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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In Case Elberton Attacks

I've been using serranos from the garden, and the sorrel and herbs are producing quite well despite my ridiculously haphazard planting method (throwing seeds out on the ground and hoping something grows somewhere). The eggplant is starting to bloom, and the epazote that finally came up from seeds looks nice—I've already used a bunch in tacos:

The tomatoes Jane gave me are incredibly healthy. I don't know what variety this one is, but it looks good so far:

Even the grape tomatoes I started from seed myself are growing crazily. They're almost two feet higher than the top of the metal trellis frame thing:

With some stray cilantro that sprouted from last year's dropped seeds, and a bunch of African basil and sweet basil.

Emboldened by my timid foray into vegetable gardening in Georgia, I'm now considering putting in a real garden next spring, part of my plan to make us completely self-sufficient by 2012. (I don't have such a plan, of course. But gas prices, plus living half an hour from my beloved Publix, plus produce prices, plus blah blah blah . . . and I'm thinking we should get a chest freezer and some chickens and plant a garden and drill for oil.)

Have any of you readers tried "no-till" or "weedless" gardening? I was given a book about it years ago (to review for Amazon, back in the good old days of the Internet boom), and have been rereading it this weekend. It kind of makes a lot of sense, although I'll need to start working on our plot now if the soil is going to be good enough by next spring. Here's where I'm thinking about putting the garden, in front of the mulberry trees, but not close enough to the road that everything will be covered with dust all the time:

The right end is shady until about 11:30. Mom: thoughts? Will I have to fence it in?

This morning during a lull in my freelance work I made some old fencing into two compost bins—I think that will work better and be more efficient than my random spreading pile system that seems to attract egg-shell-eating neighbor dogs.

Oh, and I do think we should have a couple chickens—that is, if we can figure out how to keep them out of sight of Cooper and Wagner, who have a barking problem that chickens would only exacerbate. To that end I've actually purchased detailed plans for a chicken tractor that will accommodate two or three hens.

Mr. Chalmers thought it was funny that I planted fifty asparagus crowns, and once explained to some guests that it was for when Elberton attacks. Heh.

1 comment:

Ms. Packrat said...

First of all, divide that area into 4 separate raised beds with pathway in between. second, I'd move it further out of the shade. I can't think of any vegetable that likes shade.
I did double dug raised beds at a former residence and while the first year was hellish labor (you could mitigate that somewhat by doing the initial groundbreaking and clearing in the fall and using winter to help you with the killing of grass and weeds), by the end of the second season, I was spending more time harvesting than weeding.