Monday, July 20, 2009

First Fruits

It has been two months since I moved into my new house and what I have been focusing on the most is my backyard. The first thing that I had done upon moving in was to rip up a section of dead grass (all of the grass was dead as the home was bank owned--hence no watering since March) on the western wall wherein I planted a garden. I also purchased several fruit trees which I planted along the perimeter. Needless to say, my yard now consists of several fruit and vegetable bearing plants and trees. My vegetable garden consists of the following: radishes, carrots, onions (chives), beets, peppers, basil, parsely, dill, lavender, lettuce, broccoli, beef tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, brussel sprouts, beans, peas, and corn. Fruit trees planted on the perimeter include: peach, apricot, pear, apple, avacado, mandarin orange, valencia orange, and lemon. I have also planted berry bushes along the perimeter including: strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry (there are also grapes which were growing from the previous owner). Finally, I have also created an herb garden wherein I have planted: basil, sage, rosemary, parsely, dill, oregano, thyme, chives, mint, and tarragon. Needless to say, I am excited to try my hand in the gardening world. I am learning through experience, considering that I have never gardened in my life. So far, it is working out well. The fruit trees will need a few years to grow before producing fruit and some of the plants are still growing before they will be old enough to produce, but a few have already come to fruition. As such, I have recently had occasion to harvest a little. I have already tried the radish, lettuce, peas, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and grapes. I've also used some of the herbs in various dishes that I have cooked up. It is nice having a little fresh produce right in my own yard. Needless to say, I am hoping that I will be harvesting more soon.
Considering that I would like to harvest vegetables and fruits over a prolonged period of time, I have spent this past weekend preparing some barren ground for a second garden. This area was all dirt and weeds and is located in an area where the sprinkler system does not cover. I spent many hours chopping up the ground with a pick-axe, then shoveling the dirt over before tilling and hoeing it. I then added in several bags of potting soil which I mixed with the original dirt before planting. I am now thinking of extending the original garden to twice its size and beginning a crop rotation. If all goes according to plan I should have an excess of produce with which to share with all of my local friends and family.
Finally, I am thinking about creating a third garden to be used by any of my friends who would like to try their hand at gardening. I would prepare the soil and will take care of the watering. If any friends are interested, they may plant whatever crops they like and would be responsible for weeding and feeding the garden and, of course, harvesting their own crop. I mention this idea only because I have had a few friends who expressed an interest in such before I moved into the home. If anyone is interested, please let me know and I will get started on preparing a new garden asap.
Furthermore, now that I have more or less settled into my new home and the garden is underway, I feel that it is time I start having people over for dinner (I've had people over for bbq on several occasions already, but I'm thinking of branching out into a wider array of dishes). I've always preferred to cook for others rather than just cooking for myself, so if anyone is interested, please let me know and we will figure out some dishes that are tempting to the palette. Simply leave a comment, send an email, give me a call, or fire off a text letting me know that you are interested, when you are available, and what type of dishes you would like to try. . . Once I have mastered it all, perhaps I will have you all over for my own version of Babbette's Feast!


Jennette said...

Wow, good job Brett!! I look forward to starting my own little herb garden on my balcony in a couple months. Keep enjoying the fruits of your labor! (no pun intended...well, maybe...)

Lawnbird said...

Pictures, pictures, pictures! Let's see the actual fruits (and veggies). I would be willing to donate irrigation supplies for the community garden concept. Let me know if could use some stuff. Maybe I could trade garden space for irrigation supplies and installation.

Rachel said...

Farmer Brett: Count me in. My balcony garden was a bust this year. I'll even help you prepare the ground. And I can teach you how to make jam with all of your berries.

Amanda said...

First of all, WOW!!! You've got yourself a big garden with all that produce. Good luck with everything. Should be fun.
Also, I would love to come over for dinner. Too bad we live so far away. I do however, need to go rent Babette's Feast again. Good luck with you gardening. Can't wait to see pictures.

Mr. Hall said...

Paul, I may be able to use some supplies, but you are welcome to have some garden space regardless. You will have to swing by some time and survey the yard and give me your two cents on what would be best. Rachel, you are welcome over any time you would like to get started--just let me know. And as for making jam--it may be a few years before I have enough berries to be that ambitious. The berries are few and far between at the moment and it seems that the birds get to most of them before I do. I also spotted a squirrel out feasting in my garden the other day. I'm just waiting for a Peter rabbit to show up so that I can play the part of Mr. McGregor. . . of course, I will need a wife in order to play Mrs. McGregor and put Peter's father in a pie! :)

LynMarie said...

Brett. I'm suprised to hear you already have blackberries. I brought home a tiny blackberry bush from Todd's grandma's house in Oregon (They grow like weeds there.) about four years ago. The plant kept growing and growing but no blackberries. By the third year I decided that if I didn't get blackberries that year I was going to rip it out. The blackberries must have read my thoughts because last Agust I got my first blackberries. I got some more this year but I'm just waiting for them to ripen. Mine seem to ripen in August. Would love to see pictures of your garden.