I started planting in February. Seeds, flats, transplants and grow lights. My spring harvest was a complete flop. (I am blaming my chickens… I need to work harder on chicken proofing the gardens next year) I did not get any of the broccoli, cabbage, lettuce or cauliflower that I had planted. Now that summer has come I am starting to harvest things and it really is rewarding. We planted garlic in the fall and I have been harvesting garlic shoots off of it and using them when I roast chicken and beef, all the while patiently waiting to pull the garlic out of the ground. Yesterday I had my 15 minutes glory, I pulled 25 heads of garlic, pretty good for my first attempt I think. I am drying them on top of the hot tub cover I look forward to braiding the stems in a couple of days.
The other big harvest that we have had is potatoes. Being able to grow potatoes made me feel like a real farmer. I don’t know why potatoes made the difference and not the chickens but anyway, we harvested a bucket of potatoes, (red, white and Yukon golds). I cleaned them in vinegar water and look forward to eating them over the next couple of weeks. I have posted some crazy pictures of our potato “journey”. For a while this spring we were not sure if we would be moving or not. My husband was jobless and we knew we would have to go where ever there was work. So I did not plant as much as I would have if I did not have that time of uncertainty. While I was packing boxes in the basement I checked on my potato starts that I had been saving since fall. Oh My!!! I was shocked to find a box of potato shoot spaghetti. With the warm winter the potatoes were growing like crazy in that box. I had to plant these potatoes. We laid them out the best that we could in this bed… there was nothing organized or row like about it, and covered them with compost and mulch. I honestly did not expect anything to grow. Within a week, we had a very happy little potato patch. Well it was happy when it was not getting eaten by chickens, but that is a different story. A week ago, last week of June, my potato patch started to turn yellow. I thought that my plants were dying and that I was doing something wrong. When I pulled up a plant just to prove that it was dead, a string of potatoes came up with it. It felt amazing. I stopped everything I was doing and spent the next hour gathering potatoes from this patch. And also to my amazement, the chickens actually came in handy. I had spent most of the last two months trying to keep the chickens out of this potato patch. When it came to harvesting the potatoes the chickens would dig the potatoes up for me and I would just have to gather them… it is was nice team work. And once I found the snake my son was more then happy to help too, in hopes of finding another snake.
Two first for us, potatoes and garlic. It was pretty cool. I am learning so much and having fun along the way. I still can not believe how you can put this small wrinkly thing in the ground and end up with food, but it is amazing to watch and be a part of.
Go get dirty!