Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Little Farm Part 1


I really didn't want to do it this year, but Superman is all about it! We are trying a new location for our garden.

Gardening in Florida without pesticides is hard stuff. A lot of labor and sometimes (okay most of the time) very little fruit. I really have given up, but there is a small part of me hoping to be proven wrong.

The year before last we tilled up a large piece of our backyard just outside our kitchen door. That's what Square Foot Gardening suggested. We blocked off 12, 4x4 foot squares, amended the soil and laid on a thick layer of mulch. I planned out every square and the rotation for each. Superman set up a water system and I fantasized about cutting our coop bill and not going out to the 4-H garden.

The growth was exciting. The garden was flourishing until (dunt,dunt,dunt,dunn) the winter sun changed position in the sky. Over a week or so we saw the shadow of our house covering the entire garden. Needless to say most everything stopped growing. We were able to retrieve some greens, radishes, garlic, and tomatoes. Not many though and I was so glad I hadn't cancelled any produce orders!
Fast forward to last fall. I was very happy with coop and 4-h. So we tried something small and radical. We planted our front flower beds! Yikes! Everyone can see what we are doing. I'm sure our neighbors thought we were crazy. Or maybe they thought that when they first saw the 12 chickens running around our backyard!
Whatever their thoughts, I wanted to conquer Florida! We planted red cabbage (which looked like huge cabbage roses), broccoli and tomatoes. The broccoli was fabulous! We had so much Broc. & cheese soup around Christmas time. The tomatoes didn't work at all. Sun, sun, sun and plenty of it. We didn't do any amending to the soil. This resulted in smaller veggies. I didn't care I was just happy to be getting something!
So we took another look at our backyard and watched the sun through last winter. We think we have found a spot that might work. Stay tuned for more!
julie