It started the other day when a dear friend asked Amanda, “Can you really keep your garden growing all year long?” And today’s podcast was born.
Yes, as a matter of fact, you sure can, at least here in the South, with no greenhouse, no hoop house or high tunnel, and no artificial heat. For us, keeping the garden growing year round is not only key to food resilience, it’s the way we keep our soil fertile. We don’t grow food in all 16 of our raised beds all year long. When we’re not growing food in a bed, we’re growing some kind of cover crop.
In today’s podcast we follow a year in the garden, starting and ending with the main summer growing season. We even get in a quick summary of our extended fruit season. The orchard is not exactly growing year-round, but we are able to harvest fresh fruit for 9 of the 12 months.
||I love the way this photo shows so much about the seasons of our garden. You may want to click on the photo to get the higher res version to see all of this. Amanda is planting garlic now in early November that will grow through the winter and be ready for harvest in June or so. To her right, those large leaves you see growing just outside the bed are from a pumpkin plant that has wandered more than 14 feet from its roots. We decided to leave it alone since we don’t need to mow the aisles now and it’s not interfering with anything we’re doing.
Just beside her right ear, you can see the marigolds we planted in July to protect the tomatoes from hornworms. The tomatoes are gone now, but she left the marigolds in place (hey, they’re pretty; why take’em out before we need to?). And all around her in the surrounding beds are the brassicas from which we’ll be harvesting during the winter. Look in the extreme top left corner, and you’ll see the foliage of an eggplant that we protected from our one light frost with frost blanket and from which we continue to harvest even now. The next real frost will clobber it, but we’re not in a hurry to bring it down.
The Longleaf Breeze Perennial Farm Calendar