Gardening the mighty 1/5 acre

It has been a reasonable to great garden year. We had a reasonable winter, very dry late spring/early summer, and then a really good monsoon season starting in July and continuing through the present. The fire season up here was mercifully brief, especially compared to last years disaster. Fruit trees are doing great. The mule deer continue to be a problem and we put in some raised beds.

We had a sandy gopher and ant ridden patch in the middle of the front yard that we were able to grow some corn and pumpkins in last year. This year the ants were out of control and became extremely swarmy. After a couple of years of slowly escalating ant control methods we finally called an exterminator. I feel bad about that, but it allowed us to go in the front yard without getting swarmed and bitten by the ants. The ant/aphid combo was also killing all the aspen trees in the yard and many of the flowers. Anyhow, with that done, I blitz in the raised beds in a week and planted some rootbound pumpkin and squash that I had delayed planting. I also put in some beans to see if I could get something out of this summer.

The mule deer mowed down all of our tomatoes repeatedly (even though they were in pots on the porch), until we wrapped them in chicken wire. We have a few corn coming up. We got lots of apricots, one peach and are in the process of harvesting apples and plums.

Anyhow onto the photo dump:
Apricot gathering in early July:


It was a good, not great apricot year. We at many fresh, froze the rest for smoothies and ice cream. more apricot phots here

The raised bed.
Helper spawn helps clear and flatten

Scoping exercises

More betterer

Gopher guard, 1/4 hardware cloth

Second layer

Inspector Spawn making sure I did a good job

Fill with sand, dirt, compost etc...

Mule deer help trim everything
Mule deer in the yard

Rain and boots and family and cats help grow the squashes
Rainy day and the raised bed

Solitary peach of goodness
Lone peach

Apples are about ready
Apple city, man

Plums are finally coming in
Plums and family

delicious yet a touch sour still
Plums, just about ready


fatbob29r said...

Love that you're sharing this life experience with the "spawn", you can see she's soaking it all in.

When you grow your own food you are truly free.


Ray said...

"Plums are finally coming in" is a good portrait. Love it.

alex wetmore said...

Nice haul. I'm jealous of the peaches and plums and other items that don't do so well in our cooler climate (but at least we can get them farm fresh from across the Cascades).

My gardening-fiend wife thought the gopher screen under the raised bed was a great idea.

It's fun seeing all of the photos of your family mixed in.

lemmiwinks said...

Great crop of many and varied things. Your raised bed is very nice, I had no idea that gophers were such a problem (my only experience with them being through Loony Tunes cartoons), nor that the deer are so used to humans they just stroll around like that!

Tarik Saleh said...

Thanks, I am also teaching her the key life skill of gathering from those who don't pick their fruit before it rots...

Best picture I have ever taken with the 3MP phone cam

My cousin (who you met) has some pretty good plums, though he is loosing the squirrel racoon battle. I think the stone fruits might do OK there. It never gets super hot in Los Alamos (rarely above 90), but it does get much cooler in the winter than seattle.

The gopher screen is pretty key to avoid preharvest heartbreak.

the gophers are definitely a plague. The female and youthful deer are skittish, the bucks are blase bordering on aggressive at times. We had 6 big bucks in our yard this AM.

Thanks for reading all