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Vegetable Gardens

Before we even built the house, we began a vegetable garden on this land. We use the medieval “Ridge and Furrow” method which involves reusing the same garden rows year after year, building those rows up with compost into ridges, with uncultivated pathways (furrows) between the rows. Because we garden with simple hand tools, reusing the same rows and incorporating compost, is easier and healthier for the soil rather than plowing the whole garden area. Growing up and even into my adulthood, I did not generally like vegetables, but I have learned that I like to eat what I grow myself. In the vegetable garden, we grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash. We tried growing corn, but there was no way to keep the racoons out of it. One year, after doing extensive research, I discovered the secrets to successfully growing onions, and they are now a staple in the garden. After a neighbor encouraged me to plant okra even though I didn’t like it, I discovered I really do like okra, so I grow it every year, sowing okra seeds into the row in June after I harvest the February-planted onions. New in 2024, we are trying a straw bale vegetable patch. Where the straw bales currently sit, there previously was a hedge of knockout roses. When the roses became badly diseased, we cut them down. As we wait for the rose roots to rot out so that the area can be replanted with an evergreen hedge, we are using the straw bales to take advantage of this sunny ridge line. The gardens produce an abundance which exceeds our personal needs, so we share with neighbors and friends. In 2023, we took over a hundred pounds of fresh produce, including onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers to Good News at Noon, a charity which provides meals to homeless people. The back garden area also features a “Rainbow Garden” which is planted with flowers and garden art of all colors.

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