Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Homesteading Update: Out Front With Vegetables

As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Marvelous and Mr. Marvelous, Jr. have come to the conclusion that if one plants one's front yard as a vegetable garden, one does not have much (if any) grass to mow.  Since I have a problem with paying someone else to grow vegetables to can when we have this much land, we went ahead with the project this year.  This summer will be very busy for me, but it sure will be nice to not have to buy vegetables at the grocery store through the winter.  Mr. Marvelous acquired a chainsaw back in the winter and got busy cutting down some of our trees before they leafed out.  He then spent a couple of weeks and a LOT of energy hauling these to the front with the help of Junior.  These became the fence. 

There are two reasons for building this fence.  The gardening reason is that we can tie string every few inches and then the beans have something to climb.  That is very tedious and time-consuming, but it also gives Mr. Marvelous a chance to go sit in his garden after work. 

The neighbor reason for building the fence is that the house across from us has just gone on the market for sale.  We like the folks who are selling it (if we had our way they would just come back and be neighbors again!), and we don't want to create a problem for potential buyers.  They'll figure out how quirky we are soon enough!  So the fence with the beans climbing it also acts as a decorative shield.  A country privacy fence, if you will.

The pictures above were taken along the end of March. 

Here is how things look out here this week. 

We found a farmer who has been quite happy for us to take last year's hay off his hands for a few dollars.  Since the rains have slacked off, we are happy to have the mulch.

Mulching can be back breaking, but it saves a ton of money in water bills!
This year's pepper plantation.  If you like hot pepper jelly, just let me know.  Unless you are my brother-in-law or nephew.  Or my friend Ryan.  In that case I already know. 

We are alternating Blue Lake beans with Scarlet Runners.  The Scarlet Runner beans are not nearly as good-tasting as Blue Lake, but they are so pretty growing!

The front tomatoes are (thankfully) a little behind the back tomatoes.  

We are growing determinate tomatoes this year.  This means that one plant will produce all its' tomatoes at once and then be done.  The advantage to this is that I have a huge crop all at once and can put up all my tomatoes at the same time.  Once I start canning tomatoes, I would just as soon get it all done and over with!

Pickles!  Cucumbers!  I'll be doing a bunch of pickling this year.

Winter squash.  Really.  Some of them do grow in the late spring. 

This is a Zephyr squash, one of our favorites to grow.  The fruit is a little startling at first.

As I was getting ready to go in and download the pictures, I wandered over toward the bean fence.  

Won't be long now!

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