The time of year has come where my seasonal depression rears its ugly head and stops in to say "hey I'm here!". I'm sick of being cold, the gray, the mud, putting on jackets and hats, the lack of green, etc. We have gotten a few "teaser days" of spring where the temps warmed up (even into the 50's a couple times) and I could frolic in the sun and pretend I was accomplishing things outside. Thinking of these days make it torturous when winter smacks us back to reality, ergo the seasonal depression. But, these quiet and antsy times give me time to not only reflect on everything accomplished in 2017, but plan, draw, and make my to do lists for 2018! It gives me hope! Check out what we have in store.
So I'm going to come right out and say it... I am not a fan of grass. That perfectly manicured lawn look is not for me. First of all, it wouldn't look perfect because I have oodles of animals and animals poop. I live on a small subsistence farm, and the last thing that I have time for is mowing grass. And for what? For looks? Sure, it can be fed out to the animals, but they don't eat it all so it ends up being a waste. A waste of time, and a waste of space. I don't want to spend hours mowing, or use what could be valuable garden space to feed my family on an aesthetic monoculture.
Last year I came across a French style of gardening that I wasn't all that familiar with. Potager Gardens, also known as kitchen gardens consist of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers woven into a beautiful yet functional space. I was immediately intrigued, and began googling my heart out. Results yielded photos of beautiful raised beds made of wood and rocks, with natural walkways woven in between bursts of pollinator loving colors. This was the solution I was searching for to transform the grassy area out my back door and kitchen (it was meant to be) into a useful and beautiful space.
We certainly eat veggies fresh, but I am an avid canner and preserver, so I plant a surplus and in some cases, multiple rounds of quicker growing veggies to maximize yield. I am stocking up on canning jars, and beginning to plan what I am going to can this year. This year has been a banger year for the garden, I often look at it in awe at how fruitful and healthy it is. I tried several new (to me) veggies, and none have disappointed! Here's what's growin'...
The end of May aka the garden planting time here in Zone 5b came and went with gray, drizzling, and unseasonably cold temperatures. But, a day or two of sun and mid-sixties did manage to sneak in over Memorial Day weekend and I got my planting on! This year's line up brings a lot of "firsts" for me not only in varieties and veggie types, but actual gardening methods as well! This year I have your traditional "in the dirt garden" in addition to my Tower Garden that my sister gave me. She moved, and didn't have outdoor space for it so I eagerly accepted it! I am excited about all of the good things I have growing, and am optimistic for a bountiful harvest this year!
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