Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Wanna-Be Garden

So last year, as soon as we moved into our new house, the next door neighbor came over and tilled up our garden for us. I might mention that he was probably drunk when he did this, as we soon found out he is always drunk. Anyways... Well, we just moved in. Give us a minute to put down our boxes and THEN til up our garden please. So, he had to til it up again a month later. Well at this point, it was hotter than blue blazes here in the good ol' South, so of course we were late in planting and everything was suffering because it never rains. This garden was basically our "attempt" at being farmers. The garden was HUGE, if you don't have the right machinery to keep it up (which we don't). So the garden basically got 10 feet high... with weeds.

At first I was beyond excited about this garden. Everything was going so well and it was producing okra like 10 inches long. And you must know that us rednecks are obsessed with okra. Well, we're not technically farmers, we just watched our parents or grandparents grow veggies. So we later find out the hard way, that okra is supposed to be picked when it is short. Otherwise it is HARD and CHEWY and GROSS. This was last year and we just figured it was a bad season or something... turns out this year we know that you have to pick it short and it won't be that way. Basically, we'd like to believe we're something else- like smart people that can be self-sufficient when it comes to gardening and veggies. We also wanted to pretend we were farmers. It didn't work out so well!

The old man that lived in our house previously, had a pretty big garden. So our neighbor tilled it up the same size, in the same area. Well the previous man also had a tractor. Now, our neighbor would let us borrow his tractor whenever we wanted, but he's always drunk. So asking him a favor turns into an hour-long conversation you didn't want to have, when you really just wanted to use it to take care of the weeds in your garden. Well, the garden grows about 10 feet high in weeds. I can't keep up with it AND the house stuff that we had going on. The hubby couldn't either. We weeded the beans and kept them going pretty well. They're about the only thing we actually ate. Eh, we got some good 'maters & cukes too. But that's about it.

So our new attempt this year is a garden about 1/2 the size of last years, with this on the menu:
okra (just picking it WAY sooner this year!)
snap beans
soy beans (they're real good if you boil 'em & salt 'em)

We also have garlic and blueberries that we'll have to wait til later in the year to harvest. And I'm DYING to get at the black berry bushes. Last year I harvested about 4 cups of them, tried to make a cobbler with most of them... forgot some key ingredient (who knows what) and ruined it. It was GROSS. So this year- we're just eating berries w/ sugar on them. Now THAT is good!

We've also got pears going- I might try to do a jam this year, but we'll see if I've got time. If not, the deer love them and we LOVE to shoot at them with our .22 rifles- they BURST into a huge splatter and it smells good!

And the wild grapes are growing in the woods, but the birds beat me to them last year.

So now we've got this 1/2 size garden going. We planted earlier this year and it seems to be a good thing. We were waiting for our drunk neighbor to come over and til it up. With our schedules we pretty much NEVER see this guy- so maybe he was wanting to ask us if we wanted it tilled or not. He has his tractor out, tilled up his land, the other neighbor's land, and the field next door. But not ours. I got tired of waiting and just decided I'm gonna til this up myself! By hand. Yeah. Not a good idea. It was hot, my redneck ass was in a bathing suit top and shorts, and I'm out in the yard with a hand-tiller. Needless to say it was wonderful exercise! And I have horrible tan lines to show how long it took! I wonder if my neighbor sees it and wonder if I stole his tractor for the day without asking!?!

Well we've got a few sprouts popping up now- if I can only keep it watered and weeded this year! We'll see!

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