Saturday, August 20, 2016

On Gardens and Chickens

I'm pretty sure if you've read my blog for any time, you know I live in the country. I didn't grow up in the country, though my family did have about an acre of yard with a swimming pool - an above ground up until the year I moved out and then they put in the in-ground my dad promised me (my dad owns a pool company). This left plenty of yard for a pretty large garden. Gardening was my only connection to 'farming' beyond seeing fields apon fields of crops - I grew up just outside of Wichita, but we are in Kansas, so you can't really escape that:)

When I met my hubby at the ripe 'old' age of 14, he introduced me to the world of farming. His family no longer farmed the land they owned- having rented it out to a neighbor, but still lived on it and I was able to watch the day-to-day life of farming. My father-in-law loved to garden and some years his garden reached around a half acre in size, though it was often much smaller than that. He grew things that he and my mother-in-law would never eat, but loved growing anyway and giving his produce away to family and friends.

When we moved from town out to the country on 10 acres, we put in a decent sized garden and have grown okra, green beans, tomatoes (of course!!), peppers, watermelon, and even our own pumpkins (edible). I love having a big garden, but umm, remember how I said I didn't grow up in the country. Well, I didn't grow up to love the hot, humid, bug infested summer months either. So while I'm all excited in April/May to get the seeds and plants in the ground, I usually have given up on it all around Mid July/August- yes about the time to harvest, but also weed!! So after several years of fighting the heat and bugs and long hours that it takes to keep up with a large garden (also around the time I found out I have R.A. so crawling around on the ground can be painful sometimes), we decided to scale back the garden a whole lot...
A picture from last year.
We put in 2 of these raised beds instead. One bed for tomatoes and the other for bell and hot peppers. We always had his dad to rely on to grow the rest of what we would need anyway. We had briefly discussed putting in a bigger garden this year after losing his dad this spring, but there just wasn't time. I think growing a bigger garden in the future would be a good/healing thing for my husband though.

This morning, since it wasn't too hot yet, I decided to go out to our itty-bitty garden and take some pictures.

These are tomato horn worms - or that is what we call them anyway. They can get pretty big and they are kind of aggressive if you try to pull them off the plants, so I usually just break off the stem they are on and carry them over to my girls...
The girls like getting treats from the garden. They do get to free range in the afternoon/evening, but I make sure they have laid their eggs before letting them out (lesson learned the hard way!!).
Small harvest from today. Yummy veggies and light green eggs (the girls are Americanas).

Hope you are having a wonderful day!!

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya on scaling back the garden. I keep the vegetable garden small, with my daily chronic pain. This year with my added daily headaches for almost 6 months now, my husband and daughter have cared for the garden and harvested. We have many, many yellow squash.