CSA Share or Garden

Reader Contribution by Maryann
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I’ve debated over the last week what to do. Last Friday was my last chance to sign up for the summer CSA session at the local farm I go to. I decided to skip it this year. Is it the right decision? Probably not. My own garden isn’t looking too good. It’s been a cold, wet start to the summer season again this year. I usually sign up for the a summer CSA each year and then I tend not to use what is in my garden and end up with more food than we can eat. This year I decided to concentrate on my garden instead.

My own garden is usually a hodge-podge of vegetables, and this year is proving no different. Each year it starts out a wonderfully organized planting in a nice neat design. That is, of course, on paper before the snow melts. I acquire too many plants. I start my own seeds, then I accept more plants from friends who also started their own and have too many (theirs always seem to look better than mine), then I go the garden center and well … just one more. Because I use open pollinated varieties, there are always a few surprises that show up as well (like the few tomatoes in my beets right now). We’re currently re-working the garden area and so I also lost one raised bed completely and moved half of the strawberry patch to another bed. To compensate, I patched together a couple of small beds in between the ones I had remaining. Needless to say – complete hodge-podge this year.

The bed I moved the strawberries to had my walking onions in it from last year so the first thing I had to do was find a home for them. They ended up scattered in three different beds. And so the nice neat plan started to fall apart right then and there. The annual onions got planted with my tomatoes, the basil that was supposed to go in the tomato bed ended up in a pot. And so it went, things got planted wherever they would fit. I do doublecheck my companion planting lists to see what should and shouldn’t go together but that is about as organized as I get. 

Somehow it all works out in the end, and between my garden and the local farms I end up with plenty of produce. One year I’ll have a picture-perfect garden, but it won’t be this one. 

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