Our gardens are just absolutely flourishing with all this glorious rain we have been blessed with. Most of our food was hand-sewn, but Jason also started many different perennial flower seeds and tomatoes in the early, cold days of spring and they are all now establishing their places in the outside gardens, of which we have seven. We are growing many new heirloom flowers that will help to promote pollination and I can't wait to see them bloom! There are two smaller flower gardens nearer to the house, and an evolving garden in the front yard which is fenced in very cleverly with Jason's seasoning firewood. When that garden has exhausted its harvest (cucumbers and tomatoes) we will dismantle the firewood and move it to the porch.
In the front yard we also have a circular garden, beautifully embellished with invasive vines that were choking out many of the trees in the woods directly behind the house. Jason ripped them down and then fashioned a beautiful whimsical-style fence, weaving them in and around the established sheet wire fencing. This garden is devoted to tomatoes, of which we have many heirloom varieties. We grew tomatoes in the same garden last year and they did really well.
We added a corn patch in the pasture and are growing the original old-world corn. It's name is Floriani red flint corn and it was apparently used by the Native Americans. After contact with European settlers, some of this corn was taken back to Italy where it was grown exclusively in a remote area for hundreds of years! Now, it's making it's way back to it's original home. So far we have been very impressed by it's growth; Jason planted it and it literally rocketed; it grew so fast and tall! Every seed sprouted too, and the plants are all very healthy and robust. I can't wait for the harvest!
In the back of the property we have an herb and flower garden, another one devoted exclusively to garlic, and our main (and very large) garden, where we grow tons of vegetables. We fenced it in this past spring with stakes and chicken wire in the hopes that all animals, both tame and wild, would keep out, and it does seem to be working. There are many beds in this garden and a few structures and trellises for housing the beans and peas and squash. For the first time we are growing potatoes, and on the lush hugel garden there are gargantuan pumpkin leaves bursting out. I cannot recall all the goodness that is growing in there, but I will try to list everything: potatoes, pumpkin, squash, peas, sweet peas, mouse melon, beans, lettuces, ground cherries, swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, fennel, garlic, purslane, nasturtiums, comfrey, calendula, turnip, radishes, tomatoes..That's all I can recall right now!
The apple trees are growing sweet baby apples, and we are enjoying a tiny harvest of wild raspberries and blackberries. The rhubarb was coming up small so we left it to strengthen and hopefully come back stronger next year. We left the asparagus alone this spring too.
I cannot tell you the amount of dedication that Jason has poured into these gardens. I try to help when I can, but the boys make it a tad difficult for me to put a good chunk of time into any one task (-; Everything - from the tending of seeds in the closet under a grow-light and the seedlings hardening off on the deck, to the building of fences, to the compost he worked to create with our red wriggler worms over the past year, to the digging, planting, watering and weeding of each bed - he has done all of this. He's amazing.