Sunday, July 02, 2006

Kitchen Garden

I've been meaning to blog about the kitchen garden for a while now, and we got some good pictures today. This is an overview of the area which is approximately 50'x50'. We fenced it in with goat fencing, which has done a great job keeping out the goats and chickens but not such a great job with the bunnies, who managed to nearly wipe out two sections of beans before we bought two rolls of 2' chicken wire to run around the bottom. This seems to have done the trick, and the beans are attempting a valiant comeback.

I need to scan in a copy of my garden design, so folks can get an idea of the overall layout logic, but until I do that, here's a quick and dirty description. The left-most three sections are permanent planting beds with strawberries and a central row of lavendar in the two outside beds and asparagus ("Jersey King") in the middle bed. I planted four varieties of strawberries: "Jewel" and "Sparkle" in the first bed, and "Tristar" and "Earligirl" in the last bed. To the front of these permanent beds are three more beds that comprise the left half of the kitchen garden. In the center bed, I have (semi) permanent herbs: rosemary, parsley and thyme. In the outer beds, I have tomatoes and basil, pole beans and onions. The closer tomatoes are grapes and cherries, and the farthest are slicing tomatoes.

In the right side of the garden, I have mirroring sections, though the back three beds are not permanent but a part of the 4 part rotation. The center back is the dwarf "Tom Thumb" popcorn that Sam and I planted, and in front of that is the mirror herb garden with cilantro in the back, then dill, then two rows of chives that I just planted because the first batch didn't take. In the front left bed are carrots and beans (the only beans that didn't get eaten to the ground), and behind them to the right are lettuces and peppers with broccolli. In the farthest beds are onions, paste tomatoes, bunny bashed beans and a basil bed that's just recently seeded.

The perimeter of the garden has the several fruit trees that aren't in the yard-scaping somewhere and these are the garden beds with hardwood mulch in the picture. The back has apples ("Liberty," "Enterprise," and "William's Pride") and pears ("Seckel," "Magness" and "Potomac"). The left side has 20 blackberry plants: 7 "Apache," 8 "Arapaho," 5 "Triplecrown." The right side has 20 raspberry plants: 5 "Nova," 5 "Killarney," 5 "Caroline" and 5 "Jewel" black raspberries. The front of the garden showcases 6 table grape vines: 3 "Mars" and 3 "Canadice." In our yard, we've planted a "Stella" sweet cherry, a "Hardy Chicago" fig, a peach tree, and a "Stanley" plum tree, along with 7 blueberry bushes ("Bluecrop," "Jersey Blue," and I can't remember the others) .

We also have other crops planted elsewhere on the property. I have a melon/ squash bed in a hollow of one of the pastures, hoping to maximize water. There I have acorn and butternut squash, watermelon and two kinds of cantaloupes. In Jim's fields, we have two kinds of sweet corn--bicolor and white--and a full size popcorn. He also planted "Yukon Gold" and "Red Nordland" potatoes and two kinds of pumpkins--a jack o'lantern and pie pumpkin for me.

1 comment:

Madeline said...

Wow. That is some kitchen garden! What a wonderful variety. Nicolas grows many different things but not asparagus or pumpkins (just squash) so I might start growing them on my own. I will post more about the farm on my blog. Also, Nicolas is a good resource if you ever have any questions. But it looks like you guys are off to a great start. Nice chicken digs!