Saturday, May 2, 2009

How my garden grows

So, a quick rundown on my garden spaces this year so y'all out there in cyberspace can keep current, plus, it'll help me organize my thoughts.

I no longer have my massive farm house garden. What I'm working with this year is more of a disjointed affair. I have 3 plots, 8'x16'each, at the community gardens in Des Moines. Two of those are in the Downtown community garden, and one is in the Franklin st community garden. The rest of my gardening will be in the container garden I built up last fall. Total, I'm working with 450 sq feet of ground space and a dozen or so decent sized containers.

The 2 plots at the Downtown garden will be the farthest away from my house. So, those two plots will be vines and beans. One plot will be nothing but squash hills, and cucumber hills. My reasoning is I can't possibly container garden those, and they don't require a lot of daily maintenance. The second plot will be bush beans. Bush beans because they don't require trellising, and they tend to put on beans in waves, which means I won't have to be out there every day picking beans. The other influencing factor is those plots aren't done yet. The city is behind on construction. So, I can't put in anything that needs to be planted early.

The plot at the Franklin Garden will be more diverse, but since it will be closer to our house, I should be able to keep up with it. I have garlic and onions planted in it already. I also seeded carrots and kohlrabi over the weekend; about 6 square feet of each. I have room for a few broccolis and a couple tomatoes and that's it.

Lettuces and herbs are in containers. Peas have been planted in a container, and I have a trellis ready for them to climb. I'm trying my hand at vertical potato planting with a container I built myself. I have a strawberry pot with strawberry starts in it. I want to try an eggplant in a container, and maybe a determinate tomato plant. If I have a pot left I might try a cabbage or a bell pepper.

Aaand, just to make it all really confusing, I'm also dealing with veggies for the CSA with Becky up in Boone. This undertaking is an hour away from my house in Des Moines. But, basically we are trying to start up a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)farm. The CSA is called Open Source Organics and we tilled our first 2 beds this spring. The beds are 3'x 100'. CSA means that people buy "shares" of the harvest before the season starts and then the farmer distributes the vegetable harvest weekly over the course of the growing season. This year we are not a true CSA as we are offloading all our veggies through a middleman company.

So, that's what I'm working with this year. As always, there are a few experiments and some standard garden fare and the chaos known as life thrown in just to make things interesting. I'll post the interesting stuff here. I'm thinking I won't keep track of my harvests by weight this year. With a new baby I just figure the chances of keeping up on the weigh ins is practically zero. :-) What weights I did get recorded would be only partial representations of actual harvest and pretty much worthless. So, no boring posts full of numbers this summer. :-) I'll probably do weigh ins again in the future, they are just too useful not to, but it will be a couple of years I think.

Hmm... did I ever add up all my total harvest weights and come up with a total for the year?

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