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Garden update

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Slowly, slowly, things are taking shape in the garden.  Last Saturday, 9 volunteers came to help pot up summer squash, plant potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and continue dig up bamboo for the future raspberry bed.   And earlier, I was able to get 25 donated asparagus crowns planted.

Baby leeks, onions, basil, cilantro, parsley and thyme are all happily growing in their pots, and I put in rosemary, lavender and tarragon plants in the front yard.   I still have to figure out where to put some mint (in pots!) and add several more herbs, but it’s a good start.

More and more the yard is looking less like a disaster zone and more like a garden.   The front yard (stage one) is complete, and over the coming year, we will move on to stage two, adding grape arbors, perennial fruit bushes/vines/trees and herbs and perennial flowers.

Two large swaths of the backyard have become (for the time being) annual veggie beds, with the section sloping downhill designed with swales the catch and conserve water.  Much of the back still requires major work, however,  including finishing the chicken coop (running grapes up the side), building a shed (with trellised plants – hops and roses, most likely), finishing the small “lawn”, building a bread oven, removing the remaining bamboo to plant berry canes, and planting more fruit trees (persimmon, fig, apricot, plum), blueberry and currant bushes and maybe even some cranberries.

One side yard is 90% complete, but the other is barely begun (where the shady natives garden will grow thimbleberries, huckleberries, Oregon grape, etc).  But there has been so much progress, and we are going to be able to produce an amazing amount of food for BCS this year, I am sure.

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I’ve given away twenty or so, but the remaining 50-plus tomato-lets and little tomatillos are outgrowing their pots, anxious for the frost-free weather, so they can go in the ground, and out of my living room at night.

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The tulips are fading, but the peas are slowly reaching up and grabbing their supports (and the Tall Telephone peas in the backyard are twice as tall as these Oregon Sugar Pod II‘s).

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A third load of mulch, and 20-odd tomato cages were delivered (we still need 15 or so more).

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Baby poppies are taking hold between the lettuces and mustard greens.

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And most exciting to the children – the first signs that there will be fruit this summer (Quinalt strawberries in flower, as are the other varieties and our early blueberries, and our red currant has set fruit already.)

What plans/hopes/dreams do you have for your garden this year?  If you’re in Portland, we’re always willing to help out with garden work,  just let us know (many hands make light work)!

6 Responses to "Garden update"

  • My plans/hopes/dreams are being limited by finances. There is so much I want to grow that has to be done now or a month ago and I just can’t do it all now. Between amending our terrible soil, actually making garden beds and getting things bought or started as seeds it’s been crazy and frustrating at the same time. It reminds me to take things a day at a time and not obsess over the future. I may only have today and stressing over getting it ALL done this year is sucking the joy out of it. It’s been amazing to learn about and discover all the different plants God has made for us.

    So I’m taking is slower now, being thankful and looking to get things from friends/family instead of buying it all. So, let me know if you ever come across extra starts of rhubarb, asparagus, artichoke, currants, huckleberry, hops, or anything else interesting. I may have some mature (ish) climbing roses for you if you’d like them. Also, do you have a design/plan/online link for the bread oven you’re wanting to make?
    ~jerilee

  • I’m really curious, how big is your lot? Is it more or less then an acre? Curious because for the last year or so we’ve been setting up an “urban farm” as well, and it’s very encouraging to hear about what people can do/squeeze in on various amounts of land.

  • Tracy – it’s 1/4 acre. How big is your property! You and your boys should come over sometime and hang out. And I’d love to see what you’re working on at your place, too!

  • That is just about the most encouraging news I’ve heard all week…ours is 1/4 acre lot too! It’s so great to see what you can do with 1/4 acre…I look forward to hearing more. We’d love to come out sometime…and you’ll have to come see our “plot” as well. So, we have our coop now, and the chicks are all happy to be outdoors 100% of the time…some friends gave it to us because they decided to take up bee keeping instead! What luck for us! 🙂

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