I can only remember a handful of summers in my life when we didn't have a garden. Even when it was just Doug and I, the first summer, we have planted a garden and fed our family with varying degrees of success, from the fruits of our labor. There have been summers of huge pregnancy when the weeding suffered late in the season and so did the volume of produce. I recall one year that some of my children started to plant without me, not a lot that year either. (when you plant the seeds halfway to China you aren't likely to see results in your lifetime)
This year has been no different but more rewarding in a different kind of way. This garden season has been away from the farm and the benefit of all things machinery. The first time we could get onto the ground in the spring MK started to plan and build the raised beds that would be the basis for our gardens. The one above borders on the patio and hot tub and not only houses my fountain but swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, peppers, various herbs and the Sacred Heart to watch over all. From early June until a couple of weeks ago we had fresh lettuces just about every day. The cherry tomatoes are about to overwhelm and the peppers have been steady.
I shouldn't neglect St. Francis who was a late-comer to the garden but he stands between it and any squirrel that tries to invade.
In the back there are three beds of this size. This one still has some beet greens left. I never planned to let them actually fruit but the greens have been a delicious addition to many meals. The pickling cucumbers that lived here are done now and this morning I weeded out the spent plants to be composted.
Next to the beets is another bed that had zucchini in it, spent as well but boy were they good while they lasted. Remaining are MK's winter squash.
Along the back fence we have about 30 feet of raised bed that gave us peas, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, oregano, evening primroses, and marigolds. I give the tomatoes another week and they will be done too. How thankful I am for the fresh sauce I made last night and the 14 quarts of sauce that I have canned so far. Not bad for a first year in a new spot.
Behind the garage are two more beds. One is full to overflowing with pumpkin vines and I am not sure how much fruit. The other has the slicing cucumbers, just producing as the pickler's finish up, and carrots. This is one bed that is going to need to be amended next year. It was one of the last ones to be built and so the soil is mostly clay from the farm rather than a mixture of rotted horse manure, peat moss, and clay.
I neglected to take a picture of the bed that I am most proud of. It is full of broccoli, brussels sprouts, and until this morning, basil We have been eating from the broccoli most of the season although they slowed down during the heat wave. Today I noticed loads of baby brussels sprouts just waiting for me to harvest and eat them. This morning I harvested the basil and made 4 double batches of pesto to put into the freezer. MK eats the stuff like a spread and I use it instead of sauce on pizzas.
That is some serious basil goodness if I do say so myself.