How does the garden grow?

Wow!  Last year went by so fast!  We had a lot going on, both in the garden and in the family.  This is what we were doing most of the time when we weren’t at market.

Bride and groom and grandfathers

David’s dad just celebrated 91 years, mine will celebrate 89 this month and we all celebrated welcoming a new daughter into the family!   Family is one of the few things we love even more than being in the garden.

Spring is just around the corner, but as odd as it may seem, winter is when our garden usually undergoes a growth spurt.

We started the garden in 2010 with several rows of family vegetables.  We had no reliable water source and no clue what we were doing – but we had a plot of sunshine and East Texas sand.   We picked some beans, ate a tomato, shared some really delicious melons, and we were hooked.

The next year (2011) we set up sprinklers and planted a few more rows.  We pumped water from a holding pond not too far away.   It lasted until the pond ran dry.  We picked a few more beans, ate a few more tomatoes and some bell peppers, shared a lot of zucchini, picked more of those melons. 

Hours and hours were spent in research and hours and hours more in planning.

“My name is Barbara and I’m a gardener.”

In 2012, the big drought hit.  We had the city install a meter for garden water and ran drip irrigation to conserve it.  The garden doubled in size and we planted a whole range of those neat (and sometimes a little weird) vegetables we saw in the seed catalogs.  THAT is fun!  But what  to do with all those veggies?!  The new Athens Tx Farmer’s Market was kicking off.  New adventure!

2013 the garden doubled in size again to almost 2/3 acre.  We needed a real bunny fence to protect the beans and lettuces.   Planted blueberries to provide a wind break on the south side of the garden.  Upgraded drip irrigation with fertigation (liquid organic fertilizer added to the water as it drips).   We had a wonderful year at market!  SO very grateful for the support and love of our customers (aka, new friends!)  We learned SO much – again – and were honored to be invited to share a bit with you all at the Master Gardener meetings and at Athens Organic Supply. We offered our veggies for the first time in a retail venue at Dana’s Health Food store in Athens.

Now it’s 2014.  The regular garden area has already grown to be as large as we can handle for now.  So this year, we’ve grown in a different direction:

Greenhouse

If you are interested, there will be more about the greenhouse on the new Garden (b)Log when I get it kicked off in the next day (okay, maybe month or year…..) or so. When the water and heater are connected this weekend (we hope), we’ll start seedlings for the spring garden. We’ll be able to offer more in the way of fresh potted herbs and micro-greens – hopefully year-round.  We’ll be vermicomposting (composting with worms) to provide extra nutrients to the soil as well as refining our regular compost system.  Lots more to learn.

We still plan to be at the Farmer’s Market on First Monday weekends with unique heirloom veggies, will invite a few very tolerant friends to help us kick off a small CSA so we can learn the ins and outs of that, and will do our best to keep Dana’s stocked.

As always, our non-GMO veggies are grown with all natural (no chemical pesticides or herbicides EVER) techniques.   While we are not certified organic, we always use those natural techniques to build healthy soil and grow healthy vegetables.

We sure are looking forward to the new year!  Thank you for sharing the ride with us!

2 thoughts on “How does the garden grow?”

  1. Sharon Van Buskirk

    Doesn’t a garden go to great lengths to keep the wonders of living up front and face forward? I love how it ties you to the seasons even if the seasons in Northeast Texas do get a little blurry around the edges. Keep up the grand work, Barbara, and if you ever need a helping hand, I’d love to lend one. – Sharon in Montalba

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Sharon! I’ll sure keep your offer in mind when keeping up gets challenging. 🙂

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