Sunday, August 19, 2007

Intensive Gardening - Andi Style


The 'Old" Garden Site


Southern Side of the House
and Location of my Intensive Garden
(between the junniper bushes)


Zucchini Flower and Hidden Zukes!


Intensive Gardening:
Cabbage, Tomato, Zucchini & Sage



About six years ago I wanted to have a garden with enough production to take extra veggies to our local Farmers' Market. Dick wanted the garden out in the field behind the backyard... I wanted the site closer to me, in the backyard, and where I could gaze at it lovingly from my kitchen window... and I wanted to kill 2 birds with one stone - reduce the size of the mowing area and have the luxury of walking out barefoot to the garden without stepping into surprises. Since Dick was the man behind the ground breaking machines, his location won. We bought a greenhouse kit, raised beds were made and into production I went.

We put a hot wire around the garden area. Yet, the cattle and sheep still kept sneaking in and eating stuff. I would find footprints in the raised beds (huge), tomato cages and pea fences scattered and twisted out the field, and drip hoses drug off from their staked positions. My garden became 'mobile'. Not only that, when the adjacent field was being flood irrigated, so was my garden area. I had to wear rubber boots - sometimes losing one from the suction caused by the soaked ground. The greenhouse was flooded, and my beautiful basil, eggplant and tomato plants looked horrid. And, to make matters worse, the site did not want to give up it's identity as pasture. After three years, I abandoned ship.

About the time the greenhouse was being built I happened to rescue two cool glass doors from the dump (Yep, me. The gal who complains about trash day and all the nasty germs!). Not the County dump. The Haines dump, which is only open on Saturdays from 7am until noon, and is 'so much nicer' than that big City dump. Anyway, I had cold frames made for the doors, and put the cold frames on the south side of the house. Their purpose was for the more delicate goodies: lettuce, basil, and a few herbs.

Well, this year I decided I wanted a garden again. I missed my tomatoes and zucchini and other favorite garden friends! But, I didn't want the hassle of the old site. Too much work. My greenhouse has been overrun with cattle and the pasture has reclaimed it's site. I planted my garden friends all together in and around the cold frames. I decided to experiment with 'intensive gardening'. Kind of similar to intensive grazing, where you have a large number of animals in a small area for a short period of time, and rotate them. The difference here is, the plants don't get rotated per se, but I will rest the ground come late September.

I had to retire 2 zucchini plants. I should have pulled out some cherry tomato plants as well, but can't bring myself to do it. Our first frost is about September 3rd, right when the tomatoes start ripening up, and each one is precious.. Looks like I'll be doing some canning if these babies stay on!

The zucchini and cucumbers have been very successful, and I now have a handful of my first ripe tomatoes! I also have green onions. Yum! This summer's garden was fun. The way it should be. Oh! I have a zucchini recipe to share, too! I'll put that on the next post.

4 comments:

*karendianne. said...

Oh this is killer! I dig the garden pictures. I love the story. I'm excited about all the goodies, love fresh tomato's and the idea of that fresh onion - well golly I've never had one and I'll bet its spectacular.

I giggled about the sucked boot. Thanks for the morning fun.

Cackling with Love, *karendianne.

Dawn said...

WOW, your house is awsome. WOW WOW WOW, I Love fresh garden veggies. Not able to have one at this house to much sand in my dirt...lol

Vintage Papers said...

your house, view, garden are all just beautiful! you are so lucky to live in such a glorious area!

Kerilou said...

ALl I can think of is the movie "the horse whisperer" when I see your photos! What a glorious place to live. I love gardening, but didn't get much in this year. We have water logging issues as well. I feel you with the suctioned boots! Next year we hope to move the location and do raised beds, also closer to the house..Hopefully we can keep the deer out! I love all the pics of your veggies, and they DO go very nicely with Garden bella! Kerilou