Thursday, October 24, 2013

Summer garden recap

I want to be a kick-butt gardener y'all.
But I'm not.
One summer, when I was little, my mom and I had a garden plot at a local community garden... the only thing that grew was eggplant, which I refused to eat. Then, when I lived in MD as a single person, I grew tomatoes and cucumbers on my little balcony.  I have no idea why I grew cucumbers because I don't like them at all, but it didn't matter because the ants ate each one as it approached maturity.  Since Rob and I have been married, I have always had some type of little herb garden, or patio thing growing... I often refer to it as my 'pot garden' but that tends to cause people to give me funny looks.  Our nomadic lifestyle prevents me from attempting any more serious gardening at this point in my life, which is probably for the best as I practice cultivating on this small scale.
This past spring I planted my latest and best garden yet!  Also, I decided to keep a garden journal.  Which made one friend ask, "soooo, you write about your plants, huh?"  Yes, yes I do.  I am trying very hard to learn from my mistakes and green up this black thumb of mine!  Last night we had our first frost and I chopped up the tomato and eggplants ( I eat eggplant now) and tallied up my garden totals for the summer.  (I really need to get a kitchen scale so I can keep track in weight next year.) 
The photo you see above is what is left growning out back. The winter garden contains peas, carrots (yes, I am growing carrots in a pot- they are a dwarf variety that will only grow 5 inches, the pot is 12 inches deep,) various mesclun, spinach, and salad greens, and I left the basil and pepper plants out until they die off.
2013 Summer Garden totals:
lettuce and spinach: 13 cups (spring, early summer)
 green beans: 7  (yup, seven. not as many of those grow on one plant as I imagined.)
zucchini: 3 (these started out strong, but it got too hot and I couldn't keep them hydrated enough in their pots.)
peas: 7 pods (see green beans; I am trying this one again for fall/winter.)
cherry tomatoes: 157
roma tomatoes: 127 (I didn't buy a single tomato this summer!)
bell peppers: 24
jalepeno peppers: 48!
eggplant: 3 (these also didn't fruit when the weather got very hot, I should have planted them sooner.)
Anyway, it doesn't sound like much, but it is the best garden I've grown so far!  And that was with a move mid-summer, and battling grasshoppers, lizards, and my first run-in with tobacco hornworms (Not tomato hornworms, we checked carefully.  Thankfully, Rob is willing to pull those off and squish them for me, because they are LARGE and gross looking.)
So... what should I grow next? !?!?  :) 
Also, here are my two favorite gardening quotes right now:
"To forget how to tend the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." - Gandhi

"Waiting for the quality experience seems to be the constitutional article that has slipped from American food custom... restraint equals indulgence." - Barabara Kingsolver


Aubrey said...

Julie, this is AWESOME! I love that you're just dorky enough to keep a garden journal. Sounds just like something I would do! I'm so so SO jealous that you didn't buy a tomato all summer! It's too cool here to get tomatoes until September. :(

No matter where I live I plant tomatoes, peppers, basil, thyme, and rosemary. There are few things on this earth so satisfying as growing your own food. Generation upon generation of my grandfathers (cotton and wheat farmers) are smiling down on me and my love for gardening. Having a huge garden in a warm climate is one of the things I most look forward to returning to the States!

Mandy Benton said...

I love your garden journal! So cool! And I can't believe you managed to garden, can, preserve, and do bountiful baskets, all with a newborn! You are awesome!!!