already, Kim. The vertical plan is a really good one, I think. We've done that too and I think it helps keep things more compact and it's always good to have plants up off the ground where they can get more sun and dry out a little after rain. Have you had chickens before? They're so much fun. There is SO much learning too. I hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. Oh, that is good to hear. Although I have read a lot about it, I haven't heard from anyone who has done it. I have my fingers crossed it will be successful, and pretty :)

      Yes, we have a flock of nine right now. Seven are three years old, and two are two years old, and now the addition of another eight. You are right, they are a ton of fun, and so much fun! We love them, and the eggs they provide for us.

      Thanks, you too!

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  7. I spied those blueberry flowers right away, so very pretty. And I did notice the sentence about bees., hooray. My Mike and I go back and forth about adding a managed hive to our land, I want to, but am highly allergic.

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    1. Aren't they...pretty and delicate. Yikes, that is a tough call Tracey. I am not sure I would go ahead with the bees if I was allergic.

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  8. bees? now that is exciting but not surprising. I see green everywhere in your post :) I can imagine your meals being special and delicious.

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    1. Very exciting! We are enjoying our meals Karen, and yes, so delicious!

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  9. Looks beautiful! I don't do much of the work of planting or tending the garden, but I harvested spinach, radishes, mint, and chives from our garden to add to a potluck salad last night. I love picking and cooking and eating the produce!

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    1. Thanks Andrea! Hey, every garden needs a harvester :) I guess it's lucky you have someone in the house who likes to plant and tend...a good partnership I would say.

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  10. Well, you know what my garden looks like at the moment, so I am living through the beauty of yours. I am excited to hear about your bee plans. We are planning our second attempt at a hive next spring as well, so we will learn together!

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    1. I do, and I am so sorry my friend. Live away. One day you will join me for tea here while our kiddos run around....I know it's going to happen :)

      Yay, that is so exciting. We will have to talk more about your first attempt, and we can share notes as we get ready to welcome them to our homesteads next spring. So exciting!

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  11. So many exciting things here... Bees and hugelkulture sound particularly interesting! Love how it's all looking, all that hard work is really paying off :)

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    1. Thanks Em! You can be sure I will be sharing lots more about all of this in our letters :)

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  12. It just looks so lush! Your garden is absolutely beautiful and I love reading about it, it's an inspiration to me with my tiny patch!

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    1. Thanks Carie, you are too sweet.

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  13. Tell Justin those fences are stunning! So glad your garden is off to a wonderful start! I'm really excited to hear about the bees. I'm considering bees for next spring too. We are zoned to have two colonies so I'm hoping! :)

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    1. I will pass that on KC. I am so pleased with them. It is off to a wonderful start, fingers crossed it keeps up :)

      Oh that is exciting, we will be able to compare notes :)

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  14. your garden is just a paradise! So many interesting areas and so beautiful to look at! It will be an example for us in our new garden!!!!

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    1. Aw, thank you Sandra, it certainly feels that way sometimes :) Now tell me about this new garden....pretty please :)

      Hope you and your lovely family have the most wonderful weekend. xo

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  15. oooh, bee keeping. What a fun next step! Can't wait to follow you on that adventure when the time comes. Gorgeous pictures!

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    1. Thanks Jen. I can't wait to share the adventure with you :)

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  16. wow it looks great - I love that fencing and gates - are you fencing it to keep out chickens and rabbits?

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    1. Thanks Aimee! Yes, fencing is to keep the chickens out, and the dog :)

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