Thanksgiving Harvest

Another garden post… Besides school and family, this is my (Matt’s) main past-time, so you’ll probably keep hearing about it. If you’ve forgotten about our last garden attempts, you can check them out here and here.

We had some pretty good success this time around. Check out Eliza beside the garden a couple weeks ago! The cucumbers and squash are getting old (at least I think that’s the problem, but maybe I’m just neglecting them), so sadly they’re looking much less happy now. I’m actually in the process of pulling them out. Notice that we also have a fenced backyard now! Thank you, kindly landlady!

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It’s been pretty fun to figure this out. The most important thing we learned in the desert is that it’s important to grow using an in-ground garden if possible. The water just evaporates out of a raised bed, so the plants in our last yard were always dehydrated. This time our plants could grow deep roots and survive pretty well with water coming just a couple times a week. During the monsoon season we hardly watered at all.

Here’s the story of this garden in a nutshell: We moved across town, bringing our soil with us in the U-Haul (good soil isn’t cheap in the desert).

Then we dug out a 4×12 foot plot in our new yard and used our old raised bed planks as walls to contain it, mixing the clay soil with our garden mix, adding some compost, planting and watering.

Skipping to the end… we’ve harvested lots of cucumbers, some peas, squash, and a little bit of chard and other greens. The tomatoes and peppers aren’t doing so well (we planted late and it’s too cold at night, we think), and we’re still waiting on a few other crops. Here are a few more photos… including a pumpkin we cooked up for American Thanksgiving Dinner!

PS: Tomatillos are really cool plants. They might die in a frost before ripening, but they’ve still been really interesting to watch grow. Maybe next year we’ll be able to grow enough for homegrown salsa verde.

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