"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row."
We are in full swing of summer life here on the farm, and do say it's busy might just be an understatement. There are days I wonder about what we've taken on. When my garden is overgrown in grass is one of them. Luckily with my gardening method, this isn't too much of a challenge if I have a good. Which, incidentally, I do. I have several to be precise. I may have a mild love affair with my Japanese sickle. It is a true workhorse on my farm . I use it to take down 2nd year burdock, to cut all the grass around my plants and drop it on my plants, to cut herbs, to cut Comfrey (oh Comfrey! I have several bunches sitting on the trampoline that I need to tie and hang - ADD moment sorry), to cut rabbit food. The list goes on. I've even cut fencing with it (whops!).
I have more tomato plants this year than I have done since we moved here. Last year I started fermenting my tomato products and fell in love. If you are on facebook and interested in fermented products, you have to check out the group Wild Fermentation. You could spend days searching the archives alone. It's a very active group but I love it and use it often during the growing season. One of my favorite discussions on tomatoes is this one.
My tomato set up this year is a bit different. I think I have close to 20 plants with most of them on strings under a cattle panel trellis. I am planning on climbing pumpkins up the trellis behind the tomatoes. We shall see how that goes. Check it out below.
We only did 4 squash plants this year which will likely be enough once they start producing. Thanks to the good graces of one of I was able to do squash. I didn't get plants at the local nursery soon enough and when I was ready they were sold out. Ahh well, they will start producing later but I am hopeful they will be abundant.
Then we have beans. And ooh boy do we have beans. I may have gone a bit bean crazy this year. I have all my plants panted biointensively but my beans boy. I had almost no seedling losses. So I have 14 feet of pole beans and about 60 green bush bean plants. Oy! I see fermented beans on the horizon!
A new crop for us this year was corn. We were able to find non-GMO verified sweet corn. Figured it would be fun for the kids. The peas are also fun for the kids and they love them! I just had to tie the top of the peas to the trellis today as they are getting a bit unruly. But they are producing quite well for only 8 feet of peas. I have snap and shell mixed together. The kids garden is pretty much just sun gold tomatoes at this point. Sun gold's that need a trellis or cage of some sort!
Garlic is getting ready to harvest. I have a couple fallow beds and then there's my kale and cucumber bed which is rocking. I have the cucumbers on strings this year going vertical. Should be interesting! They are currently about 18" tall. We've had crazy weather so I'm grateful they are that big. My younger son also planted radishes and I planted carrots. The carrots aren't doing much but I have two rather large radish piles.
Then there's my herb garden...which is A MESS! But both the licorice and Ku-shen came back (happy dance!). My Bocking 4 and `14 Comfrey is doing really well and I had an amazing surprise this spring when my Astragulus came back (being zone 3/4 with very little snow cover last winter, I was shocked). The cat used my feverfew and mugwort plant starts as her bathroom...so they didn't take, but my lavender overwintered and is currently blossoming. It's LOVELY! My sea kale appears to have established itself which is exciting (until I have to move it again because it's in a row that's probably going to turn into greenhouse in the future). My other perennials are doing wonderfully but the garden really needs some love! It's getting overrun by grass and the paths need another layer of mulch.
This post is getting long. If there are any plants I've listed that you're interested in, please contact me. I'm sure we could work something out assuming I have enough to part with.
If you want to keep track of us when we aren't posting updates to the blog (because life has a tendency to get away from me at times, please follow us on facebook, instagram, twitter or pinterest.
I love herbs and have been studying at home for some time now (through Rosemary Gladstar's home course). When I was young I "helped" my grandmother develop and build an herb garden. Needless to say, now she's stuck with a garden that gets regularly overgrown with the mint family plants because those seem to be what survived! Go figure. She has kept up with the garden and now I have my own so I don't play in hers anymore, but she has gifted me several herbs which I use in my gardens and orchard.
I hope there is some interest in this area. I love herbs and hope to find others sharing their herb recipe's, nourishing infusions, salves, or herbal writings. I will likely utilized this as a place to keep track of the herbs that I am personally studying as well and the adventures I am having in herb land (a lot of wild fermenting too!). Who knows, I may even get better about pictures (and take some of my own!). Please share in the comments section any herb specific posts.
There are always days (and people) that have more knowledge then us or that have a different perspective. My goal is to make this a weekly post that allows me to share the change that I have been challenged with integrating into my human experience. These things can be of any topic but I suspect will often be food related as that's where my greatest interest lies. It's also an effort to get me to at least sit down and write something weekly.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Victor Frankl
Hi there, Wysteria here. I will be writing as regularly as possible on behalf of my family and regarding our adventures in farming, food, health and things of the like. My interest range widely and my brain wanders far. Namaste.