Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Musings ~ You can't get more local than your backyard!

Well, after a five year hiatus from vegetable gardening, I have decided to give it a try once again. I have attempted gardening in the past yet always seem to end up feeding our animal friends more than my family. We now have a section of our large yard enclosed with a picket fence and in the last two years added two herding Shetland Sheepdogs that are quite protective of the area. I do think Peter Rabbit and his friends may not feel welcomed after all.

I began the planning process in March. The first thing I did was purchase the seeds. Apparently gardening has become quite popular this year with local shops in Southern Maine reporting a 50% increase in "seed demand". I'm glad I purchased early.

The second step I took was in April with the purchase of white cedar raised beds. I figured this would reduce the amount of weeds and keep our dogs from running through the veggies. I highly recommend these easy to assemble raised beds I purchased at The Farmstead . No tools are required as you simply slip the tenon through the mortise opening, secure with the provided wooden pegs and viola - a lovely raised bed! These garden beds are similar to ones used in Colonial America so I feel like I am keeping with New England tradition!
The third step consisted of clearing the section of yard debris. I then laid down mesh so my woodchuck and mole friends would not come up from down under. I laid down weed block on top of that and filled both beds with rich, organic composted loam (which I noticed had many worm friends in it - great natural soil aerators).

I used mostly seeds with the exception of a few plants, mainly tomatoes and peppers. We have such a short growing season I thought it better to purchase the plants. I planted at the end of May and with the help of Mother Nature's Spring rains, the seeds have now sprouted.

I am really looking forward to harvesting the produce that I know is truly organic and fresh. I also planted many varieties of sunflowers and am hopeful to see their smiling faces sometime in August.

Yes, gardening is a bit of work and expense, especially the first year. The real benefit goes beyond the monetary costs. It is a comfort to know we are eating, fresh and healthy food grown without the use of chemicals. Who knows, if successful maybe I'll add another bed next year!

The Farmstead for Natural Cedar Raised beds
All illustrations by Melissa Sweet from my favorite gardening book that provided me with the inspiration for my garden, "In the French Kitchen Garden, the joys of Cultivating a Potager"


Katie said...

I can't wait to see pictures! I love to see other gardener's gardens.

SweetToothVintage said...

good luck! i live in philadelphia, so my garden consists of lots of pots on the patio, but it's doing well so far.

Kala Pohl Studio said...

My husband just planted a herb and veggie garden. I am waiting to see your photos too:):)

Peter said...

There are days I regret that I don't any more have a garden, but there are also days when I don't regret it! :-) Good luck with yours!

Tins and Treasures said...

Sounds ambitions. Good luck with your garden. Happy Monday ~Natalie

WolfeWoman said...

I need my garden! It's more than just the produce, its a sanctuary for me, a happy place that always brings a smile and something new to amaze me.

LillyShayStyle said...

I hope your garden grows a wealth of yumminess, minus the rabbits :)