Observations in the Garden

November 13, 2014

I grew up in the suburbs; just 20 minutes from downtown Raleigh, NC. Certainly no NYC but country living could not be further from my mind. We never frequented a farmer’s market and the only tractor or cow, pig, etc. I ever saw was at the State Fair.

I moved to the country right before I got married (10 yrs ago) so according to those in my town, I’m a newcomer 🙂 I love all that I am learning, living out here, gardening, raising chickens. I love that the children are learning right along with me. So, if all of this country living is old hat to you, bare with me as I share some things I’ve noticed of late.

Observation #1:

Our first frost hit over a week ago. All of the heat-lovers died: sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers…all except for one. We had a lean-to over the chicken door that fell this winter. My husband just set it up against the fence to get it out of the way. This summer, a tomato plant sprouted there. Because it was blocked by the lean-to roof, the chickens left it alone. I have been so busy digging up sweet potatoes and prepping the garden for next year, I didn’t notice until yesterday — it is still alive!DSC_6075I have read about south-facing walls being warmer than others but our house is set back in the woods so I have never been able to test it out. We unwittingly made our own south-facing wall this year! I wonder how much longer the tomato plant will live. This weekend is getting into the 40s during the day. Now my mind is going crazy with ideas of what to plant here throughout the winter and in the early spring! 😀

Observation #2:

My children LOVE picking flowers and giving them to people. We had a friend over the other day and my daughter brought her a flower, which drew my eye to the bush from which she was picking.DSC_6073This bush is just outside of the chicken run. My eye scanned just past this bush to a bush INSIDE the run:DSC_6072As you can see, the chickens love this bush. They hang out under it quite frequently.

These two bushes were purchased and planted the same winter. They are pruned the same. They are very close to one another:DSC_6074Now, that has me thinking: I am now deciding how many fruit trees we can fit into the run this winter. That is my dream anyway — that I have an orchard where the chickens live, giving back to the trees while the trees protect them from aerial predators.

Another thing that will be done to the trees is that they will be heavily mulched. If you know anything about me or my blog, you know I am really into mulching. Here is an example of the difference mulching can make (there are many, by the way):

Here is an apple tree that has been covered with mulch for two years (and heavily pruned).DSC_6006And 15 feet away, another apple tree. This one was just covered by mulch a few months ago. I suspect it will get healthier as the years go by. DSC_6007These trees were purchased and planted the same day and these pictures were taken the same day (not the same day they were purchased — the same day this week).

What are you learning from your garden? I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursdays to learn even more through other people’s gardens! 🙂

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