Saturday, February 16, 2013

Founding the "Pilot Farm"

We bought this house in May of 2008. Having a big lot was a priority for us. When I first walked out the back door of the garage and looked down to the far end, I turned to Artie, our broker, and said, "Is that ALL in this lot?"

June rolled around, and we were eager to get our
garden in the ground. But we hadn't closed on the house yet. We didn't let that stop us. We came right in and planted our vegetables without even having the keys to the door.

A week later we started moving in, and Theo had no trouble keeping himself busy digging for worms in the new planter bed. Now, four years later, he still gets just as excited at every creepy crawly he finds out there.

This is what the garden looked like that first year. The corn didn't do too well - not enough of it to pollinate. And the artichoke was somewhat shocked from being moved. But everything else did amazingly!

I knew even then that I wanted to get rid of this massive blackberry bramble and build raised beds. I started hacking at it that summer, and by the fall I was ready to start building the beds. I seriously over-engineered and over-invested in the beds, and if I had it to do over I wouldn't have built them at all. But that's a different blog post.

As you can see, by Easter the beds were in and we had some stuff growing! That was an amazing year for the onions.
By August we had a real bounty on our hands. In the back you can see the overgrown, overcrowded tomato plants in the wooden frame I built. That was not the easiest harvesting year.

And here is August of 2012. I took out the juniper shrub and put in a lot more corn. I let the squash vines grow out onto the grass. Competition with foot traffic didn't keep those plants from producing hundreds of pounds of delicious acorn squash.

That's where we stand. I'll be back soon to talk about my goals for this year, the first one on the plate being to start all my own plants from seed.

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