Growing up in North Dakota I thought gardening was just about vegetables. The growing season was about three or four months which is just about the time for a good veggie garden. Everyone had a garden when I was a kid. It was just part of summer. I still think of it it that way. The other nine months I like spending time with all the ornamentals but come summer there is nothing I like more than spending time in the vegetable garden.
When we moved to Old Goat Farm we were lucky enough to have a beautiful space already dedicated to vegetables. It is about a sixty by sixty foot square. The back side has the chicken coop and bird run. Both sides have espalier apples, pears and plums. The front is a long perennial border filled with very tall plants that block the view of the vegetable garden from the rest of the garden. When you are inside the vegetable garden it is its own little world. It even has a top made from bird netting. This latest development is due to the fact that the peacocks discovered a few years ago that they could swoop in and have a little buffet.
Originally there were little raised beds but I removed them and put in rows to maximize the amount of produce we could grow. I also moved the raspberries and blueberries from behind the barn to the inside of the veggie garden. They are against the fence on the sides. Growing up I remember that there were always some flowers mixed in with the veggies. Since Gary has a large collection of Day Lilies we put a row of them against the chicken coop and bird run for just a little more color.
Since our last frost is usually around mid-May we don’t plant until Memorial Day weekend. It has become a tradition. We plant what we like to eat so we have, 3 types of squash, peas, 2 types of beans, carrots, onions, 2 types of beets, 2 types of potatoes, garlic, lettuce, 2 types of cabbage, 4 types of tomatoes, kale and collard greens.
I like nothing better than going out to the garden and seeing what is ripe and planning dinner around that or sometimes just that. We do freeze quite a bit and I always have the best intentions of canning but it rarely happens. The local food bank is most appreciative of my procrastination.
You gotta love summer in the veggie garden. Bon appetite.