Sunday, March 4, 2012

the last of last year’s garden (i really should be packing)

i never posted pictures of the end of my garden last year. my energy was being eaten up by everything else going on, and my gardening enthusiasm waned.

big news: i have a new garden to play with this year! i found a wonderful house in the north end. it’s on a double lot, a yard nearly twice the size of what i’m used to, and it already has a huge organic garden worked by the previous tenant who sounds like she was quite the hardcore homesteader. she moved to live on a 5-acre subsistence farm in nampa.

i’ll no longer have to squeeze my garden into nooks and crannies to avoid landscaped areas and shadows from overgrown trees--although that honestly was a fun challenge, and i’m not sure i’ll know what to do with myself having a big, uninterrupted open area. there are a lot of trees at the new place, but only one of them (a giant apple tree smack dab in the middle of the yard) poses much limitation on the space.

part of the yard is fenced off for keeping chickens. there’s even a coop. it’s entrapment! i can’t have an empty coop in my yard! i harbor some reservations about keeping chickens, but i think i’m gonna go for it. there are so many signs that it’s meant to be. first the coop, then there was a free backyard chicken class yesterday, and directly from there i went to an antique store where i found a cool old chicken feeder…i still have a lot of research to do, but knowing me, i’ll probably pick up some chicks later this month.

i’m jumping into so much all at once right now and trying not to overthink for once. we’ll see where all this takes me.

the house itself is fabulous too—two bedroom/one bath plus a combo laundry room/mud room off the kitchen, hardwood floor in the living room and kitchen, with tons of bright, sunny windows throughout. it was built in the 20s but it’s completely renovated, with damn near everything replaced within the last three years or so: new windows, insulation, roof, gas furnace, bathroom fixtures, fridge, washer and dryer, and fresh paint as of yesterday. all it needs is new curtains!

outside there’s a covered porch with storage cabinets against the house, an old shed, fire pit, and the whole back yard is fenced for andy, he even gets to use a doggy door if he can figure it out/fit through it. the front of the house is partly covered in ivy and has cute shutters on the windows, with a big weeping willow hanging over the unpaved driveway. the location is perfect: quiet street, close to foothills and lakes and the river, one block from a lovely park, less than half a mile from lots of my friends (including jason just two blocks away), and it cuts my commute down to about 10-15 minutes.

all that and under budget by like $100/mo after utilities! i’m so excited and overwhelmed. i’ll post pictures once i’m all moved in. i need to start packing today.

now back to the garden photos:

above is everything i gleaned right before the first frost hit on october 25.

trellised tomato plants as of early october, after i trimmed them out to encourage the stragglers to ripen.

a few late harvests before the big glean.

solar yellow and lunar white carrots.

last september my mom picked all her hops from around the cabin and brought them to a local brewery. i guess fresh green hops are hard to come by, and they went nuts for them. they brewed a whole special batch using her hops and later gave her a growler of it to take home. it was super hoppy!


The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

kewl about mom's hops. That would be something to grow if I had a double plot. ;)

Both being vegan the chicken idea vexes me. I mean. A chicken will produce an egg without being fertilized. No harm there. They are great in their ability to clean out the garden of a number of pests. You can use their manure if you choose to. But, and this is what gets me, do you do with the abundant eggs? Bleh.

Emily said...

i know what you mean about chickens, but for me, the main reason i'm vegan is because of animal cruelty and factory farming. knowing that i have complete control over the chicken's health and happiness, and knowing that i'm never going to slaughter them, makes me feel ok about eating their eggs. plus i can give eggs away to people who would otherwise buy factory farm eggs.

there is the issue of not being vegan anymore, but i'll still stick to all the other aspects of veganism. ovo-vegan? labels are funny sometimes.

Garden Girl said...

Oh! Chickens! I grew up with chickens and loved them. They really make a place feel homey. I want to get some now too, and have been doing some research also. I don't think I'm ready yet though so I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences :D

Kim and Victoria said...

I'm wondering if you have chicks yet? I just ordered three more for us. Can't wait. Your new place sounds fantastic.