Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Little Garden That Could

If the above title sounds familiar, it's because this is the second blog I've done that tells the story of something orange that we've rescued from the trash pile. If you don't know the story of our alcoholic lawn mower, now might be a good time to click here and read that story. 
We were just dating then. 
I should have known. 

Anyway, back to the garden...

I'm not good at giving hard advice.
Go after it now or  wait until it's right: I can usually nail that. 
Left or right at this stop sign: I need time to think.   

I told Cody when we bought the farm that I wanted a garden. He seemed to blow off the idea, seeing as how - since we've met - I've wanted to learn to quilt, paint the old hutch in Momma and Dad's barn, write a book and lose fifteen pounds. He knows my goals are high and my ambition sometimes gets washed away in a flood of obligation. 

But this spring I was serious. 

And we had a really serious conversation (it may have mirrored the Corn Crib conversation) about the garden. 
And how it's an obligation. 
And it needs attention. 
And it needs water.
And tilling up the yard we've worked so darn hard to replant would be a new commitment. 
Why would I want to till it up? ....blah blah blah. 
One by one, I saw a quilt, a hutch, a book, and fifteen pounds roll through my mind. 

But then - he agreed to it. 
With a compromise, of course. 

Rather than till up the yard we'd worked to hard to re-seed, we decided to do "raised beds"...straight out of Pinterest?
Straight outta used Vitaferm mineral tubs. 

We took the empty mineral tubs that had already served their purpose in the pasture quite well and drilled holes in the bottom. 
Then we cleaned a feed floor and filled our "garden" with three parts: dirt/manure/straw. 
Unconventional, but has anything about our marriage been considered the "norm"?

Green beans, lettuce, tomatoes (x4), peppers and zucchini

And then we waited for rain. 

We didn't have to wait very long...

 And that rain did really great things for my fake green thumb:

Week after week, our Vitaferm garden provided.

And then I spotted this guy.
 Can you see the finger-size predator, 
munching on our cherry tomatoes?

We enjoyed this spread often 
this summer, with a side of beef. 

So many tomatoes, you'd think I had a country music album in stores. 

This little garden, built out of tubs in the toss pile and waste that could have fertilized a field, has done so well for us. In fact, besides the the two of us, it's fed my parents, a neighbor, two fat rabbits and an unruly heifer that found it one July afternoon. 

We know now what we did wrong:
Planted the tomato tubs too close together. 
The soil is so fertile, but drains too quickly. 
The lettuce never came back after one cutting - no idea what we did wrong there?

You know that thing in your life that you've wanted to do, take on or accomplish?
::That thing that your heart desires:: 
Whatever captures your mind for more than a fifteen mile stretch on your drive home. 
Whatever you wonder - or wander - about. 
Should you start it? Yes. 
Do it. 
Make a plan. 
Try it out. 
Invest in it. 
Use your five free hours on it. 
Seriously, Do It. 
Try something new. 
You're not going to live forever.
One day you'll look back and wish you would have started sooner. 

I know I did. We took a leap, did things differently and have enjoyed watching this garden grow. And, I'm already stock piling Vitaferm tubs for next spring. But I refuse to rinse them out; I'd hate to mess up a good thing. Doesn't every garden need the Amaferm® advantage?

For real gardening advice, that doesn't involve cattle production, you should check out The Blog Bloom. 


  1. Thanks for the shout out, Lindsey! Your harvest looks fabulous. And, I love the recycled bins. So smart and green...! But, it's not an awful idea to wash them out. Diseases your plants may have carried could get transferred to next spring's plants. Same goes for spades and trowels, etc. Don't worry, the magic won't wash away!

  2. Oh my gosh - what great advice! I had not even thought of that. Thanks so much.