Our garden is looking full and vibrant, and I hope to start raking in more produce than I know what to do with shortly. (The answer, by the way, is can, can, can, can, can! Can everything! I’d have to have a lot of produce not to know what to do with it…)
Saving turnip seeds is quite the commitment to self-sufficiency because turnips are biennial plants, which means that they go to seed in their second year of life. The turnips you eat (or pretend to eat or just nibble at to be polite) are in their first year of life. To save turnip seeds, you have to leave a couple of beautiful looking turnips in the ground overwinter, preferably intentionally rather than forgetting a turnip and discovering it again in the spring. Whoops! That’s certainly never happened to me!
Last year, I made the regrettable decision of attempting to use my popcorn variety of corn as a trellis for pole beans. Did we still get green beans? Absolutely. Was I disappointed in the experiment? Absolutely. So, I needed to learn how to trellis green beans differently this year as cheaply as I could. For about $20, my husband and I made trellises for two 4 x 8 foot beds of pole green beans. I’m hoping for a bumper crop this year. This year, we’re growing Cherokee Trail of Tears and Purple Pod pole varieties of green beans.
I get so much joy from my garden that I call it my happy place. If I need a quick work break, I pop outside and do a quick walk through from my garden to pull a few weeds. When the kiddo asks what we’re going to do any particular evening, we usually say, “oh, we’ll probably work in the garden.” Our garden is so large that I can never get a good photo of its scope. I even climbed up on the roof in the hopes of finally capturing a good photo of the entire garden from a loftier vantage point. No dice.
The central feature of backyard orchard culture is that you manage the size of your fruit trees through zealous pruning. After our fruit trees have spent the last year becoming acquainted with our garden, I’ve been so pleased with their verdant happiness this spring (with the exception of the dead fig trees). Still, I knew I’d have to lop off a bunch of that greenery, and tree butchering day was today. I definitely feel like a butcher.
I love planting native flowers in the garden, and I have two large flower beds devoted to them. Unfortunately, the rabbits have enjoyed the prairie clover I bought nearly as much as I would’ve if they’d ever allowed them to grow large enough to flower… or grow much at all. I probably should’ve been more aware that all the neighborhood rabbits would enjoy clover (of all plants), but I didn’t put that together when I ordered them. Due to their overindulgence, the clover has struggled, and I think this last winter finally did the vast majority of them in.
Our garden is verdant, and the trees look like lush new things bursting into life. We even have fuzzy baby peaches huddled together on one of the branches in the more vigorous peach tree. Our Montmorency Cherry was profuse with its blossoms, and I feel a tickle of pride whenever people walk by our garden and point or smile in appreciation. I have every reason to be pleased with our backyard orchard culture going into its second year… except our fig trees died. Both of them.