It’s been a while since I posted, but that’s because I’ve been too busy gardening, doing shows, and entertaining to spend time on the computer. However, I’m all caught up with seeding, transplanting, mulching and weeding. There are no shows for two weeks, and it’s raining so I can’t get another load of soil or mulch for a few days, and we have no guests scheduled after this evening. Look out for a deluge of posts!
Recently, I took two pick-up truck loads of soil to my mother’s, to fill the 8 additional raised beds I made her last fall. The weather got too bad for me to get soil before winter, so I had to hustle to get them filled before she was ready to plant this spring. My mother is amazing. I turned my back to take a wheelbarrow load to the farthest bed, and when I looked back, she had climbed into the truck and was shoveling. Most 90 year-olds can’t even climb into the front seat of my truck without a stool, let alone into the bed!
As you look at the next photo, realize that the ten raised beds are only about 1/3 of her garden. She is still not convinced that one can really grow in those little beds, so she had the 2/3 you can’t see (on the right) tilled and plans to grow “normal.”
I think it’s pretty progressive of her to at least try a new approach at her age. Last year, for the first time ever her garden totally flooded out, not once but 4 times. She couldn’t garden and she had nothing to can or freeze, so she was bored and stressed all summer. Fortunately, her pantry was so filled with the previous year’s bounty that she didn’t run out of anything. She grows all her own food except meat and eggs. She makes her own kraut, ketchup, jams, apple butter, and much more. Baskets of potatoes, onions, and sweet potatoes are stored in her unheated basement. Carrots, cabbages, and other produce are stored in an old non-running freezer, and she usually eats the last of them just before the ones in the garden are ready to harvest. She buys peaches and other fruits to can or freeze from local growers. She gives lots of her harvest to relatives and friends.
I took two beds to her in August. We planted strawberries in one, the front left in the photos, and she planted turnips, lettuce, and radishes in the other. I had planted a couple of my new beds a week earlier and gave her my leftover seed. My turnips never got big enough to harvest. She harvested the last of her well-grown turnips in January! She has “the touch.” It was enough to persuade her to try more raised beds. I’m hoping she loves them and that they are successful. They should be so much easier for her to weed and maintain. The only downside…..if she loves them, I may have a lot more building and soil hauling in my future. So now you see where I get my energy and my gardening genes. If I’m as energetic and productive as my mother when I’m 90, I’ll be truly blessed.