We’ve been tending to our backyard garden for a little over 5 months now and I can honestly say that I have more appreciation for farmers than ever before. Our 2 bed garden is a LOT of WORK! We’ve thought about giving up a few times, but when you cut into a perfectly ripe pepper or pluck a fresh sprig of rosemary, it’s just enough fuel to keep you going.
The Georgia Collards seem to be the MVP of the garden. These things are hardy! I’ve never eaten more collards in my life, and I’m quickly running out of ideas on how to cook with them; however, I’ve found that they’re really good stir fried with carrots, a little olive oil and Himalayan sea salt. The sweetness of carrots matched with the bitterness of the collards makes for a perfect combination in my book.
Our sweet banana peppers finally took off. For the first few weeks, they dropped their leaves and flowers, and we thought something was wrong. All of a sudden, we woke up one day and had a bounty full of peppers! I need to pickle them soon!
Our tomatoes have continued to grow UP. Tyler swapped 4 foot stakes for 6 foot stakes because they’re “indeterminate tomatoes” (tyler’s lingo). Apparently indeterminate tomatoes means they’ll grow and produce fruit until killed by frost. They can reach heights of up to 12 feet although 6 feet is normal. Indeterminates will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the season.
I think the hardest parts about gardening are 1. time and 2. pests. So far, we’ve only tried using natural pest control. The cucumbers didn’t do well with a mild dish soap, so we left them be and eventually aphids and pests ended up getting the best of them. The peppers and collards haven’t needed the pest control at all. I’m so impressed by the hardiness of these two plants!!
And like I mentioned above, time is the biggest challenge. We’re both working, full-time parents and it’s not always easy to find time to tend to the garden, especially when we go out of town. A lot of times, a few days away from home means coming back to dead plants. Ugh.
My dream for a future garden is to have more beds, chickens and fresh eggs. I want to have enough beds to be able to give my produce to family and friends. I think that’s super special. After all, the way to my heart is through my stomach! How about you?