Sunday, May 25, 2008

Garden Mapping

Yes, that is right, we have a garden map-- and it makes me happy. Not only am I happy knowing where things are, but I love thinking about what else can be put in the garden. A certain joy comes about when I venture to think about it.

I have had a desire for a garden map for some time now. I actually bought the house for the opportunity to experience the garden (no kidding) and I have waited with anticipation for the chance to get my hands in the dirt. Anticipation grew with each compost load we dumped over the winter, imagining nutrients going right into the soil; now as I crumble the deep, dark soil between my fingertips I just know it is teeming with goodness.

Last year, our first year here, was an experimental garden- a lovely garden to be sure - a garden dug on the fly (we moved in to the house in June and started digging late in the season). Much of the food we produced held some mystery for us. Is this a parsnip, or a turnip? Are these greens for eating or greens that support a root plant? Not sure, well let's eat it all. We also experimented with seeds from an heirloom seed company that came in a variety pack. The seeds overall were great- there were just a few that did not quite meet our discriminating tastes.

This year, however, we had the advantage of starting early, knowing what to expect from the seeds and had rich composted soil to work with. We started by planting a cool weather garden and have had lettuce now for about 4 weeks. And, the lettuce we planted, tastes great. Frank planted a second round of lettuce in another section of the garden, so we will probably benefit from lettuce all summer long. Actually, thanks to his passion for gardening and his initiative we should have many things early in the fall season to eat.

We have done a little better with labeling and no need to mention: WE HAVE A GARDEN MAP! So, we actually know that this particular plant is arugula and this one is kohlrabi, and that one is carrots planted with spinach. All good. Now all we have to do is to figure out how to cook/eat kohlrabi and other interesting varieties.

Soon, I can turn my attention to the other areas of the yard and start dreaming (and planning for) harvest. There will be canning and freezing and saucing and blending and ............... EATING!


Katy said...

I love a good garden map. :)
Heck, I love a garden, especially inter-planting for maximum yield in minimum space. :) The boys love the results too.

Erin said...

Love to hear more about your garden. Whatcha got going?

Anonymous said...

Kudos Erin on your gardening adventures. I think it's neat that you get to experiment with all kinds of foods. You are truly blessed and I think it would be a safe thing to always have a "Farmer's Almanac" to guide you thru when, where and the what of planting....keep up the good work. I know it must be fun for the kids too....I'd like to know what kind of things you've planted and what has been your most successful "eatible".