The thing about yard clean up, the kind that involves cutting branches and hauling stones and pulling down fences, is that you end up with a lot of stuff. Most of it gets sorted into the compost heap, or rubbish bin, or stacked up for use later on. Some of it you look at and think, “I bet I could do something with that.” You might not know what, exactly, you could do. But you decide to set it aside just in case. Continue reading Backyard Garden Project: Harvested Goods
The idea started off simply enough: to turn the backyard into a garden. The indecision, however, is in the details. While we could, theoretically, pull up all the lawn and plant right into the ground, we have two dogs who have no regard for boundaries. Enya, a German short-haired pointer, will trample over plants, push over fences and chicken wire, and steal cucumbers right off the vine. We also have our share of rabbits who trek through the yard, despite the wooden fence and the presence of the dogs. I’ve lost more pea shoots than I can count to bunny thieves. Taking all of those factors into account, we decided raised beds throughout the backyard would be our best bet. Continue reading Backyard Garden Project: Raised Beds
In my quest to create a backyard garden (as opposed to a garden in my backyard) some things had to be tidied up. November was going to be that month. We knew we had to work quickly as possible since winter seemed on planning an early arrival.
The big projects for the month involved trimming the branches from trees, the woodpile and the compost heap. Trimming the branches would give us all sorts of wood for the fire pit next year. Alas, the wood pile was still filled with branches and wood from previous years. Continue reading Backyard Garden Project: Woodpile & Compost Heap
My grandparents’ house stood on an acre of land, half of which was given over to gardening. Most of it was taken up by vegetables: peas, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, even a few pumpkin plants for the grandkids come Halloween. There was a small strip that I always thought of as The Orchard: an elderberry tree, pear, apple and cherry trees, as well as a few grape vines. The perimeter of the area was ringed by berry bushes: gooseberry, currant, Chinese cherries. Having raised five kids on little money, my grandparents, my grandmother in particular, had the cultivation and production of foodstuffs down to an art.