Inch by inch…

At least that’s what it feels like around here! I’m making progress but it never seems like enough. I’ve recently come to realize that since I’ve been down here I’m not really taking any time to just BE. Most of my waking hours are spent working in the garden, non-garden chores, reading (mostly at night), or thinking/observing/visualizing the future development of the site.

It has been raining today so I’m taking time to read and write a bit. Thoughts on the garden thus far is that I’m glad it is started and at the same time frustrated with the late start. Things are growing and some seem to be doing very well. But the carrots and beets are SLOW. I’d always thought of them as a spring and cool weather crop but had recently seen others say that they can be sown in mid-summer. It’s obvious they don’t like the heat. The chard is coming along at a slightly quicker pace. The Black-seeded Simpson Lettuce that I put in just 2 weeks ago is doing the best of them all and is coming along very nicely. The squash, cukes, and zucchini are doing great. The potatoes I planted last week are starting to sprout up some green. The peppers and tomatoes are coming along very slowly and may be the biggest disappointment. A couple of the tomatoes have really filled in well and will produce well I think but many of the first to get blooms are just looking very leggy with sparse growth. I think I may have overwatered a bit and certainly the soil here is not the best. I’ve added a little compost dressing around all the plants but I did not have much and spread it thin. So, not much compost and no manure yet and those are likely the key missing ingredients.

I try to remind myself that this is a rushed first year garden and that next year’s will, no doubt, be greatly improved. We’ll have a little greenhouse which will allow me to get the tomatoes, peppers, and others started much earlier and of course the compost pile I have going now will be perfect by then and at least one or two other piles will be underway. We do have seven fruit trees planted with two more coming down tomorrow so nine fruit trees is a good start and I’m happy about that. I suppose that I’m just impatient which is probably related to what I see going on in the world. We’re much, much closer to the collapse than I realized and our little project is just getting started. So much to do, so little time.

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1 Comment

  1. i can totally relate to the frustrations of “wanting it now” in a new garden w/ poor soil. this is my 2nd year on this site, with very little soil. sheet mulching last year helped a TON, the amount of worms under there is so gratifying. i work for a woman who has been gardening her land for 30 years, and her soil is black gold. it’s hard to go there every week and see her place and then come back and compare to mine!!! but even in a year i am seeing a bit improvement. and it’s amazing how well plants can do even in crappy situations. i am blessed with being near the coast so i harvest seaweed as a mulch material, for the compost, for sheet mulching. it’s incredible stuff. leaves are awesome too. we collected our neighbors leaves into a huge pile last year, this spring i dug into it and there was some beautiful fluffy black goodness in there. we have very little grass, and what we do have is not rich at all. but adding just a bit of comfrey and valerian, plus kitchen scraps and garden weeds (which i mow to break down faster) sets the compost roaring. my last pile heated up to 140 the day after it was made. compost is the key i think… i had a lot of trouble w/ damping off this spring, and i think it’s because last year i didn’t have enough compost to incorporate into my soil. so the soil was low in beneficial microbes and fungi, and thus the “bad guys” were able to get a strong hold.

    let me know when you get sick of my mile-long “comments.” can you tell i just LOVE talking about my garden? lol

    oh and ps….. get your comfrey patch roaring, the chickens ADORE it. i have one under the apple tree where one of their rotational pastures is, and the chickens denuded that comfrey plant in a day and half!!

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