Welcome to our garden! Our raised bed veggie garden is a mix of some of our fav veggies like sugar snap peas, tomato, peppers, salad greens, beets, carrots, green beans and more; small fruits including currants, strawberries, raspberries, culinary herbs and a few edible flowers. Most visitors are surprised by and interested in our raised beds. Here, sugar snap peas are planted on a trellis along with most root crops since they enjoy the cool weather. I’ve underplanted them with mesculin mix to provide shade later.
We also have 3-stage compost bins – the idea is one box for collecting garden waste, another is compost that’s in-process or cooking and the third bin is for the finished product, a nice rich humus compost…which usually gets mixed right back into the garden in spring as we prep the beds for planting.
Centrally located is what appears to be an outhouse, but really serves as a handy tool shed to keep frequently used tools nearby.
A trellis will be constructed and installed as part of the bed as the tomatoes mature and are big enough to be staked. We don’t allow any of the fruit to lay on the ground while ripening and allows for good air circulation.
Green beans and zucchini are growing along the other side of the bed. The black fabric helps to warm the soil, minimize weeds and is recycled every year. Sunflowers and hollyhock grows along the fenceline. It’s important to orient your garden properly to utilize sunlight throughout the day – taller plants to the north.
Potatoes are usually harvested later in the season when most of the foliage has died back. Our potato yield usually gets us through ’til next spring! It’s almost like digging for gold and discovering the bounty that lies below as you carefully dig them trying not to spear any!
A mix of salad greens are continually planted during the summer…even though it prefers cool weather and tends to bolt as soon as summer heats up. Summer’s heat has not arrived here in Michigan yet, so I worry a bit for the tomato and green peppers! There’s never much that gets wasted from the garden since one of the farm critters most often enjoys the trimmings or overgrown leaves. My goats are particularly fond of strawberries and rosemary. They enjoy a mixed palate of greens as do the chickens and rabbits. Even the sheep enjoy a treat now and then!
And finally, here’s Snowy – one of my barn cats and gardening companion. He especially enjoys visitors ‘rubbies’ and being the center of attention. I’m often requesting car checks for stow-aways, since Snowy is very curious and might enjoy finding himself going along for the ride!
Well, I made my first batch of Chevre cheese from this year’s freshening! That will be the subject of another post as I take you through each step of the cheesemaking process. This weekend I’ll be up to my eyeballs with sheep shows on Saturday and driving up to Alpena on Sunday to help a friend collect up her new Border Leicester lamb ewes! Fun, Fun, Fun!