Sunday, June 30, 2013

As you may or may not know, I love to plant a garden.  There is something so satisfying about bringing in the food that I have produced and cooking with it.  I have always had a garden and had one out of town occasionally as well.  This year my garden has morphed into two gardens once again.  One in town and the other at Aagard Farms - a local CSA and organic farm that rents out garden spaces as well.  Norah Tolmie and Jes Aagard run a lovely organic farm with numerous goats, cats and a large variety of high quality vegetables. You can check them at on their blog at:

I honestly don't know when Norah finds the time to post anything at all - she is usually swamped with work.  Having a CSA is a huge amount of work and having the goats (and chickens) ups the workload appreciably because she has to milk the goats every evening as well. She also makes soap from the goats milk.  I have yet to try it but it looks good and smells wonderful.  It will be interesting to compare it with the soaps I make. (I used to sell 23 different varieties of soap when my kids were small.  It enabled me to stay home with them and still have a small income coming in.)

I told my husband that I would be calling my little garden plot "The Farm" as it is as close to "owning" a farm as I will ever get. sigh.  That said, I have planted about 36 tomato plants - 11 heritage varieties in all, some banana and German Butterball potatoes, several types of heritage beans like Jacobs cattle, cucumbers, red cabbage (one of which a deer was kind enough to prune down for me), broccoli, cauliflower, sweetie pie and Atlantic giant pumpkins, yellow zucchini, acorn squash, carrots, dill, and other stuff...  Needless to say, I have a double plot.  My in-town garden is smaller with much less variety and much more sheltered.

One of the more important things I forgot to do was to remove the weeds from my farm each time I weeded.  Instead, I left them in the aisleways and being as opportunistic as they are, they all re-rooted themselves within a couple days!!!!  So I created twice as much work for myself because I have to reweed what I already thought I took care of! 

Another thing I forgot is that gardening in the middle of bald-ass prairie is a completely different ball-game from a sheltered, shaded garden with easily accessible water.  Things are so unprotected from the prairie winds that it is difficult to keep the plants hydrated when they are little and cannot create their own shade to protect their roots.  We have had a couple real humdingers of storms lately (with rainfalls up to 70mm) and because my garden is near the top of the small ridge, it gets full force of the wind, rain, hail and whatever else nature throws at it.  However, it also is getting sun from 5ish in the morning right through until 10ish at night and everything is growing great!  I actually have 10 tomatoes already that range in size from peas to actual tomato size tomatoes and my pumpkins are flowering.  This is when gardening gets exciting!  Those first fruit are so wonderful.  Now if only the gophers, deer, and groundsquirrels don't find them I will be off to the races...