For several years now, I have tried to grow a garden here in North Idaho or at least veggies in pots. I love my grandma’s garden and I have very fond memories of picking peas and carrots from her garden and eating them dirt and all. So my desire to have a garden must have come from there. I started out going all in and trying to grow a whole garden. Everything that first year became completely overgrown with weeds. The next year I reeled in my enthusiasm and fairly successfully grew some veggies in pots around our house. At that point I formulated the strategy that I would start small and each year gradually begin growing more and more. The next year Landon helped me build a larger raised bed in which I grew corn, beans, peas, strawberries and some radishes. All was well and I even got a large amount of Dilly Beans pickled, until the cows got in and feasted. No corn that year. The following year I decided it was time for an actual, real, full-on, in the ground garden. The first location for the garden I picked turned out to be the drain field for our septic system. Relocate. I spent hours laying paper and hauling composted manure. My plan was to create a miraculously weed free Back to Eden Garden, but when I discovered the price of woodchips/mulch that I was planning to use I skipped that and just did some good old fashioned weeding by hand. This worked for most of my 30’x30′ garden plot. The fence that I was hoping to put up didn’t get done and the deer ate well that summer. I will say that although they ate most of my garden, they did eat the weeds as well so I have to thank them for that. My corn was the last hold out since the deer didn’t seem to be very interested in that. As the time approached to harvest the corn, the calves got in and ate it.
With the early arrival of spring in 2015, I set to work on my garden spot with fiery drive to prove that I could in fact successfully grow a garden. I am not really sure who I was “proving it” to; maybe it was just to myself. The first order of business was a fence. A good one. I borrowed from my dad a post hole digger that was probably older than me and set to work digging holes. I certainly don’t think I could get any paying work digging post holes by hand but I got the job done and that was the important part. I did end up getting the last 4 posts pounded in with the tractor, which was much appreciated help as I was getting very tired of the many rocks that I was discovering in my post holes. I managed to build a free fence using cedar posts I peeled, scavenged fencing wire and truck doors for a gate.
My garden spot needed to be tilled before I could plant so I borrowed my grandma’s tiny rototiller and made about a thousand trips around the garden but I finally got it all tilled. Planting commenced and things went well for the most part. I did have to replant some things and wage war on a giant ant hill but neither the calves or the deer could get to my garden.
It is now mid July and I am actually harvesting produce from my garden! I am quite honestly a little bit shocked. Now I do have to say, my garden is a bit of a jungle, but I have decided I like it that way. I wage war on the weeds a couple times a week and I seem to be holding them back just enough. One thing remains unanswered: will my corn survive until harvest? I will have to get back with you on that one.