From Pipi’s Pasture: Enjoying our garden
I look forward to this time of year because I can start working in the garden. Our garden is enclosed in a fenced yard (to keep out the deer) right next to Pipi’s Pasture. Although there is a row of trees along the fence, the garden space is in direct sunlight, which makes it a great place to grow vegetables. Unfortunately, however, the garden is also in a place that is prone to frost. Therefore, we have to be careful not to plant too early, and we have to cover the plants in the fall.
Over the years, people have questioned as to our reasons for planting a garden.
“Why spend so much time and money on a garden when you can buy case lots of vegetables at a reasonable cost,” they argue.
“Why do you want to worry over watering, weeds and frost?”
These are valid points. However, where I’m concerned, the payoff is in the pleasure I get from working in the garden. After Lyle tills the garden (as soon as the ground is dry enough), I can hardly wait to get my hands in the soil. I love the early spring “smell” of the soil; I love the way it feels.
While I wait for warm weather, I enjoy looking through the seed catalogs that have arrived in the mail in January. It’s always fun to see what new varieties of seeds are on the market. I don’t order the exotic seeds because we don’t have enough garden space to “explore” planting seeds that may not even sprout at this altitude, but I’m always tempted.
This year, for example, I could have ordered the following seeds:
• cherry tomatoes with a chocolate shading (resembling chocolate-covered cherries)
• tomatoes that are black, pink, yellow, and green
• a cauliflower that looks as if it has been designed with all kinds of spiral shapes,
resembling something from outer space
• red Brussels sprouts
• cayenne peppers that are purple, green, red, and yellow
• carrots in rainbow colors
• green beans that are the width of a pencil and grow to 15 or 18 inches
• a blue winter squash
And there are lots more “different” varieties of vegetables.
One of the things I enjoy most about a garden is the weeding and watering. I do most of this work early in the mornings when it’s cool and relatively quiet. Usually there’s a cat or two around, sometimes rubbing on my legs. I can hear the stay-at-home cattle as they chew on their feed or wander around in Pipi’s Pasture.
Robins search for earthworms where I have watered, hummingbirds buzz around the trees, and once in awhile a killdeer walks around the garden, making its “kill-dee, kill-dee” sounds. Once, surprisingly, I even found a frog in the garden.
It’s rewarding to look back over the garden where I have just weeded. The rows look so neat and clean.
Then there’s the harvest of vegetables. I enjoy picking a zucchini or a batch of green beans (to put in the crock pot with pieces of ham). It’s exciting to pick our own corn and to dig new potatoes to cream with freshly-shelled peas. And then there’s the pumpkin patch; I have always liked pumpkins.
Lyle and I get pleasure in sharing our garden produce with others, too — another reason to plant a garden. It’s even more rewarding to invite family and friends to an afternoon of potato digging and picking other late-fall vegetables.
The next few days will find us doing the last of the garden planting and enjoying every minute of it!
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