Growing our own food (2016)

Last summer, by the time the farm purchase closed and we moved in, it was too late to start a garden for the summer. However, the prior owners had planted a full garden with a variety of plants. With limited work needed on our part (just some occasional watering), we were able to harvest a large number of tomatoes, radishes, rattlesnake beans, kale, lettuce, green peppers, dill and much more.

This year, we had a lot more work to do – we had to prepare and plant our own garden! It took many hours to turn the soil and get it ready for planting.

The garden before planting (2016).

The garden before planting (2016).

Although last winter was generally warm, it stayed colder than normal late into the spring with frost still occurring regularly up through the beginning of May. We decided to go with planting from seeds this year instead of started plants. Due to the late frosts, we couldn’t plant the seeds until late May.

Our garden shortly after planting in late May 2016.

Our garden shortly after planting in late May 2016. Note that it looks very similar to the before planting picture because we planted seeds.

After a very dry summer that required a lot of watering in the garden and then a lot of weeding, we are starting to see results. Here is a picture of the raised bed containing butternut squash and cabbages.

Squash and Cabbages in our garden (2016).

Squash and Cabbages in our garden (2016).

Here is a young butternut squash on the vine.

A small butternut squash in the garden (2016).

A butternut squash in the garden (2016).

Here is the raised bed full of tomato plants.

Tomato plants in our garden (2016).

Tomato plants in our garden (2016).

The tomatoes are just starting to ripen and hopefully we can harvest and use many of them before the first frosts.

Not all of our plantings were successful this year. We planted a few strawberry plants and none of them grew. Only a couple of the dinosaur kale plants grew. In one of the raised beds, tobacco plants grew and took over and choked out most of the watermelon seeds we planted.  Next year, we hope to start a few small plants inside in the spring to get a jump start on the 2017 garden.

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