I was sitting on a decrepit wicker love seat that I bought at a garage sale many years ago when I took this photo. I had just finished planting 100 sweet potato slips and my back was whispering it’s disapproval when I eased gently in the wicker seat that is in no way comfortable, in fact, it is horrible, it’s scratchy, it creaks as if it’s going to spew splinters and collapse the second any weight is on it. It’s one of those things that I’m keeping just until I need something to burn, but for now it’s nice to have a place to sit in the garden that doesn’t allow me to get comfortable so I’ll get back up and work some more.
As I was sitting there I noticed Preacher, our farm dog, sitting upright on the squash bed looking out over the cornfield. I took my phone out and zoomed in to take a photo of him. He’s such a sweet dog, but he has no ability to distinguish lawn from garden, plant from weed, grass from mud. He was sitting right on top of a summer squash plant and he totally squashed it. Get it? He squashed it. It’s a squash plant and….he squashed it. I know, Comedy Central is missing out on this.
I’m in the process of caring for the largest garden I’ve ever planted. I’m not saying it’s successful, but it’s growing. I lost my peas and the first planting of beans to a late frost, it seems no matter how long I wait I never wait long enough to plant. I planted 100 sweet potato slips (pictured above) then I pulled out 50 of them the next day to space them a little farther apart. This is how I garden….chaotically. I move plants until they finally find the right spot. I still have so much to learn.
This is part of my potato patch, I planted three varieties. It’s the largest bed I’ve ever planted and so far it’s doing great. The green bushy thing in the raised bed is Chocolate Mint, it’s invasive, it smells fantastic and it’s really fun to use in baking and cooking. Behind the bush is part of the garlic patch. Garlic is so easy to grow, you can throw it on the ground and it will survive and spread. And there is Preacher, being Preacher.
These are garlic scapes. The scape is the top part of the plant that will bloom into a flower with seeds. I picked half of the scapes and made a garlic paste and a garlic/spinach pesto. It’s really wonderful to have early in the season. It has a milder taste than the garlic bulb and is easy to add to any recipe that calls for garlic, which is every recipe I use.
Last year Clay built the two beds on the far left. I had him make them 2’X16′ and I loved them so much more than my beds that are 3’X16′ because I can work entirely from one side. I also had him put the beds closer together so I wouldn’t have such wide paths to weed between the beds. This year I added three more and put a wide path for the wheel barrow and truck to travel through. I arched two 16 foot cattle panels between two of the beds and planted peas and beans to trellis up them. I’m also going to cover it in plastic this fall and try a hoop house. The white sink you see sitting on the ground is my washing station. I set it on the edge of the bed while I’m picking and throw the greens in the sink with the hose sprayer washing off the dirt, the water and dirt travel through a short hose that I put in the bed which waters the plants while I wash the greens. I bought it at my local Salvation Army store for $5, it was a great find. I like that I can move it around the garden, I just wish it wasn’t so white, it sticks out a bit.
This was the second picking of spinach. I had a banner year with this stuff. Now I’m sick of spinach, but the ants have taken over, so I think I’m done with it until this fall. I’m so in love with my garden this year. I’m trying a lot of new things I’m certain some will fail and some will succeed. I find such joy in watching things grow, it’s exciting to see a tiny seed grow into a plant that feeds my family. And speaking of family….This picture was taken on Easter this year. My oldest son was taking the picture and I have no idea where Ellen was, but this is pretty much what my home looks like now that my older two are off working and becoming adult humans. My family is growing up. Also, if you look closely you might find Salt the Barn Cat, she can’t stand not to get attention when we are outside. I hope you are having a great summer so far. I am enjoying a healthy husband this summer! We are busy catching up on all the things we set aside when he was sick last summer. It is amazing how much can pile up on a little farm when the fake farmers aren’t paying attention.