May 14, 2013

A Dabble in Gardening

A friend of mine, Stacy, from Stacy Lee Smith Photography and Design, asked me about our garden.  I don't consider myself an expert gardener in the least, but it is something we enjoy doing together as a family.  The girls love to check the plants for new blooms and are constantly asking me if anything is ready to pick.  I would love for our garden to get to a point where we can rely on it as a main source of produce for our family.  Hopefully someday!

A lot of what I know about vegetable gardening comes from my father.  My dad is the king of the vegetable garden, and has been growing things to eat for as long as I can remember.  Some people just have that special touch.  Even though we have been in our home for almost three years and have added something to our little garden each year, we aren't even close to touching on what my dad has established.  Again, hopefully someday!

One of our favorite gardening books is called The Backyard Homestead.  In fact, we checked it out from the library so many times, I had my sister get it for us for a Christmas gift.  It has a lot of useful information and is easy to follow.

So, what do we have growing around The Kitchen Homestead?

Strawberry Patch

Look at those blossoms!!

I moved our strawberry plants up to the side of the house last year, and they have taken off.  My oldest daughter requested strawberry plants our first summer here (June 2009).   My dad brought over six little plants - now look how many we have!!  This year we have covered them with a net to keep the birds from eating them.  I am hoping we have enough to make a batch of homemade strawberry ice cream - yummo!

Blackberry bushes

This is the third season for our blackberry bushes  The canes on these bushes are like small trees!  The berries were great last year.  My littlest was always coming out from around the corner of the house with blackberry juice dripping from her chin.  Hoping for enough to eat on and make one really good cobbler!

We also have a peach tree that will need a few more years before producing any edible peaches.  Hubby also planted a grape vine last fall.  It made it through the winter, so I am excited to see what happens with it.

We had a few plants that we put in last year that did not make it.  Two small blueberry bushes that we got at the end of the season do not seem to be coming back.  Also, two itty bitty apples trees did not make it thought the drought.  The hubby has already asked us for a nice new, bigger apple tree for Father's Day!

Red leaf lettuce is my favorite!
This spring we have two varieties of lettuce and peas planted.  You can also see our compost bin in the above picture.   It was behind our garage but it did not seem to be getting enough air circulation.  We moved it out to the far back of the yard to see if it does better.

Peas growing up around a large tomato cage.
This is my third or fourth attempt at growing peas.  Last year I started them too late and they died in the summer heat.  I tried again in the fall, but again was too late, and the cold got them.  Hoping I got them in early enough to enjoy some sweet, tender peas in a salad or two!

The hubby has gotten the seeds in for our summer garden already.  In the picture below, he has an entire row of green beans planted on the right.  The left is half a row of green beans.  If we get enough, I plan to can them this year.

Then there are two mounds - one for zucchini and the other for cucumbers.  Once the spring veggies are done, we will probably put in a few more cucumber plants in as well.  I would like to try and make pickles this year!   There is also cantaloupe planted in the box in front of the compost bin.

Soon-to-be beans, cucumbers, and zucchini
This weekend while I am away at Girl Scout Camp, I am hoping the hubby can get a few pepper plants planted.  Last, but not least, I am going to try some Roma tomatoes in pots this year.  While we do not enjoy tomatoes themselves, I use tomato sauce all the time.  I tried Roma's last year but they got bottom rot.  Try, try again!

In the fall, we will use the greenhouse boxes the hubs made to grow another batch of lettuce and greens.  We can close the boxes on days when it gets really cold to help keep the plants warm.

green house boxes
Let's hope I get to share some post of the yumminess we produce soon!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this! The strawberry patch looks great!!! I can't wait to see what you produce! I am hoping to produce enough to can too!! Maybe a canning party??? Happy gardening!!!! :)