April 19, 2011

a sneak peak at the backyard farm

Oh boy. A couple of weekends ago, we welcomed a new member to our garden family, along with the help of some awesome folks (more about that soon, promise!). We've added more gardening space to our backyard than I think anyone was really prepared for, and have had to come up with creative names for our raised beds just to keep them all straight. Above you can see our original bed, Fat Man, which Ryan built single-handedly. Don't tell the other beds, but this one's my favorite. It's 4 feet wide, 8 long, and almost 18 inches tall. It fed us salad and greens for four solid months, and we're still able to harvest the swiss chard. The spinach, cilantro, and lettuce have all begun to bolt but I'm not ready to say goodbye.
This photo of our summer beds in full shade is a little misleading; they actually get about 5-6 hours of sun each day. But we're still going to chop down some hackberries to invite a little more sun in. We've got a 4x12 bed here (The Devers), two 4x10 beds (Little Boy East, Little Boy West), and then our two little 4x4 beds, which have yet to be named. Currently accepting suggestions, if you're interested.

Forgive the crummy pics, but rest assured I will take you on a tour of our backyard farm in the next few weeks, as I'm hopeful most of the summer crops will have put out blooms by then. (Ryan and I have taken to referring to the plants growing in our beds as our "crops," not just our "veggies.")

It takes a number of hours each week to keep up with our urban farm, but we are beside ourselves with excitement for the summer crop to take off. Ryan's mentioned, only halfway joking, the phrase "booth at the farmers' market" more than once, and we're batting around names in case that ever becomes a reality.

But for now, we're happy—oh so happy—watching our eggplants, tomatoes, bush beans, sweet peas, malabar spinach, squashes, corn, and more grow little by little. So that's what we've been up to. Sowing crops in the backyard.

Oh, and the neighbor might get chickens, for the win!