Hyperlocal: The Backyard Garden
I’ve been talking a lot about how and why to garden. This week I thought it might be nice if you got a look at what I’ve been doing in my own garden. It’s pretty big, so we’ll start with a few things this week, and explore more in weeks to come.
To give you a bit of background, my mother was always a gardener, but I never had any interest. It wasn’t until after we bought a house and my second child was born, that the gardening bug bit me. It’s only been 7 years since I’ve seriously gardened, but it has become my passion.
We own half a duplex, so have a shared yard. My front yard is the largest, but aside from being shared, it is also home to my septic system. As a result, it is unusable. The backyard is tiny and currently home to our chickens. That leaves the side yard for the garden. It’s not huge, but I’ve got a lot in there.
These are my sugar snap peas. A huge favorite of the family, especially my former pea hating hubby. These were direct seeded in mid March.
Here we have my potato patch. There are 3 varieties growing in my garden right now. Red Norland, Rio Grande Russet and Yukon Gold. Potatoes are very easy to grown and can even be grown in a barrel if you have no room in your garden. Potatoes easily take up pesticides, so we are very careful where the potatoes we eat come from.
We love peppers as well. The ones shown are jalapenos, but we also have several bell peppers, a hot Thai chile and hot cherry peppers. These were started in my basement under lights.
Garlic is so fabulous to grow. You pop the cloves in the ground between Halloween and Thanksgiving, throw some mulch over the top and forget about them. As soon as the weather shows any sign of warmth, they’re up and growing. This is a hardneck variety called Music. In a few weeks, they’ll send up a flower pod called a scape. This is edible and considered quite gourmet.
The King of the garden is the tomato. It’s the one plant that everyone wants to grow. Who could blame you? The taste of a fresh garden tomato is like nectar of the gods. There just is no comparison to anything in any supermarket. I have several varieties that were started in my basement this year. We have Amish Paste for canning, Cherokee Purple, which is gorgeous and extremely delicious and Black Cherry for a yummy snack while pulling weeds.
Lastly for today, is my greens. In this bed are the dark green Tatsoi. This is super for stir fries. There is a mix of leaf lettuces, next to some romaine type called Winter Density. You can also see spinach and several other Asian greens.
What have you got growing in your garden?
Heather Smith can also be found at Heather’s Homemaking. She blogs about gardening, cooking, preserving and other homesteading activities.