Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How does my garden grow?

First, happy world vegan day!  Eat lots of plants!  Lately, it has been getting easier and easier for me to consume massive amounts of plants.  Why?  Because I have 192 square feet of garden right outside my front door.  That's right, I'm the proud parent of a raised bed victory garden.

Homegrown cucumbers
(white is heirloom variety)
In August, I moved and one of the perks of the new house was a front yard that got plenty of direct sunlight.  In August, it was a dirt patch, what with the long, hot Texas summer and lack of rain.  Boyfriend and I, as well as two neighbors (one of which has a masters in agricultural sciences) undertook the task of turning this area into a fertile, plant growing space.  Our neighbor has been the real mastermind beyond the project, which took off quickly.  First, we built 6 raised beds, each 4 feet by 8 feet.  Next, he installed a drip irrigation system, complete with timers.  We can set when and for how long each bed gets watered, and it happens in the wee hours of the morning all on its own!  For each bed, we marked off each square foot and then the planting began!  One of the advantageous of hot hot Texas is two growing seasons.  Although August was too late for many crops (like strawberries and tomatoes), it was early enough for corn, squash, peppers and cucumbers.  Now that fall is in full swing, we have filled out the beds with other delicious plants including fresh herbs (sage, mint, dill, parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme and lavender), leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, chard and many many lettuces) carrots, beets, beans, broccoli, onions, cauliflower and cabbages.
Fresh picked salad and beans

Of course, different plants grow at different rates, so we haven't been able to harvest everything yet, but we are already enjoying the fruits of our labors.  We have a bumper crop of cucumbers, so many that we are giving them away and turned more than twenty of them into pickles.  I picked a massive bowl of beans the other day and I frequently eat salads composed of our own, freshly picked greens.  I have sauteed up our kale and add our swiss chard to my smoothies.  On two occasions, we have made homemade pesto with our own basil.

Both boyfriend and I are really enjoying the gardening and love to look at it everyday, up close and personal, to see all the changes that are occurring.  Of course the fresh taste of homegrown food isn't a bad perk either.

Check out the youtube links for my narrated tour of the garden:

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! By the way, while my experiments continue I've become somewhat of a convert to the nutritional benefits of chia seeds; see my blog write-up at http://RunInAmerica.com