Not a High-Heeled Activity

This was actually a little while ago. This is me out cutting down the weeds to prepare our garden plot. Something I never dreamed I would be excited about, so excited that I was clapping my hands in glee, was when my husband got off the phone and informed me that he’d just procured three dump loads full of horse manure! After we finished laughing, we realized that being delighted over dung was absolutely not something either of us ever pictured in our lives. But there it is. We now have beautifully fertilized soil, and we keep adding to it, and digging it. In another few months, we’ll be able to rototiller the whole thing and start planting.
The Cook’s Garden supply catalog is one of my favorite things to read these days, as I continue to re plot my garden space. What started as a 100′ x 75′ plot, has become more like three individual plots of 60′ x 40′. I have it all on graph paper, and in my mind, it is going to be lush and beautiful. I have a full time job. During the summer months, my husband’s business is in full swing as well. We are planning on growing enough to can and preserve through a variety of means enough to last us through winter.
We are new at this and taking on quite a lot for beginners. What is it they say, “Go Big or Go Home!”? Well. That’s us.
We are researching the best we can. I’m just putting it out there right now that we may have more failures to write about in this first little bit, than successes. I’m fine with that. If we were honestly expecting ourselves to be wildly successful, we may get discouraged. But we are very clearheaded about what we are getting ourselves into. We think.
Experienced gardeners will see all our errors immediately. We only hope that we can learn with a good will and a lighthearted sense of humor about the whole thing.
It’s time to start buying seeds. I cannot wait!
So – if there are any gardeners who stop by – because I’m browsing your blogs… What are some of the things from your first year of gardening that you’d wished you’d known? I know we have to make some of our own mistakes, but we’d sure love to learn through yours and spare ourselves some of the trouble!! Thank you in advance for your kind input!!
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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Cindy Brown says:

    Well, to the untrained eye, you are “mowing down weeds”, but around here they call that “bush-hogging”. Let me tell you the tale of our first garden here last year.My husband was sooooo excited to go from 1/2 acre to 12 acres that he went overboard with the garden and everything else. He ordered over $1,000 worth of seeds and trees and then got so overwhelmed, he couldn’t get it all planted, much less properly planted. He had big dreams of all of us planting and harvesting as a family, raising animals, canning food, and living off the land. However, he forgot to ask the kids and I if we were on the same page with him. We weren’t! He had done everything to a scale we could not easily manage (including chickens, goats, and rabbits – which as I mentioned before are now banned here at the Brown farm) and we hated every minute of it. We ended up with nothing but a couple of vegetables. I teased him when he brought in the pathetic looking “thousand dollar cucumber”.We learned a hard lesson our first year on the farm. The “go big or go home” theory failed for us. This next summer, we will be much more reasonable with our garden and we have downsized the animals and chosen ones that we all don’t mind taking care of as well. Oh, I have some stories, girl! LOL!I really hope your experience is much, much better than ours :0) Last year was our learning curve. Curveball. Whatever…

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  2. Liesl Garner says:

    Cindy – thank you so much for sharing this. I didn’t respond right away because I was thinking it through and getting a little afraid. My husband had to talk me down. We are on the same page. And yes, we are probably planting too much this first year. We keep pulling back and downsizing the plan and rearranging. I have several graph papers full of drawn out plans, and last night I started working on the Excel Spreadsheet with a Week by Week plan of what all needs to be planted, what needs to be transplanted, so that we have a clue how much we’ll be doing. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be a lot, and we are going to learn so much. But, overall, it’s going to be fun. We’ve been reading about a bunch of people who have done this, and they all keep reminding their readers that in the long run, this is supposed to be fun. Let’s not lose track of that! Well, that’s the goal.Thanks again for sharing your experience. It will be fun to see how it all works out this year. I woke up this morning dreaming of putting in the posts and twine for various plants to climb. I have become a gardener! I’m now dreaming, and not just about the fun parts, the full, lush, delicious garden part – but the work part of putting it in!!Enjoy your day!

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    1. Cindy Brown says:

      See, the big difference here is that you two seem to truly have a passion for it. At our house, my husband had the passion, I had a thumb of a different color. Gardening has never been my passion or my thing and he just really assumed I would learn to love it, but I didn’t. You two have spreadsheets, for crying out loud! LOL! You are prepared and both “in the game”! I think you’ll do fine…

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  3. xoxoxo says:

    Go medium or run for your life! You have seen the garden at Castle Debauchery–Year one was PERFECT. only 20×20 or so… year 2 was 40 x 20 and WAY too much work for 1 person, working full time. I would sit in the garden and NOT be able to relax because there was always work to do. I ended up harvesting less because of not being able to tend it. This year I will revert back to year 1 with no plan, just like before. More than year 1, but alot less than the full garden. Flowers can fill that space instead. And strawberries! Good luck! Hopefully I can follow along!

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  4. Liesl Garner says:

    xoxoxo – I am hearing that these big aspirations I have for our garden are simply not a good idea – from more than one source. It’s true. I tend to live in the clouds where everything turns out perfectly, just like we dream! Sort of like that song from “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” – Big Rock Candy Mountain. So, we are still revising our shopping list for seeds. It will be an interesting adventure!

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