Grit Blogs > Life on a Southern Farm

The Garden Starts with Cleaning out the Barn

This year's garden really started last fall when we cleaned out the barn.

Cleaning out the barn

as the Light Brahma Rooster and Hen watched...

Light Brahma Rooster and Hen

All the compost went on the garden spot. Over the fall and winter seasons we put leaves on top of the compost.

Adding compost

Skip through to June 6th. This is how the garden looks with all that wonderful organic compost as it's only fertilizer.

Garden on June 6, 2010

The Roma green beans are now ready for picking...

Roma green beans on plant

Roma beans snapped

and cooking...

Roma beans cooked

and canning...

Pressure canner

It will be a busy week but I hope to have at least 24 quarts of green beans in jars soon.

Canned green beans

Silver King corn and Clemson Spineless Okra soon to follow. Next will be the Black crowder peas, Brown crowder peas, Speckled butterbeans, and  Fordhook butterbeans.

Silver King Corn, Clemson Spineless Ora, Black and brown crowder peas, Speckled and Fordhook butterbeans

In the raised beds I had spinach, radishes, lettuce, asparagus, onions, and mustard greens. Most of the beds are ready for new plantings.

Raised beds with spinach, radishes, lettuce, asparagus, onions and mustard greens.

The tomatoes are in a cattle panel fence.

Tomatoes inside fence

That is because the guineas do love to taste each tomato when they begin to turn red.

Even though they have a bad habit of sampling tomatoes, the guineas are excellent bug hunters.

They will go down each row checking the plants for insects.

Guineas checking the plants

I suppose I could reward them with a tomato every now and then for their serious bug hunts!

This end I have the potatoes, red onions, collards, radishes, and a couple of yellow squash.

Garden -- potatoes, red onions, collards, radishes and yellow squash

The other end I have a some peaches and cream sweet corn (first year I have tried it) sunflowers, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

Garden -- cream sweet corn, sunflowers, cantaloupe, watermelon

A slide show video of the garden this year from planting until now.

The big chest freezer is now cleaned out and defrosted ready for filling up again like from summers gone by.

Vegetables for the freezer

You can see and read more about our farm here on our personal blog: Life on a Southern Farm

I hope your garden is doing well too!

Have a great gardening season.

della sinnock_2
8/28/2010 12:45:30 PM

Hi, You have an absolutly LOVELY farm!! One thing I noticed, though, is that your raised beds appear to be made from old railroad ties (please forgive if I am mistaken). The thing about railroad ties is that they are preserved with creosote(?), and when used in the garden can leach it into the soil where it will be taken up by the plants. Creosote is a poison. If these beds are indeed made from old railroad ties, I strongly urge you to dismantle them and have the soil around and in them checked for contamination. Thank you for sharing your beautiful farm with the world, and I sincerely hope that I am wrong about your raised beds. Kind regards, Della :-)


vickie
7/14/2010 9:01:24 PM

oh Pam it's a wonderful garden --our tomatoes are just coming on and our beans are just now blooming so we have a ways to go yet. I can't wait to cook a pot full of beans like yours vickie


pam_6
7/3/2010 5:35:36 PM

Hi Kathy, thanks for visiting me here at Grit. I am sure you will have your garden soon! Thanks Shannon, We just had 2 guinea hens come off the nest.Each with around 15 Keets(baby guineas) a piece. If you were just a little closer I would sure share some with you. Hi Robyn, We do have a long growing season here but we usually have a long dry spell to go with it. This year is the wettest summer in many years. We always have to water the garden! Good luck with your garden. Pam Life on a Southern Farm


robyn dolan
7/2/2010 7:35:19 AM

You are rightfully proud of your garden. I am drooling over the pictures. But then again, I guess there in Ga, you just sneeze and something pops up. But I do keep trying to coax dinner out of our dry (did I say DRY?!?) volcanic clay here in No. AZ.


s.m.r. saia
6/30/2010 12:14:33 PM

Holy Moly that's one heck of a garden. I sure wish I could borrow a few of those guinea hens for a day or two! I'd let them eat the little critters I found all over my winter squash this morning!! Everything looks amazing. It reminds me of my grandparents' garden and thier deep freeze full of veggies.


kathy in ky
6/28/2010 7:21:09 PM

Hi Pam - I love your photos of your garden. I've seen most of them on your blog, but I never get tired of seeing such great garden growth. I'm glad you were able to get so much corn, and that the crowders are coming back. Someday, I hope to be able to have such a garden so that I can put up for the winter months, too. Now, I just live vicariously thru you and FarmMan! Big Grin! Take care, Miss Pam - from KY, and I'll see you on your blog. Thanks for visiting mine and leaving comments. I appreciate the time you spent checking out my posts.


pam_6
6/28/2010 5:17:37 PM

Hi Jackie, My raised bed is around 6 feet X 4 feet. We started out with woods dirt then compose mixed in. We are in East Central Georgia and the soil here is more sandy than red clay. I have the Jersey Knight and also a few of the Purple Asparagus. I have around 18 plants in the bed which I think is maybe too many. The recommendation is plants 1 foot apart. I I started with 1 year old "crowns" or roots. I keep a layer of pine straw mulch in the bed because of the hot summers and also mulch it over winter to protect the roots from a freeze. It was very easy to grow and I haven't had a bit of trouble growing it here. I cut the old grow in late Feb. or early March before it starts to sprout up. Then add a new layer of aged compost and the asparagus goes to growing like crazy. I planted the crowns/roots I had left over in my flower bed and they are doing just fine there. But for some reason the ones in the bed seem to do better. This was our 3rd year and the harvest was very good. We had more than we could eat and I froze several bags and shared with family too. The grandkids love to just pick the fresh asparagus and eat it raw. I would recommend trying to grow asparagus. The taste is something you just can't buy at the store!


pam_6
6/28/2010 5:02:44 PM

Thank-you Cindy, If the corn had not been as far as long as it was the harvest would have been a lot different. I am thankful we planted a little earlier this year. One thing we just can't predict is how the weather will affect the gardens. All we can do is roll with the punches and dust our knees off. Just up and do it again. We learned a long time ago that the only difference between failure and success is not to give up!


pam_6
6/28/2010 4:58:53 PM

Thank-you Dave, I am very happy with what produce we have preserved so far. The black crowders are looking better every day and I am very hopeful the tomatoes will produce more.


jackie_3
6/28/2010 12:54:30 PM

Pam I have a question about your asparagus. Living in FL all of my life, I've never even tried to grow it, I've heard story after story about how hard it is to get a good result because of our incredibly poor soil, and scorching heat. Its one of the things I'm excited about once we move to our "homestead" in a cooler climate this fall. But it looks like yours is in a raised bed...is that 4x4? How many crowns do you suppose are in there, and what kind of harvest do you get? Thanks.....Jackie


cindy murphy
6/27/2010 7:43:50 PM

Pam, such goregous photos, and a really neat video of all your hard work paid off in that lush, beautiful garden. Then I read your comment to Dave about the storm - how disheartening!! I'm glad for you that you were able to salvage a lot for canning, freezing, and even some for giving away. It also sounds as if some of your veggies are beginning to bounce back. It's still fairly early summer - I hope the rest of your gardening season is easy-breezy.


nebraska dave
6/27/2010 7:56:47 AM

@Pam, my heart dropped when I read about the storm that came through and damaged your garden. It’s such a heart wrenching thing to watch a beautiful garden, whether it is vegetable or flower, take beating from the weather. Thank goodness that no one, including animals, was hurt. My greatest fear here is for hail and wind to damage, not only the garden, but cars and houses. We have had a couple wind storms that caused a little problem with plants but we haven’t had any hail storms. I’m so glad that you are able to still have some harvest. The weather has been crazy every where this year. It’s been mostly heavy rains and flooding here. Now we are battling the mosquito infestation. I’ve never in all my years seen so many mosquitoes for this part of the country. They are coming right up out of the lawns. Hopefully, there’s enough summer left that your tomatoes with produce a crop for you. Farming and gardening are the two most difficult things to attempt. It seems that nature is against us from the beginning and last until the end of summer. Weather, bugs, disease, wild critters are all set against us having any kind of good harvest. Survival against the wild is a strange and difficult thing at times. I wish you a long and productive rest of the summer.


pam_6
6/26/2010 4:06:21 PM

Dave, The barn compost really is great fertilizer and a lot of work to use it, I agree. Your compost from the city yard waste recyclers sounds like a very good way to use the recycled plant waste. The other part of my garden story is,a week later after the pictures the worse hail/thunder storm in many years came and just about destroyed our garden. Thank goodness no one or animals were injured. Just minor damage to the house. We received over 5 inches of rain in less than 2 hours. The hail which was over quarter size seem to go on and on. The corn stalks were blown over and the corn leaves were shredded to look like bamboo stalk. The tomatoes vines were beat leaf less, hunk of green tomatoes missing. The crowder peas, butterbeans were just stems missing the blooms and little peas and butterbeans that were just forming. Our pretty garden that we spend hours tending to looked like cows had just finished grazing it. This was not only a hobby garden it was food for the winter. Now a couple of weeks later I have just finished "putting up" 26 quarts of cut off corn from those battered stalks. 8 dozen corn on the cobs are in the deep freezer. I have gave corn to friends and relatives. The black crowder peas have leaves again and blooms! The brown crowders, the roma beans, and the butterbeans didn't fair as well but I had already canned 24 quarts of greenbeans and froze several gallons before the storm. The tomatoes suffered the most. But they survived. We all did!


nebraska dave
6/25/2010 5:44:45 PM

@Pam, I know from experience that chicken poo is great for the garden. I don’t have chickens and really don’t want any. I cleaned out enough chicken coops to last a life time by high school graduation. I still really haven’t felt the urge to find a coop to clean if you know what I mean. My plant stimulus comes from the city yard waste recyclers that sell the compost back to the public for $30 a truck load which is about a cubic yard and cover 1 ½ raised beds to a depth of eight inches. Under that black gold I heaped the last couple yard mowing which had green grass and mulched leaves. After Winter’s end, I dumped the city compost on top and I haven’t had to fertilize either. It all happened without cleaning the coop thank goodness. Hey, by the way, I loved the video. I really have to learn how to do the video stuff. Your garden looks great. You are about two months ahead of us here in Nebraska. Our beans aren’t even blooming yet nor do we think about tomatoes until the end of July. The die hard people will try to stretch the season and plant the tomatoes early and cover them with protection when frost threatens but I can’t see where that gives them an advantage as the ground temperature just makes them sit in the cold and shiver until the right temperature kicks in their growth. I hope that all your crops make it to the jar or freezer without any problems this year. Happy Summer to you.