Saturday, November 23, 2013

Over and out...

The 2013 garden season is over for us here On the Urban Farm.  We spent the afternoon clearing out the raised beds and tiding up around the farm.  The biggest challenge was rounding up the bottle neck/birdhouse gourds.  We ended up with 53 gourds for $1.99!  What we will do with 53 birdhouse gourds?!  Lord knows...   

Our raised beds served us will this growing season.  We grew enough produce that I feel pretty secure going into winter with what we were able to preserve.  I don't have an exact count on what we ended up with, but I know this is the biggest bounty that I have ever had in my pantry.  (We have actually had to use the racks from our grow lights as storage shelves!)

As usual, the gardens were not just about nourishing the body by way of stomach.  My mind was nourished as well.  I often refer to my garden as a living breathing class room, and have taken away a few things for next year:

1)  Don't start your seeds in February no matter how much you suffer from lack of sun and dirt.  Where it is possible to keep the plants alive, it is A LOT of work, and pimping out your living room with grow stations and 72,000 lumens of lights makes the neighbors mildly suspicious....

2)  Don't over crowd carrots when you plant them.  We sowed rows of carrots, but should have planted the seeds thinner.  Instead we over crowded and didn't thin, so we ended up with a bunch of 1" long carrots.  Oops....

3)  The makers of the "plant safe" weed killers are liars....  My cucumber crop is proof of such things.

4)  Squash bugs are proof that Satan exhists here on earth.  We tried a million different home remedies and still ended up with no pumpkin crop and a minimal squash crop.  Just remember this squash bugs:  Next year, we are back.  I have all winter to research how to kill you.  You have been warned....

5)  Fungus on vine plants can be cured if you catch it in time.  Thankfully The Reluctant Farmer is diligent about inspecting the garden!

With winter approaching, I can say I am happy for the break this time of year gives.  I will research, and plan for 2014, hoping to improve what I am able to produce.  I would also like to add a bee hive or two to the ol' urban homestead, and possibly a turkey for the freezer.

What did you take away from your gardens this year?  Anything you wish you would have done different?  Any crops you wish you would have tried, or won't ever try again?  What were your successes and failures?


  1. Hello Emily, so glad to hear you had a productive crop this year. Yes, we learn from mistakes and this is what make better gardens the next time, right?
    I actually hand pick those darn bugs from my plant before the ruin them. I laughed at your analogy of the squash bug believe me, picking those devils and squashing them into the ground is quite satisfying. LOL!!
    The bee hives sounds good for next you have hives yet?
    Thanks for sharing I always enjoy hearing about life on the farm since we moved...I only have a kitchen garden now! XX

    1. I love to pick the squash bugs and toss them to the chickens for snack time. It is quite rewarding!
      I know nothing about bee keeping, and have no hives but I am going to join the local bee keeping society here. They seem like a good place to start, and maybe with a lot of knowledge I will take on the challenge of bee keeping in the spring! :)
      Thank you so much for reading about the farm happenings. I hope you enjoy!

      Best, Emily