Monday, July 16, 2012

Potager & making old weed patches useful again

Here is a little corner of the potager with zucchini, potatoes, asparagus, beans & peas growing.  The large flowering plant in the back is celery from last year that has gone to seed - I'm going to try collecting and saving them even though they may be sterile.  They were from nursery starts last spring.  Even if they don't grow it was lovely to enjoy their seedheads in the garden while they lasted. I also have carrot seeds to save this year from last years remaining carrots - those will be good as they were from heirloom seeds to begin with.
Out of all my hobbies, potager gardening is by far my favorite!  I love the process of creating a beautiful garden that produces fresh delicious and nutritious produce to feed our family & friends.  It's so incredibly rewarding to eat what we have grown - even though I know I cannot take full credit.  It's up to the sun and the rain and the cycle of life that our creator so graciously lavishes upon the earth to sustain us and it! 
I also just planted a corn, bean & pumpkin patch in another garden area down by the pasture.  The corn was from starts (we got a late start) as we just finished preparing the ground - it used to be a weed patch after years of going to seed.  In order to make it useful again we cut the weeds down, layered old newspapers over the top, next I layered used chicken bedding and covered with black plastic.  We left the garden this way for about 3-4 months and then covered it with new top soil mixed with compost.  I have one more garden area that I am starting this same treatment on so that in the fall I can plant a cover crop and have it ready next spring hopefully. 
One of my goals with gardening is not spending much money on it.  We have chickens who provide fertilizer and straw to amend garden beds.  We also have lots of ashes from our wood stove, fireplace, barbecue & fire pit.  Another free amendment is used coffee grounds and tea leaves (I supplement by taking bags from Starbucks of their used coffee grounds since ours isn't enough).  Some of the neighbors save their newspapers for me too.  I'm learning to save seeds and I usually start most of the plants from seed directly into the garden.  It just doesn't make much sense to me to spend a lot of money on the garden since it doesn't take long before you could have bought all that produce much more cheaply!
My absolute favorite time of day is in the evening when the sun is starting to go down.  I wander down to the chicken coop to gather eggs, take food scraps & fill waters.  Then I make my way back up watering the gardens and checking to see how they grow.  It's quiet and peaceful and I feel alive and present in the moment.  I know, some garden experts say to water in the morning and sometimes I do but it's such a good way to wind down the day I can't stop myself! 
How does your garden grow?


  1. It all sounds wonderful and peaceful and productive!

  2. I know what you mean about peaceful. I have a garden that just gets bigger and bigger every year. This year, however, with the drought has been the most depressing ever. We water every or every other day, but the produce is just a little tasteless. Its sad.

    Glad yours is producing well.

  3. Your garden is breathtaking! I wish ours looked like that; it's slow on producing this year. I don't think we've harvested anything but berries.


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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love