Progress on the Big Garden

Things have been coming along on our little homestead on the creek!  Since my husband has been able to be home full time, he has been able to follow his dreams of having a BIG garden and be able to maintain it.  It is a full time job in the beginning to plant and nurture a garden of this size…1/4 acre!!!  He has green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, potatoes, chard, onions, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, squash as companion plants to the sweet corn, cucumbers, black eyed peas, snow peas, lettuce, sweet potatoes, and I am sure I forgot something!  Well, anyhow, it is big and it is a blessing to see my guys out there each day working the ground and enjoying life!  In the picture below, Mark and the boys are supporting the tomatoes with some steaks in the ground.
Here are are cruciferous friends…
Upon a closer look, you will see some damage to the leaves of our lovely bok choy…
I saw the little flea beetles, or thats what we call them in these parts.  Those little nasty buggers.  I get so mad at them.  One day I saw a little red lady bug and she was walking around on the leaves.  I wanted to stick around to see what she was up to.  Well, she was on the prowl.  When she found the flea beetle, she began to eat him up!  And I was very thankful for her presence in our garden.  It made me want to order a whole case of them!  Instead my husband pulled out some bright yellow sticky papers.  At first we were just trying to stick the ones that we could see and our papers were full.

We left the sticky traps sit in the middle of the plant to see what kinds of bugs we could catch and kill.  To our surprise, these traps really do the trick and are a very inexpensive, organic pest control.  The little bugs just bounce around from one leaf to the next and suddenly they are stuck!  I just went out yesterday and the holes are beginning to heal up and the plants are thriving!  

Mark did some research and talked with our friend Mike who was an organic farmer.  He told us what we needed to make some great compost tea.  Mark ordered up the supplies and used our compost from the animal pens that we saved from a year ago.  He added the ingredients to the 50 gallon drum along with water and the aerator.  Mike told us to brew for 23 hours and then apply to the plants.  It truly feeds the soil and after a few days, the plants were doubled in size, wow!
Here is our kitchen garden.  Mark amended the soil in the containers and planted herbs, lettuce, and even cherry tomatoes.  Fun stuff to just run out the back door to grab quick for a salad.  And we are already enjoying lots of great salads.  
The grass in our yard is coming in nicely.  Before it was pretty much all weeds and very rocky.  The mud and dirt tracked into the house was not very fun, so we decided to do something about it.  It should be ready for mowing in another week or so.  It seems like it is getting established really nicely.  
Mark recently build a nice solid bridge to the camp!  That is so exciting.  We have one cabin fixed up already and I am thinking about naming each of the cabins.  What do you all think about chicken breed names.  Like the Leghorn, the Orpington, the Wyandott, or the Americana.  I thought that would be fun.  Slowly but surely the cabins are getting ready. Besides the cabins we still have to construct a mess hall and a bathhouse.   
There are lots of things going on around the homestead, so I thought I would keep you all in the loop.  I hope you are all having a great spring!  I would love to know what you think about the name idea, if you have any other ideas that would be great!

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10 thoughts on “Progress on the Big Garden”

  1. You are brilliant! I would never have thought of sticky paper in the garden. Also, love the idea of chicken breeds for cabins. Might keep it to the more unusual names like Wyandotte and Orpington, Australorp, Faverolles, etc. It will make folks ask questions and get to visiting:)

  2. gday Erin. the vegy garden looks really good. Such a good thing to have a vegy patch watching them grow and having lots of leftover scraps for the chooks. We are in the last weeks off autumn here so our gardens are slowing down for their winter rest. great news on the cabins getting ready , you really have been busy .xx vicki

  3. Wonderful garden and so much produce. Spring is finally here, the dairy cows have been let out of the barn for the first time today, how they jumped about like little lambs so glad to be free again. My plants are still under cover as its only few days since we had snow, let’s hope it’s the last. Blessing to you and your family from Northern, England.

  4. I love reading your blog. Your garden looks wonderful. I also love your makes for you cabins. I am a chicken lover.

  5. Wow, a garden and a half! Looks beautiful!
    …And I’ve got a smile on my face now, cuz I’d probably support my gardeners with steaks, and my tomatoes with stakes. : ) Hey, I blog too, and TYPOS HAPPEN!!! (And you may go ahead and delete this, I just wanted to alert you.)
    Looking forward to some spring where I live now… : )

  6. Your garden is looking amazing. I love your plans for the cabins. It will be so much fun for you and your family. We have a big problem with squash bugs on our vine plants. So much that we are not planting them this year to see if that has any effect on them.I wonder about the traps you have written about will help?

  7. Patti-Ann Kubacki

    That is an amazing looking garden. It does take a lot of time and manpower/womanpower but the benefits are so worth it. Enjoy and thank you for sharing.

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