I looked at the un-tilled ground and wondered how on earth I was going to turn a dead looking parcel of ground into a thriving lush garden that would sustain us thru the winter.
We buckled down and with the help of a neighbor, who brought his deep furrow tiller, we turned the earth into a garden area about 20’x30’. We weeded and pulled out tons of grass and willow roots, turning the soil and adding
bag upon bag of lime and peat moss. The dirt became darker and richer with every turn of the spade. Mounds were created and rows formed. Seeds were planted and seedlings we had started indoors were transplanted outdoors.
Nothing seemed to be growing and the seedlings we had transplanted looked like they were wilting and dying off. But we pressed on and continued to haul water to the property to water the struggling plants.
Hauling water is a chore in and of itself. Having to haul 55 gallons of water by hand every day to water the garden is a pain in the rear end. It takes an hour to get the water. Then we fill the watering buckets and walk each row, dumping two buckets of water onto each row, and there are 25 rows to water. That takes about two more hours.
The weather here is so bizarre too. It can be a cloudless sunny 80 degree day, so you go get the water, come back home, water the garden, now you’re three hours invested into this daily chore. As the afternoon wanes on, dark clouds appear over the trees from who knows where and chaos breaks loose, thunder and lightning booms and strikes around you and torrential rains from the heavens floods the garden. Three hours down the drain, but hey, the garden is well watered.
So the garden begins to perk up with all the weird weather and work we’ve been doing and we’re thinking “we got this!”… A hail storm decides to drop onto our little piece of paradise and destroys our garden with marble size hail that we later found out, killed one of our neighbor’s chicks. We head out to assess damage, leaves have been shredded, plants demolished, seeds washed away from the tops of the mounds into the gulleys between the rows.
We press on and continue weeding and watering, hoping our efforts are not wasted. Not knowing what all washed into the gulleys, the garden is now overgrown with veggies in the rows AND between the rows, so be careful where you step!!
We leave the garden unattended for a week while we are away and return to find it thriving and flourishing. We had hired a local teen to come and tend the animals and water the garden while we were gone. She had the same thing happen to her, spent two hours watering only to be dumped on by torrential rain as soon as she finished watering!
Blessings from heaven have turned our dirt patch into a Garden of Eden. We are now in harvest mode. We have processed and canned jars upon jars of pickled veggies, beets, peas, spinach, swiss chard, rhubarb, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini. We are watching corn, celery, carrots, squash, pumpkins, rutabagas, kohlrabi and beans continue to grow. We’ve enjoyed fresh garden salads for weeks now and try to give the stuff away because it is growing so rapidly!
Hopefully we will be harvesting the remainder of the garden soon as hunting season is here and we must go bag a caribou, bear and moose to fill our freezers. After hunting season comes firewood gathering. Much to do before deep winter settles in!