I remember going to the grocery store, when I was first married, and buying a head of lettuce. This, oddly enough, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
Unti then, for me, lettuce was something that you gathered from the garden and was eaten, in season, from early spring til late summer. Winter foods included kale, root vegetables and green beans from the freezer. Lots and lots of green beans.
I haven’t had a real vegetable garden in more than 20 years, and with a property with very poor soil; we live on a road with several gravel pits, we decided, this time around, to go with raised garden beds.
Our plan was to build two, 8 feet by 4 foot beds. Due to covid19, our local lumber supplier had a shortage of lumber and so, for the same price, we now have two 10 feet by 5 foot garden beds.
After constructing the bed frames we covered the ground with cardboard, then added a layer of old, decaying wood. On top of this we spread a ton of last year’s leaves. Topsoil, from different parts of our acreage then topped up the beds. A large bucket of old horse manure, from our wonderful neighbour @Hawks Landing, was blended into this top layer.
Today, our first crop of locally grown garlic cloves, carefully spaced to break my habit of planting things too close together resulting in very little produce, entered the ground. A blanket of straw from our favourite farmers market, Harris Farms, will keep these little bulbs warm and comfortable during our snowy winter months.
Our hope is that, next summer, we will be able to provide ourselves with fresh produce, with extra for our local Food Bank.
We’re planning on growing a variety of vegetables, but no green beans!