Wowie.. I'm behind here on posts. It's in the 90's today and humid so I have been busy hosing bellies to keep animals cool.
Ok everyone, are you sitting down and comfy? Good, here comes a novel....
FLY- OMG your cauliflower is beautiful!! So is the child.
I cannot for the life of me get good white cauliflower. One, Iím too lazy to tie up the leaves to blanch the heads, and two since Iím all organic the bugs eat them to bits before they are ready for picking.
I have to go green and purple if I want an actual head of cauliflower. The green tastes a lot like the white, but the purple is fab! I canít remember if I ordered from Burgess or Jungís seeds http://www.jungseed.com/
But Johnnyís is my favorite for hard to find stuff! http://www.johnnyseeds.com
I like your garden and think you have done quite a bit in only two years! You are much farther along that I was at two years. Your beans look terrific and I love the little building with the little rock beds around it. Is it a well house?
And donít worry about the pics of your dry grass. Come August and September it will look much worse here, trust me.
One year it was so dry the alpacas pulled up the grass roots while trying to nibble, the earth was so scorched! Iíve still got bald spots from that year.
There was nothing at my place when I bought it but weeds. Not even a barn and I had hard clay and shale for dirt. Fun.
Thankfully alpaca poop is low in nitrogen and can be put in the garden almost immediately. It really added the organic matter that my soils lack, and I did what is called lasagna gardening because tilling here is a disaster. If it doesnít break the tines on your tiller, then you might as well put out a neon sign for every nasty weed that exists to come live on the tilled dirt, because grass wonít survive, let alone a veggie! LOL
Yeah, very poor soil for most things. My area was heavily strip mined in the 80ís and the companies never replaced the topsoil. There are actually grants to have the top oil replaced, but the problem is that there isnít any quality topsoil to be found here.
Anyway, I started really small with lots of layers of natural enhancementÖ alpaca poo, shredded paper, leaves, poo, grass clippings, some amendments I bought, and more poo! Took about two years to start resembling a rich humus type of dirt, but after that I was able to actually grow something. I just keep adding the layers and expanding as I go. Thank goodness I had the foresight to plant the trees the first summer I was here with some alpaca poo compost.
I donít have drip irrigation, so when things are really dry I have go around in the mornings and evenings with the hose to give things a little drink until some drops fall. I canít hook up anything because my well is not very strong and takes forever to refill if run down, so water has to be used sparingly.
Thankfully there is a natural spring about 3 miles away and I have been seen on many occasions hauling water in barrels.
Like your DH I used to not be into different varieties. I just stuck to the straightforward stuff. But when I started growing for farmerís markets I needed to do something that set me apart a little bit. I mean I couldnít charge more for the very same things so I experimented. The flavors and better growing ability actually surprised me and now I am a convert. Bok choi, yellow beans, purple beans, rainbow swiss chard, purple basil, red and yellow carrots, chiogga (bulls eye target striped) beets and anything that is unusual I will try.
And I have to admit, it sure looks pretty on my plate and that is important to me as in the deep of winter when we go for weeks or a whole month without seeing the sun (we have more cloudy days here than Portland, OR) I really need those colors to lift the gloom.
As for my picsÖ did ya notice only one was from a distance and the rest were very close up? Well that is for a reason. The far off one is the only one that looks good and isnít crowded with weeds!!
Like Corporal I am allergic to weed eaters too! (Darn %*#*&#!#*^ things!!)
It has taken many years and some back breaking work to get the garden to where it is and I still have a long way to go.
Better Homes and Gardens are definitely not knocking on my door and I gave up the notion years ago that they ever would. Cause, you knowÖ those magazines are only published to torment us and make us feel inadequate anyway. Just like most advertising.
Whatís important is not HOW the garden looks, but WHAT it can Grow!! Pretty gardens are not always healthy gardens.