Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch….Garden Season 1

by Julie Allgyer

My husband Greg and I are celebrating our 6th successful year in the country.  The success is measured simply by the fact that we are still both alive and still married.

After two years of sharing a trailer with his father-in-law and four years getting our log cabin just the way we want it, I decided I didn’t have enough to do this summer.  Hence, our garden was born.

It is still unclear to me why a gal whose first salads consisted of only lettuce and French dressing would want to start a vegetable garden.  I even have a story of how, at an early age, I successfully hid Brussels sprouts in an air conditioner vent to avoid eating them.

The bottom line is that I didn’t do it for the food.  I did because I had two key elements:  time and space.
A fabulous garden was designed by yours truly that would not only be productive, but would also look like a work of art to any small plane traveling over our area.  (See graph below)

I filled the soil with all the goat and horse poop I could get my hands on, harvested directly out of our pasture. I planned, researched, and studied the Farmers’ Almanac, but nothing was happening. (Meaning, the plants were just sitting there.  So GROW, already!)

One Saturday morning I walked outside to find my beautiful plots of lettuce, peppers, and peas redesigned into rows! My husband Greg had been busy.

Note:  I do NOT have a graph to show the modified version of my garden.

Before I knew it, however, I had a crop.  As the summer progressed, we consumed all of the lettuce that survived.  Next, I gently added one cantaloupe, one watermelon, and cucumber plant.

Why only one of each, you ask?  Well, my pepper plants are filled with enough peppers to rival any Christmas tree look alike contest.  I can only make so many bacon-wrapped, filled with cream cheese poppers, and the tomato plants are speckled with green balls ready to ripen at any minute.

Selling some of my veggies seemed to be the next logical step.  I made a sign, put it out by the road, and waited.  As it turns out, however, the older clientele can’t really eat peppers.  Trust me.  I heard all about it.

Shortly after returning home from my “farmer’s market” trial excursion, it was back to the internet to explore another adventure:  canning.

As it turns out, canning really isn’t all that difficult if you’ve got two major elements: time and space.