Okay, this web page kinda stinks. 2009 was the first year for the garden, I got really lazy
and didn't do a good job documenting all this (check out our 2010 season for a vast
improvement). Anyway, I started in early spring as soon as the 3 feet of accumulated snow
melted. First step was to expand upon the existing clearing by cutting down some small
trees and saplings. I had to pile up the brush/slash for a big bonfire. The logs I cut and
stacked for the woodstove later. I had about 6 or 8 cords stored away by fall (from other
clearings too). All of this I split by hand with a 8 lb wood splitter... or if really stubborn....a
sledge hammer and selection of wedges.
The garden area was used by the previous owner as spot to store bulk stone and brick for his masonry business. As
such, he had a spread a thin layer of gravel over the entire area probably to keep the mud down and form a firm base
for pallets that weigh several tons each. The gravel was channeling the rainfall in such a way as to cause huge eroded
areas during heavy rainfall. The previous year (2008) I had spread about 20 yards of loam over this whole mess and
had planted some grass and white clover to help control this erosion. However, it is really tough to grow vegetables
in three inches of topsoil over gravel. Therefore, I really needed to get some serious soil built up. I ended up finding
a local construction company (via Craigslist) that was willing to part with 40 yards of screened loam (two dump
trucks full) for a reasonable price. I was also able to find a local stump grinder guy to come and dispense with my
stumps for the bargain price of $1.50 per inch diameter.
The 40 yards of loam I spread this all by hand with my father helping. He got tired, so I had to do most of
the work. Nothing makes you thankful for a college degree after imagining what it must be like to shovel
soggy dirt 8 hours a day for a living. I also trucked in 3 yards of compost... and as an added surprise... 3
yards of fresh cow manure. For you city folk.. that don't buy stuff by the "yard".... a yard is pile 3 foot high
by 3 foot wide by 3 foot long. So imagine if you will a pile of cow crap 3'x3'X9' that weighed about two tons.
The entire neighbor stunk for three days... sorry about that. Anyway, I rototilled this all together and ended
up with a garden about 25 feet by 50 feet. Next I got everything planted. I ended up planting:
and a couple of Gourds
This was the first year for our garden and mother nature was not cooperating. It rained almost the entire month
of June. I don't think there were more than 4 or 5 days of good sun. As such, the entire garden was behind
schedule and never really got caught up.
By September... We were pretty much done. I let the whole thing go to hell with weeds while I spent my
weekends on ther #^%&#% goat house and goat fence. Per usual, I lost interest in battling the weeds on
a weekly basis and most of the veggies weren't coming in anyway. All in all, a pretty crappy year for the
garden. Despite planting about thirty tomato plants.... I only got about 3 tomatoes. However, I got a
reasonable amount of corn, beans, peas... and dozens of cucumber and zucchini. I got one decent
pumpkin. All my melons were junk. They just didn't ripen in this cold, miserable summer. I will feed the
green ones to the goats. Right after the first frost, I rototilled this whole mess under for the winter. Next
year, I am trucking in another 40 yards of soil to double the size... that should do it.