Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Gardening Goal

As we struggle to feed our family on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis, I am forced to remind myself of reality. Like everyone else it seems, we are forced to tighten our belts even further.  I don't honestly know how much more we can go, but I fear we may find out soon.  We go through mini feasts with prolonged famines.  Which, brings me to my goal for gardening.  The main reason for gardening is for fresh clean food.  Now the more recent realization is simply to help us survive.

No longer will I think it necessary to plant only a couple of zucchini, a few yellow squash, half a dozen tomatoes, easy on the winter squash or scrimp on peppers!  No more.  Now my goal is to plant lots of 'em!  It's time to let the zucchini come out our ears.  Let the tomatoes 'over-produce.'  I plan on freezing as much as possible, while doing some drying, and if I'm ambitious enough, some canning.  We'll see...

I figure, let the heavy producers like summer squash and tomatoes do their jobs and reap the bounty.  Use that to feed the family through as much of the winter as possible.  It's worth a try.  Definitely another learning experience waiting to be explored.

Here's another brainstorm, Edamame.

Judging from my research, I can actually grow several varieties.  These soybeans are so good for you.  My sister turned me on to them because they are tasty, the kids like popping them out of the pods into their mouths, and they are filling.  The plants are about two feet tall, and the pods apparently all ripen at the same time.  So all you do is pull up the whole plant and strip off the pods to harvest them!

English Thyme, Marjoram, and a struggling Lavender were all rescued from my old garden.

I have no root-cellar, so I am probably unable to keep carrots long, but I'll grow them anyway.  Winter squash, Butternut is my favorite, is on the list for this summer.

As you can see here, I don't dream on paper much, I scratch around in the dirt instead.

Perhaps I'll have to place nothing but cinder-blocks for garden beds.  Whatever we have, because we cannot afford to buy anything for planters...all way too over-priced.  These lines in the dirt are the tentative plans for this year's garden.  If I can get these done and filled up with good soil (another challenge), I should have a generous space for vegies.  Either way, my plan is to pack in as much as possible for the maximum harvest.

Tomatoes, Peppers, Squashes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Onions (never enough space for them), Green Beans, Tomatillos, Corn, Potatoes, Artichokes, Edamame, and whatever else I can dream up.  I still plan on growing Cabbage, Lettuce, and Spinach.  Along with all this, hopefully a healthy variety of herbs.

My garlic is making an appearance!

All my boys helped with the planting, and are thrilled with the green shoots.

Something else making an appearance, the sun!  It's staying up longer!  It's rising higher in the sky!

Soon after Christmas the hens began laying.  Since they were relatively new to the barn, they began laying in the corners or the horse's feed bins.  Never mind that we laid down buckets for them and even a couple of cat carriers to lay in.  No, too easy.  Now recently, they have taken to laying under a favorite bush outside the barnyard fencing.  Dismayed, I did a little research and found that chickens are a lot like cats, they come and go as they please.  I figure if I want to let them free range for maximum happiness and health, I need to take this in stride.  We could build something special for them, but research tells me they wouldn't take to it any more readily.  The only hens I want to eventually keep penned up will be some brooders.  Hopefully we can begin producing our own chicken this way.

By some miracle, or a constant series of miracles, we're still here in God's beautiful country.  I'm becoming more and more aware of the reality that I am truly, merely, a pilgrim, no matter where, or if, I end up 'settling down.'

Heb. 11:13-16
Eph. 2:19-22

No comments:

Post a Comment