Thursday, February 21, 2013

Garden Sabbatical Ends

My Fedco Seed order has arrived so another year of gardening begins.  You can expect regular garden postings from here on out.  Growing food has been a big part of my life for the last 19 years.  When I became pregnant with our son we decided I would stay husbands work takes him here and I became the anchor in the home port.  I am a worker bee so leaving the world of outside employment left a void in my life.  I created a new career for myself as the grower of food.

Each year my gardens grew as well as my knowledge.  I am a self taught organic gardener.  For the first few years that was the majority of my reading.  I was on a first name bases with my local folks at the cooperative extension office (this is before the internet!).  Anytime I had a question about gardening or canning I would give them a ring...some belated gratitude for all their help!

The gardening enterprise has been mostly a solo venture.  My DH is the rototiller man with occasional help at my request.  He has enough on his plate already with a long work week, caretaker of machinery, and chief carpenter.  (we both may be workaholics)  Anyways, the gardens got bigger and bigger...that is the problem with the long Maine winters...all that time to plan, dream, and scheme.

Summers were beginning to be my least favorite season.  2010 was a record year~~~I single handedly canned 349 jars, froze 58 quarts, and dehydrated 86+ quarts of food!  In 2011 I was hit hard with the late blight but still had a pretty big harvest.  At the end of the summer of 2011 I realized I was maybe just a bit burnt out.  So I decided 2012 I would take a sabbatical.  I still tended my 40 foot double row of garlic and planted a 40 foot row of beans, some summer carrots, and a few zucchinis.   The asparagus and berries would be there for the picking too.  I needed a breather.  I wanted to explore other aspects of summer reading!  I succeeded, I read some big fat books, I swam more, and had time to just plain feel playful.  I feel refreshed and look forward to a more reasonable plan this year.

Some major changes for this year include not planning for a quantity carrot consuming kid being home this winter...he should be off to college...can carrots be mailed?  Also, I had a recent "disaster" greenhouse got smushed. Remember that happy blog, a couple weeks ago, when the rain was pouring and I was dancing about with the ducks...well when I went inside a micro-burst or something must have hit and this is what happened....(It sustained even more damage during the following 2 blizzards)

Here is a before picture...

We are not going to get another or build a new  one just yet...need to do some mulling over.  We built this green house from a kit and have been using it since 2008.  It has been though many windy situations.   It is surprising it was lifted with 2 heavy cement filled lolly columns attached to the sills and we rope down it every winter.  Maybe with the green house gone I will be forced to be a bit more reasonable about my gardens....I think the universe was making sure....I only have so many window shelves!