When we moved to Virginia in early 2008, we planned on staying for a while. I hadn’t had a garden for years due to my hours and our moving so frequently. The 2008 garden was a total failure – we threw seeds into the empty flower beds and hoped for the best. We did learn that the soil was exceptionally poor, being so full of clay it would smother anything. We also learned that most of the flower beds were in deep shade and would not sustain much of anything edible.
In 2009, my favorite boy toy and I built the raised garden beds. They’re not overly big – 60 square feet (five squares of 4′ x 3′) – but we got a fair amount of produce from them as well as the herb garden containers on the deck. I tried some stealth gardening under the front bushes which gave me more veggies as well.
I’ve kept on with it, doing it again in 2010 and this year also. In a way, it’s pointless. By the time my garden is producing, the farmers market and grocery stores have cheap, local produce. It’s probably even cheaper than I can grow it for as I’m not doing my own compost or recycling rainwater.
But I’m also not using much chemicals – I know for sure what’s been put on my garden. It’s also a good hobby for me. My job is very sedentary. I struggle with my weight and have since childhood. It’s not bad for me to have to do something physical after work. I work out during lunch, but it’s good seven hours later to again do something physical. By the time I pull a few weeds, trot the hose around, chase down and drown a few bugs, an hour or more can go by.
There’s the whole food security issue, although my garden doesn’t even feed us for the summer, let alone for a whole year. I don’t have time or patience to expand it further to feed us for a year either, although I have been doing food preservation by purchasing carefully when produce is in season and cheap.
So is it pointless? Not yet. I’m not sure about next year though.
Here’s pictures from last weekend – the baby butternut squash, purple / pink green bean blossoms, and yellow tomato blossoms.
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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.