Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Gardens Are Coming Along Nicely


     Growing up in south Florida I knew nothing about having a garden...much less working a garden. We had fruit trees: Key lime, avocado, orange, and grapefruit. Daddy grew some tomatoes in the backyard, but that was it.  After marrying and later moving to this little farm in Virginia, I began learning what an undertaking having a garden really is. You can’t have a garden that is worth anything if you don’t work it...that is a definite!  For years our friends went in with us and we all had a victory garden out in what is now our front hay field...with NO water running to it.  We had a gas driven pull crank pump we put into the creek and that was how we got up to that garden...a real pain in the neck! This is that field which a neighbor just bush hogged and bailed for the hay.  No more garden out there for us. It was a killer to keep up, but then there were 5 of us to feed instead of 2.
     Our gardens are now little ones as we are a 2 person and 2 pet family.  The first plot is one which sits over our huge 2-tank septic system.  Because we live on a creek and there is not much land between the house and the water, we had to put the 2 gigantic holding tanks on this side, and then pump everything under the creek and into that upper hay field via a huge concrete pipe...mega bucks!  We had to come up with some means of hiding the tanks, so we got railroad ties and built a raised garden bed.  It sits right outside our kitchen window so we get to watch the garden as it hopefully grows and flourishes. Also sitting out there is our 3-story composter made in New Zealand named Big Bertha. She is a work of art...sort of looks like a gorilla to me., but Buddy thinks it looks like one of the “statues" from Easter Island. You notice the bungee cords.....the varmints love to flip open the top if we do not strap it down.
     A year ago Gene, the 39 year old son, came home and put Buddy a fence around it to keep out the varmints. Our land seems to be a haven for those of the animal world that want a free meal.
Around the house and at the side of the new bathroom we put on several years ago, we have tomatoes planted....cannot let any sun drenched soil go unused.  You will notice the green thingy hanging out the living room window...that is a “get away coons and deer or you will get beeper in your ear” machine. It works! It really bugs poor little Jack, our Schnauzer.
Out to the left of this area we have another raised bed where buddy has his corn planted....that is what the animals really like to eat.  I sure hope the varmint beeper does its job again this year.
Between this bed and the one beside the bathroom is a mini in the middle....more tomatoes.
The last little garden area is out by out barn and that is for the white and red potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets.  As you can tell, we have used every little space we can where we get good sun.
     Buddy loves his gardens....but he gets that naturally from his daddy who was an avid gardener during his lifetime. I play with the flowers though he helps me with the planting. He’s putting in my flowers to draw the hummingbirds and butterflies.I love those old pink shorts :-)
     We don’t grow a lot, don’t can anymore, really don’t do much freezing, but we yield enough to have the pleasure of eating homegrown veggies over the summer months. What we don’t grow I go and buy from our farming friends at the local farmer’s market.  It is a wonderful way of life....slow paced, quiet, rural, and very earth friendly. Will post an update as the gardens progress throughout the summer.

“What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back with a hinge in it”
~Charles Dudley Warner - 1871


  1. Genie,
    What a wonderful and interesting post. Thank you so much for sharing with us all. I agree with Buddy, the bin does look like the Moai from Easter Island. He has a good ;-) Maybe not for shorts

  2. Those shorts need to go to to Goodwill, but Buddy will not part with them. Glad you knew about the Easter Island senario because I still say the thing looks like Mozilla the Gorilla. Genie...LOL