We are in full garden mode around here, tending, nurturing, and harvesting on a daily basis. In the early morning, while Justin and Reece are still sleeping, I walk around the garden, checking in on everything, looking for bugs, noticing things that need to be done, and harvesting a few things for breakfast. Throughout the day there is weeding to be done, and watering, and more harvesting for lunch and dinner. In the evening, we usually sit back and watch as the sun sets on the garden, enjoying the peace as dusk settles on our little bit of land.
To some it might feel strange to set the rhythm of your days around the garden, but for us, it feels just right. We flow through these soon to be summer days with the garden as our guide. We eat based on what it is producing, we work based on what needs to be done, and we relax, enjoying the beauty of all the hard work. The garden is such a big part of this season for us, that flowing with the growth and change it goes through is simple and easy.
Everything has now been planted, and a few things reseeded, pretty much everything has come up, and we are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of more crops to eat. These days we are eating, and sharing, salad greens, Swiss chard, kale, spinach, baby beet greens, chives, and parsley. I have harvested comfrey this week to infuse in oil for healing salves, and catnip to infuse in alcohol for tinctures. The self-heal and yarrow is almost ready to harvest, and lemon balm, peppermint, and red raspberry leaves will be harvested for our first herbal sun tea of the season this weekend. The first pumpkin flower is about to burst open, marigolds are on the brink of flowering, and daily new calendula flowers are appearing. It is exciting in the garden at this time of the year, and I love the surprises I find out there each day.
You may have noticed a new garden in the photos above. You know me, squeezing in a little garden wherever I can. This corner was just calling for a small bed, edged in rocks...so I did it. It has been seeded with a variety of sunflowers, a variety of zinnias, and calendula. Now, if the squirrels and chipmunks leave the seeds alone I just might have a lovely little flower garden in a few months.
There is still quite a bit of real work to be done around the garden. Now that everything has sprouted it is time to get it all mulched. We have been mulching with straw for quite a few years now, but the last few years I have had problems with seeds in my straw. This year, on the recommendation of another local homesteader and gardening expert, we have put the straw in the chicken run. The chickens have been eating all the seeds, and this weekend I will begin moving it all to the gardens. The bonus, the chickens also poop in the straw, so not only do I get mulch, I get fertilizer too. It's a win-win.
Did you see that big pile of gravel? That will require some real hard work, but we are game. The gravel is for all the pathways in the garden areas, and for the driveway. We don't see this project as something that will be accomplished in the next week or two, it is more of a long term summer job, with completion happening in the early fall.
Justin finished all the fences and now I don't have to chase chickens out of my gardens anymore. We have been asked about the chickens, and how we keep them, so I thought I would share how we keep our chickens. The chickens have a coop and a fairly large fenced in and secure run. If we are planning to be away from home during the day they stay in the run, where we know they will be safe from predators. If we are home, they are out and about on our property, free ranging and enjoying life. It feels right to us to let them have the space to roam, and soak up life outside the run. They do get into my perennial beds at times, and I have to shoo them out, but for the most part they stick to the perimeter of our property where there is some shade and good pickings (bugs) in the ground. Our new chicks have not been roaming yet. During the day they are in a little outdoor run we have set up for them, separate from the big birds, and at night they are in a plastic tub in the cottage. We are hoping to transition them to the big coop this weekend, and slowly integrate them with our older flock over the next few weeks. This has been tricky for us in the past, but we are hoping this time will be a little easier.
So, that's the update on my garden, how are things around your garden?
you have the sweetest and most neatest garden! lol i especially like the log fencing round the beds.ReplyDelete
what a fabulous solution for the straw, with the added chicken poop. excellent.
Aw, thank you! The fencing was dreamed up by me, and executed by Justin...we are a pretty good team.Delete
Thanks, I thought it was too. I moved the first bit of straw today, and added a new bale to the run.
I really enjoy looking at your garden photos and the fences and gates your hubby built are just phenomenal! I love the rustic look of them!! The gravel may be a lot of work, but it will be well worth it in the end. So far we've put pine straw in-between the veggie beds, but it doesn't keep the weeds at bay. Adding something like gravel is on our to do list, but first we're going to replace all the landscaping timbers around the beds with cinder blocks. They just hold up better than the wood...ReplyDelete
Thanks Anke! I moved some gravel today, into the bee area. Definitely a lot of work, but goodness it look wonderful! I did move some along one of the raised beds too, just so I could see how it would look. So pleased :)Delete
I just peeked in on your garden, it looks wonderful!
I love that...'setting the rhythm of your days around the garden'...i know I'll find it one day. Your gravel hill is looking very big...be sure to watch your backs!!! Hope you are having a nice day Kim!ReplyDelete
It is strange for some to understand, but it totally makes sense to us, and feels so right. It is quite bit, and a certain little man is having a blast on it. I will :) I moved 9 wheelbarrow loads today. It is a really great workout :)Delete
Thank you Erica, hope you are enjoying your day too!
that is quite the gravel pile. Have fun with that job, looks kind of sweaty ;) I can see the shift in the light and how the garden is heading quickly into early summer days! Doesn't it seem fast all of a sudden? Loved reading your words, your days and how happy you are.ReplyDelete
It is, and yes, kinda sweaty, at least if today is any indication :) It does seem fast Karen, I am not even sure where May went, and here we are in June, with Summer Solstice just a few weeks away.Delete
Thank you. xo
How wonderful. Your beds look amazing and I'l truly jalous of all that gravel. We so need to do the same soon. We are harvesting about the same as you right now. We have chosen to let the beets grow instead of harvesting the greens. For the first time in 3 years, they are doing really well so we've decided to let them be. But the kale and swiss chard are days away from being just the right size and spinach, aragula, lettuces, radishes and herbs are being harvested daily. Oh, and did I mention we are STILL harvesting asparagus? Now I understand what people mean that if you are patient, it will come in force. We are picking 4-5 new ones every day so every 3 days, we have enough for a little feast. It,s been a wonderful Spring so far!ReplyDelete
Hope your days flow along beautifully. I think your rhythm is divine. xo
Thanks Yanic. That gravel is just wonderful, and lucky for us all donated. We could never afford a truck load like that.Delete
Sounds like meal time is filled with goodness from the backyard around your home, always a good thing.
Thank you, I have to admit, I do enjoy living it. xo
It all looks so beautiful and well-tended. Our garden is coming along nicely, too, but I'm sorry to say I can't take any credit for it!ReplyDelete
Thanks Andrea, as does yours, I just peeked in on it a moment ago.Delete
I do so look forward to your garden posts! Such goodness all around. I especially love the tidiness of your beds. You have an artist's soul.ReplyDelete
Aw, thank you Alexa, for the very kind words, you made me smile this afternoon.Delete
I am in awe of how quickly your garden is growing so prolifically! You have a beautiful, restful looking garden even though it is such a hive of activity.ReplyDelete
It is amazing how fast it all happens, eh? I was looking at photos of our late season garden from last summer the other day, and I was amazed at how grown in it was.Delete
Thank you Leisa.
Your garden looks great Kim.ReplyDelete
We are working on chicken runs for my girls so they can help with the gardening without eating what they shouldn't, There is always something to do isn't there? :)
Thanks Tracey. You are right, there is always something...it's a good thing we enjoy this homesteading thing :)Delete
It looks so good, Kim. I love the look of your beds, they're so neat and tidy. It's going to be lush later this summer. Good luck with the chicken transitions. I've only raised chickens all from the same age at the same time, and I know it can be more complicated with different-aged groups of them. My chickens don't eat very much in the yard, but I can't grow many greens here so that might be slowing them down. Not a lot of nourishment to be found in a juniper or sage bush, I guess. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Jennifer. Can you tell from the looks of those beds that i am a Type A :)Delete
Yes, a little complicated, but really just in the combining of the flocks, once they are combined they are good to go. This will be our third time, and each time has been better, so we are hoping it will happen with ease this time. Only time will tell.
it looks gorgeous! Reece is king of the mountain!ReplyDelete
Thanks Taryn. I told Reece you said that, he just smiled :)Delete
The mason bees will jsut love those stones! I planted so many flowers in hopes of a flower garden in the front yard and everything was going great until one little bunny found those young flowers and ate everything to the ground!ReplyDelete
Oh no, darn bunny.Delete
beautiful pictures and I loved hearing about your chickens...hope you share more on them!ReplyDelete
Thanks Jen. I just might do that, anything you are interested in hearing?Delete
I love the fences! and the gravel for the paths- that's smart. we have mulched pathways (with wood chips) but of course have to add to that regularly and weed now and again. as more of our yard becomes designated garden space, I've been thinking some sort of hardscaping for the paths would be good..... I might just try to nudge Mike in this direction ;)ReplyDelete
Thanks Amanda! I can't tell you how pleased I am with the fences, it all came together so much better than I imagined. On Saturday I got one entire garden done, all the pathways covered in gravel, and it looks so good. Every time I walk by I let out a little squeal of delight :)Delete
We considered mulch, and just plain straw, but we figured we would just do it right the first time. It helps that the gravel was all donated too, so it didn't cost us a thing. Hope you can judge Mike in this direction, so worth it :)
I love looking at all of the pictures of your garden!! Oh my goodness, it's so wonderful! :)ReplyDelete
I do what I can with our little city yard with plenty of shade. A couple of weeks ago I mixed compost and coir into all the bed and planted zucchini, bush cucumbers, beans, radishes, mustard, spinach, kale and carrot and peas! So excited to see almost all of it already coming up! Eek!
Aw, thanks! I enjoy my garden, and the time I spend out there. It is really starting to feel like a little homestead, and I am so happy about that.Delete
Sounds like you are off to great gardening season. Happy growing!
what a gorgeous space - I love your garden gateReplyDelete
Wow, what a big pile of gravel. You should get a big feeling of satisfaction when that project is done :)ReplyDelete
Again, wonderful looking garden. I think it is wonderful how you live your days by 'garden time'. I'm using my garden time as time to recharge and spend time with the kids.
It is huge, but as of this moment a little smaller :) I have moved about 30 loads so far, and finished the bee area and one garden area. I have started on garden area number two, and will hopefully finish it this week.Delete
Thanks! "Garden time"...I like that. Isn't the garden so good for recharging? And yes, garden time around here is a family affair too :)
wow the garden is looking fantastic!!ReplyDelete
Thanks Aimee, I am feeling pretty good about it, and so pleased with how it is all coming together.Delete
It's looking amazing, and incredible how much you're already harvesting. I've been getting much more done in our garden this year, I didn't start as early as I might have but I'm hoping we might actually do pretty well for vegetables from it this year, it's looking so much more promising than it usually does!ReplyDelete
Thanks Sally! Can't wait to watch your garden grow this year :)Delete