When I moved to the farm after 13 years of living in the city, my grandmother suggested I start small. You know, small garden, only a few chickens, don’t bite off more than you can chew…I didn’t really listen. Maybe I should have. But now, almost three years into my prairie farm life, I think it might be too late to heed her wise advice…
Spill the beans is a weekly column chronicling my attempts at a self-sufficient life on this small prairie farm.
I was away for a few days. I got back late last night. This morning, I checked my garden. And it has exploded.
I mean, not literally exploded. More like, with the hot weather and some rain, everything has just taken off. This is the magic time of gardening. Everything looks lush and perfect. The time of the summer when the lettuce is done (finally – I mean, I’m not complaining about fresh, delicious garden lettuce, it’s just that when you eat it for three meals a day for about a month, it’s nice to be able to change it up, I’m sure you understand) and we can start eating a diverse assortment of fresh veggies like cucumbers, beets, peas and a number of different herbs.
And we’re right around the corner from fresh potatoes, carrots , onions and corn. There is so much to eat and seemingly so little time to eat it all (even if you have a co-op style garden with five families taking food from it).
Remember a few weeks back, after we’d had that frost at the end of May and I was lamenting the state of some of my tomatoes and peppers? Apparently, they’ve decided to make a considerable comeback. Most of the peppers have blooms and some fruit that has set on (which means there are tiny peppers growing from the finished blossoms). The tomatoes are gargantuan and have lovely fruit of varying sizes.
Of course, not all that glitters is gold. My beans, cauliflower and brussel sprouts have been eaten again and again by the deer. The plants still look lovely, but I’m not sure that we will be eating anything from any of those plants this year.
I’m just waiting for the pup to get big enough to keep the deer (and bunnies) out of the garden. Looking at her like this, I imagine we’ve got at least another year before that’s going to happen.
Even the standoffish farm cat can’t help himself. He’s hanging out in the jungle-like garden, too. Likely to keep an eye on that crazy new pup, but also because it’s cool under the leaves (and attractive to birds and mice).
Will you need zucchini? Please let me know.
Or if you find yourself out in my neck of the woods, please stop by. You won’t go home empty handed.
Jamie Dyck is currently dreaming about all of the different pickles she’s going to make this summer. Follow her on twitter, @jndyck.