It’s been a bit of time between updates of the Union Avenue Community Garden, and I’ll let you know right now that the growth has been crazy good. It’s always hard when you first plant seeds, see the germination and then have to wait for the fruits and vegetables of your labor to actual appear. Well, the last two weeks in the community garden have been bountiful as far as germination, and I can’t wait to show you. Obviously I’ll try not to make it too heavy with photos, but I just can’t help it. The kids get just as excited as I do about our bounty, and love helping us harvest.
Here, we have 24 beds; 8 4×4 raised beds and 16 4×8 raised beds. We are planning on putting way more in, and also building a chicken coop. Yep, we officially have chickens! We’re up to 6 hens in the garden, and 8 chicks in the garage – since we can’t mix them just yet, and we still need to build larger digs for everyone.
So far we have tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, broccoli, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, kazakh melon, pole beans, sugar snap peas, lettuce, arugula, greens (turnip, mustard, and collards,) kale, carrots, and a multitude of other things. It’s been a blast getting everything planted, but I can’t lie. It’s hard. The setup is hard. Working on our days off is hard. Planting and weeding, and replanting is hard. To boot, this isn’t even one FULL acre of land. Just a double lot. I wake up early, and go to bed sore. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Surprising to myself and my husband. There’s just something satisfying about being out in this open space.
Just for reference, the space used to look like this:
We’ve come a LONG way, and yet, I’m still anxious for it to be in a “finished” state. Which we all know, it will never be, honestly. I’m learning to be okay with that as each day passes, but I’m not fully okay with it just yet. This is me, trying hard to be okay with it. Mr Houseful and I both agreed that I needed to crop this photo because of gratuitous boobage. No need to thank me.
When we first started, I felt like we had a bunch of stuff. Not even. Below are the tomato plants after transplanting. Short. The box to the right of it is full of cabbage and dinosaur kale. Good stuff, and the chickens love them too.
You can see a better view of the kale in this photo below. Along with the collard greens that a couple of people have loved so much that they have helped themselves to it without asking. I knew this would be an issue that we would have to deal with, with having an open garden (until we can get a fence up,) but I didn’t expect old people to take from us. We’re still trying to plan out the fence we want, and we’re going for a farm style fence, with chicken wire in between the openings so that the hens will be able to walk around freely once we do winter harvest.
I love that Lil Miss helped transplant the collards when they were ready, and she took her job very seriously. She tried her hardest to get the plants right in the middle of each square foot, and I think that she did a pretty awesome job!
We also have an entire bed of peppers that the squirrels and raccoons love. They pull them up by the roots and cart them off in their little vermin families. Even though I know that raccoons aren’t rodents, I still have autonomy on this blog, and I’ll call them vermin if I want. You’ll also see that a tomato plant snuck its way into this bed as well. I’m wondering how those tomatoes are going to taste when we harvest them. I’m hearing that they shouldn’t be that bad, so I’m not worried.
Speaking of pests. Let’s talk about cabbage worms, and cabbage moths (the white butterflies with small black dots on their wings) taking up residence on my brassica plants. Kale, cabbage, collards, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and so much more. They have these teeny, tiny white eggs that you wouldn’t notice, that turn into teeny, tiny worms that will eradicate ALL of your foliage if you allow them. You’ll know you have them when you see holes in your leaves, and caterpillar poop, also known as frass, in the crevices of your leaves. I’ll write another post on how to save your plants later this week.
I know that I always say that I’ll attempt to do an update a week, but honestly, I’m not sure that’s going to happen. The best way to see what’s going on in the garden is to follow me on Instagram, or check out my hashtag #WeSowWeGrow on Instagram and Twitter. Tag me in any of your photos showing you growing your garden or your community!