Friday, September 23, 2011

The Recycled Garden/Small Victories


Well, this might  be one of the most confusing posts I have ever written-ha!!!  It is sort of a two part series I guess, but I didn't do it intentionally, you see.  What happened is in early July I started a garden, a completely recylced garden; and one that I am darn proud of.  But I don't have a camera right I kept putting off this post.  And for another, bigger reason; my garden is not NEAR the producer that I had hoped that it would be.  But anyway, read on; these next few paragraphs have been sitting in my drafts folder since July 5th (I do believe):

The story of the Recycled Garden really began almost twenty years ago when Tom and I broke our backs soon after being married in a rather large garden in a very muddy rental that the slugs ate every bit of.  I think we literally got three leaves of lettuce, but after seeing how many slugs had been on the damn things we weren't touching it!

Fast forward about 17 or 18 years and we try again on a much smaller scale and life and health and everything else gets in the way and not much came of the last garden we tried.  But this year is going to be different, dangit!!!  I have really thought and planned and planned and thought....

So, really it started out with a nice patch of land that we had tilled up.  Then Tom and the neighbor got a little crazy cleaning the llama pens with the tractor one day and dumped literally three feet of composting material on top of my prepared garden.  Now, that may sound nice, but this is stuff that may take a few years to break down properly...and again it is three feet deep!

But then my sister donated me these two lovely rhubarb plants that love composted material!  Well, let's get to work on that pile of sh**!  I spent the day Saturday raking it and leveling it all back out and it really turned out very nice.  But the best part is the stuff I used to make my little "raised" bed; old bricks and concrete core samples (these are perfectly round concrete, I have always liked them and waited and waited for a use for them; they are heavy as all get out!).  The bricks are kind of cool because many of them are not just plain bricks; one has a criss cross pattern in it, etc.  Very artistic.

I broke the main garden down into quadrants.  I had planted a rhubarb "crown" (we broke the original plants down into five plants) in each corner to prevent deer from coming into the garden.  Carrots, corn, lettuce and spinach each got planted into one quadrant yesterday.  Yes, it is a bit late to start some of these things, but on my organic, non-GMO seed packets it said to wait until soil temps are at 60*, which would be about now for my altitude; so between travel plans and that fact I figure I am not too far off.

At the head of my cute little garden I placed "The Gate to Nowhere" as my daughter calls it.  It's just a cool old heavy metal gate with neat decorative metal that I can let my beans grow up.  On either side of that is the head and foot board of an old baby crib that I got from a local church when I worked the food pantry;I'll have a second type of bean on those, Royal's of course.  It's funny, they just don't make stuff as cool or as decorative as they  used to it seems.

And then today I was walking around my little homestead; putting the llamas on various stake lines to finish mowing the fall foliage with the turkeys, dogs and cats all close on my heels when I realized we had a very successful harvest for our first year at 9,000 feet in elevation.  I made a salad one night from my very own lettuce and it was delicious.  My daughter comes home everyday from school and pulls a 4inch carrot out of the ground and then takes one to share with her favorite llama, Pepper.  We have two neighbors who are so happy about their turkeys they are already looking forward to next years adventures in turkeydom!

So, with or without pictures, this was a harvest that was worth sharing and a victory for The Royal Ranch and it's Rebel friends.  We didn't get much, but we did get some, and we got enough to share... And we will also use our knowledge and move on.  Oh, and MOST importantly, I proved my son wrong who said I wouldn't be able to grow ANTYHING!!!  HA!


Daisy said...

Wonderful! My garden "gate" is a recycled door that we found stored in the garage. It's perfect.

Royal Ranch said...

Thanks Daisy!!! I always think it is so fun to re-purpose something old and give it a new life.