Beginning to look like food …

I really didn’t enjoy the garden last year. We’d just moved in and the house was still in some chaos, and it felt like one thing too many to add on top. We also threw everything in pretty quickly, so we never managed to get on top of the weeds. And I just really don’t enjoy digging through piles of weeds to try to find the edible stuff. But this year we got an earlier start and took the time to prepare each section as we went. We also started a bunch of stuff in the greenhouse, so we had time to get the outside plots ready while the food was already growing. There are plenty of weeds, but it doesn’t feel like they have the upper hand this year, which makes working out there much more fun.
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Raspberries are about to explode!
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We just ate our first strawberry today (split six ways), but mostly we’ve been pinching off the buds this year to encourage the plants to get bigger so they can produce bigger fruit the next several years. We bought 125 plants from Johnny’s Seed Company back east and every single one of them is thriving!
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We also have blueberries and blackberries, though the blackberries are still getting established.
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We planted a bunch of mammoth sunflowers again this year to give shade and snacks to the chickens, and we’ll also dry some of the seeds.
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The chickens are great weed-eaters.
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Also sweet peas, green beans, basil, dill, cilantro, oregano, lemon mint, green onions, rainbow bell peppers, pickling and regular cucumbers, yellow squash, watermelon, cantelope, pumpkins, lettuce, onions, carrots (orange, purple and white), asparagus, radishes, and corn.
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Kerry’s special project this year is grafted tomatoes. He took several kinds of tomatoes (beefsteak, roma, cherry) and grafted them onto a different kind of tomato with a very hardy rootstock. Supposedly the hardy root combined with the tasty tomato types will produce a lot more fruit on one plant. We’ll find out. He planted both grafted and non-grafted to compare, and they’re all doing very well.
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By the way, remember the greenhouse we put together using the frame of the old garden shed? It’s working out great. Here’s the “before” shot.
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Not sure if everything we’ve planted will thrive and make it to harvest, but so far so good!

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