The Garden Goes Slowly…But It’s a Start!

This is the greenhouse my step dad bought us. It has been wonderful for getting things started, especially given yet another cold, wet spring!

Being married to a man with a job that requires him to be on call almost all the time means I spend Friday nights alone unexpectedly on a regular basis. We had plans to go to a play tonight on this, our two-month wedding anniversary. But alas, he is at work so I am blogging about the farm progress…or lack of.

See, it’s not just the falling down farmhouse we are trying to save. At the same time, we are trying to make the place safe for the horses, plus get set up for other livestock (like pigs and cows. OK, not like pigs and cows, just pigs and cows!), and get in a garden of some type so we can start on our goal of raising our own food…which really was the main impetus for buying the falling down, broken down place after all!

I have been dreaming of a pumpkin patch for years. These pumpkin plants thrived in the garden, started from seed. Now they are out in the “garden.” Fingers crossed! The cucumber beetles are already attacking them, as if the bad soil wasn’t challenge enough!

It was on our honeymoon that we realized we should divide and conquer, with the hubby focused on the house and me focused on the garden. So I haven’t spent that much time inside the house the last few weeks, but I have spent a lot of time in the greenhouse. Earlier this week I must have repotted 50 plants and seedlings, trying to move things along and keep them happy until we have a place for them in the “garden.” I am really behind. Our soil sucks, and getting rid of the sod near impossible. Now, if we wanted to start brick factory, we’d be all set with that clay! But that’s not the goal.

Seedlings thrive on the jerry-rigged shelves in the greenhouse. Now to make the outside as good for them as the inside!

The greenhouse (a gift from my stepfather) has been wonderful for getting seeds going and nursing plants along. We are still challenged by our ground, however, even despite all the work of our kind neighbor. Plus our farm-to-be is windy, something I didn’t expect. So I nurse things along in the greenhouse then pray for the best when planting outside.

This was our sad attempt to make garden beds before I finally conceded we’d have to invest in raised beds to start. You can see the first of the raised beds in the distance.

Originally, I had hoped to avoid the hassle and expense of building raised beds, even though that was the way the hubby wanted to go. I thought we had aalllll this room, we don’t need the raised beds of an urban garden. I realize now, we do, because we are trying to plant on/in clay that until a few weeks ago was pasture. That’s what we started on last week, building raised beds and filling them with compost. It is pricing, going this route! If in the end, the plants produce bountiful crops, and I am able to can and freeze the foods to feed us through winter, then it is money well spent. And any soil amendment (like compost) is really an investment in the future health of our soil (and farm). So it’s not money wasted. It’s just that we are also spending so much on lumber–still–for reframing that south wall.

So the beds go in slowly, as time permits, and the plants make their way from greenhouse to hardening off for a night or two to a final planting in the raised bed. Right now, the greenhouse is almost empty as I optimistically have moved almost all the seedlings outside in anticipation of planting. Soon the seeds for our winter garden will arrive and the greenhouse will be full again as we get those babies going. It’s all part of the process, all part of the journey, as we try to make this farm a reality.

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