Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer's Bounty

After trying for two years to get a respectable vegetable garden growing we have finally succeeded. The soil here is very sandy--we pretty much live on a sand dune, a glacial moraine created as the last of the glaciers retreated well over 10,000 years ago. It's great for drainage (and therefore a dry basement) but is awful for gardening. This year, however, has been much more productive. Lori, in the pic below, is about 5' 4", so you can see that the corn behind her is about 9 feet tall. In front are summer squash, zucchini, and pole beans to the right.

Last year's garden was pathetic. It was the first year in this site, a south-facing hill, and although we tilled and terraced and fed the soil compost, the plants were thin and small, the corn never reaching 5 feet. The squash did OK (doesn't it always!) although even it suffered form powdery mildew, and the pole beans grew fairly well. We didn't get but a hand full of tomatoes, which just never seemed to ripen and were small, hard little rocks. This years tomatoes are much happier!

After the season last fall, we piled leaves from the yard on the garden, and throughout the winter, when we'd clean the chicken coop, that went in the garden too. This spring we started most of our plants in my studio, and when we put them in the ground we spread half-finished compost between the rows. That seems to have given the garden the boost it needed (a wet June didn't hurt), and now we have a garden to be proud of!

Look, corn that will have more than 5 kernels on it! Last year's "crop" turned into chicken food, but I figure they paid us back with some good fertilizer, not to mention yummy, healthy eggs.

Thanks, chickie girls!

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