Three months ago, Ed and I began a new chapter of our lives. We took on the task of growing a garden, then “canning” our own home-grown vegetables.
We planned, we worked, we sweated, and we even argued about how to do things sometimes. Ed plowed, hoed, sprayed and dusted his way through every week of spring. I pulled weeds and dragged 200 feet of water hose around the garden, when the rains didn’t come on a regular basis. We both learned that there is a lot more to growing food than either of us ever realized!
God rewarded the fruits of our labor, and we were successful. On a scale of 1-10, I’d rate our gardening adventure about an 8, which we certainly can’t complain about.
We weren’t successful with speckled butterbeans because I unknowingly purchased “running butterbeans”. The bushes grew into “all vines”, with no beans. At least I don’t think there were any beans. The bushes grew into such a mass of vines, we couldn’t tell if any beans were in there or not! Seriously, you’d have to see to believe…
Some kind of “killer bug” invaded our squash, cucumbers, and, more recently, our watermelons–even though we sprayed and dusted the garden on a regular basis. These insects are new to us, and have presented our biggest gardening challenge to date!
Growing tomatoes also turned out to be quite a challenge. We battled our way through “the wilt”, only to be faced with “bottom rot”. Finally, after learning that we needed to add more calcium to the soil, then adding some, we were able to harvest some edible tomatoes! (In the meantime, I gave up hope, too soon, and went to a local field and bought tomatoes.) At the moment, our kitchen table is covered with ripening tomatoes from our garden–the last of our garden-fresh vegetables. By this weekend, I’ll be officially finished with “canning”. Yay!
Many packages of corn, peas, beans, and tomatoes are tucked neatly in our freezer–and we have shared vegetables with others, as well. Ed and I have learned how to “pressure can” and have been successful in our efforts with this, too. The pretty jars filled with food remind me of days gone by. Not to bad for our first efforts!
Ed and I have also learned how to do something else new. We’ve learned how to dry and save some seeds! I purchased “heirloom seeds” in the spring, so we would be able to do this. Garden seeds aren’t cheap, so it’s well worth the time. All we have to do is store them in our freezer until next planting time!
It’s been quite a ride, but worth every minute of it! Ed and will have about a month to rest and relax–then it’s back to work! We’re already planning our fall garden! Yes, we’re fortunate enough to live in an area where we can grow two crops per year!
For now, we’re going to bask in the glory of sweet success, and just rest. All too soon, we’ll be back planting, hoeing, and perhaps even arguing over how to do things! If we can get a grip on those pesky bugs, perhaps we might even grow a pumpkin!