"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Friday, December 31, 2010

Little Bites

If The Mountain Will Not Come To Mohammed, Mohammed Will Go To The Mountain- "If one cannot get one's own way, one must adjust to the inevitable."

Since it's the last day of 2010, I thought I'd write a post about what I learned from this years attempts at gardening in the Piedmont of NC. 

But as I've been thinking about what to say in this post, it occurs to me that the biggest change this year has been in how I've come to re-consider my lifestyle choices. 

SM too!  Just the other day SM said to me "Come here and look at this." He had Craigslist pulled up on the computer.  "I've found some landscape timbers, do you think that would work for the raised beds?" and  "We don't need anymore shade trees.  Why don't we put in a fruit tree where the willow was."

Shocker!  You all might not realize this but the big push to do all this fruit and vegetable gardening has originated with me.  SM will help out if asked, but I really think he has looked on my efforts this past year as a parent would with a hyper-active child.  ("Thank God she has something to keep her distracted.")

SM has a slightly more optimistic world view than I have.  He feels that the economy can and will turn on a dime.  When will it?  Maybe not in the near future but it will...eventually. 

Me?  I don't think so much in terms of "if" things will get better,  (I know that the wheel of life will turn),  I just like to be prepared for the tough times as much as I can.  I'm not in "the sky is falling" camp, it's just that I've always been a defensive thinker and it suits my nature to consider the future and how my family is impacted by outside influences and take the appropriate steps to survive them as best I can.

But really...doesn't this all just come down to good common sense?  I mean I have the land.  I want healthy cheap food.  Grow a garden!!!  Grow some veggies!!!  Raise some chickens!!!

"No chickens..."  SM says, hand up in the "stop" position.  (Rats...I pushed too far too quick.) 

No sense in arguing.  He'll come around to see it my way. Eventually. Little bites.  

So, for the record,  It was hot as "H - E - double toothpicks" around here this year for our growing season.  A challenge to say the least.

The winners?  Sugar Peas, lettuces, yellow and zucchini squash, cucumbers.

**I plan on a double batch of sugars this year

**Salad bowl and red leaf were great.  Romaine is my favorite but it just didn't form up before the heat got it, so I'll pass on that this year.

**Plant less zucchini and more yellow (my favorite squash.) 

**Cucumbers?  Spot on.  I want to see about a good "bread and butter" pickle cucumber for this year though.

The losers?  Sweet peas, onions, pumpkins, peppers, carrots, green beans.

**I planted sweet peas in March right after I got the beds in.  I tried again in the fall.  Timing was my problem here.  Planted too late in both spring and fall and the heat/freeze zapped them before they could produce.  Lesson learned.  February planting for spring and August for fall.

**Onions.  I bought onion sets at Walmart.  What did I expect?

**Pumpkins?  Well, they grew but I picked a small variety.  I'll try for a larger variety this year.

**Peppers produced but were hit by "sun scald" so they never fully matured.  I'm going to invest in row covers to protect them this year.

**Carrots.  Timing issue again.  Start with the peas.

** Green beans were a big disappointment.  Something kept eating them as soon as they sprouted.  I sprayed but couldn't get a single batch to maturity. I must have gone through 5 seed packets.  No luck.   I LOVE green beans too.  So sad.

The biggest loser?  Tomato's.  I don't even LIKE tomato's but felt the loss of them. It was our biggest disappointment.  MUST MUST MUST plant tomato's in a raised bed.  June brought torrential rainfall and they never recovered from being in a swimming pool for 3 weeks straight.

New additions?  Winter squash, dry beans, sweet and regular potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, sweet corn, strawberries, red and black berries.

So as you can see, we have our work cut out for us this year.  We'll be expanding the garden for sure over the next few months. 

Exciting isn't it?  I'm waiting for my seed catalogs to come in.  Another blog called it "Seed Porn"...ain't it the truth? 


  1. My Husband said no to everything in the begining too. No chickens, horses, dogs, more gardens, etc. Of course I did it all anyway. Now he can't stop talking about it all to others. Good luck in the new year.

  2. No asparagus or rhubarb? They are easy as you only plant them once.

  3. Little bites is so true...my husband said *no* to the animals back in 1980 and we have 2500 acres and live on a REAL farm...I have raised goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, horses and he's still here!

  4. We're in opposite boats -- Joseph is the one who is interested in experimenting and expanding and trying new things and I tend to be the one stepping on the brakes. I'm getting better though!

    Best wishes with your garden this year!


  5. Jane, Really?!? Boy does THAT make me feel better. We really do tug back and forth sometimes on issues, but time will tell. Poor guys...married to us headstrong women. (grin)

    Mom, Yuck! Hate the taste of both of those...Thought about you though with the sweet corn...Oh, need to add musk melons to the list also! MMMMMMM

    Lynda, Yeah! Another shining light! I told SM that he'd wake up one day married to a farmers wife. He just gave me the stink eye..."Who's the farmer you're sleeping with?" "You!" pointing my finger at him...(grin)

    Emma, I think marriages/partnerships need that ying and yang. I know SM's biggest issue is that we're in a "suburban" neighborhood and he wants to "conform" in a reasonable manner. (Thank God no HOA)

    I told him that it's only a matter of time before someone in the hood gets chickens and then it's "game on" as far as I'm concerned.

  6. Oh my dear, he'll come around. As to the chickens, it was pretty well the same response here. Get him to watch "Food, Inc" That's a good eye opener. Real good eye-poppin', when we puttin' up the coop, let's do it NOW.

    And if there is one thing I have learned, never give up. Each year is different and fun. It just never stops. Always something new to learn and try.

    Learning has taken on a whole new curve with the addition of the blog. Endless info and most importantly, support! You go girl!