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Garden Year in Review

A look back at my garden from 2013 so I can look forward to 2014.

Growing organic Vegetables

Yesterday my first seed catalog arrived in the mail.  I am one of those strange people that find this quite exciting.  I wait until all my favorite seed catalogs arrive, Johnny’s, Harris, Jung, Gurney’s.  I sit down with my post it notes and a pad of paper and I write my wish list, marking all my favorites as I go.  I usually order my seeds by February so that I can start several seed varieties inside the house around March.  Wanting them to be ready to plant outside in April (with any luck).  I have a great enthusiasm about starting seeds each year, it’s uplifting coming into a new year.

 I know we make our new Years resolutions, but we still carry our worries and mistakes, and that holds true for the garden as well.

The only way to improve is to look at the mistakes and try to correct them as best as we can.

Some mistakes and success I found in my garden in 2012.

FLEA BEETLES: I plan on using row covers earlier rather than later.  The flea beetles were pretty severe this year, and I lost my eggplants before I could harvest a complete crop.  I will cover as soon as I plant my eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli and kale plants.

Flea Beetle Damage in Vegetable Garden

A success were the root vegetables, I had great success with rainbow mix carrots, golden beets and rainbow radishes.   These all did so well and I was able to make so many delicious recipes with these guys and they will store in the refrigerator.  The Onions, garlic and Zucchini  also gave me a large yield.

Onion & Zucchini Blossoms

Organic Rainbow Carrot Mix Homegrown vegetables

The Onions and Zucchini were in abundance.My beekeeping was a bit mediocre this year.  I still have four hives, but two were struggling as the cooler temperature arrived, so I am hopefully they will survive, but if not, I will only keep two hives next year.  I also plan to plant a bit of a wild flower garden in hopes of providing food for the bees and a great environment for the local wildlife, frogs, snakes, and birds.

If you are interested in keeping bees next season, check out my How to Set up a beehive video.

Checking the Bees

A success was sharing my garden, chickens and bees with friends. If you ask most gardeners, they keep their gardens for the food of course, but also to share it with others.  It really is a wonderful feeling to share all your hard work so that others can enjoy it.  Whether it is your produce or a walk through the garden.  Last summer we had two visitors stop by to share some time learning about the chickens, collecting eggs, seeing the beehives and just enjoying Mother Nature.  So, I hope to do more of that next year.

This year we had two wonderful guests Lily and Autumn who came over to learn about the chickens, feed them some crackers and bread, collect some eggs to take home and see how many bees were coming in and out of the bee hive.

Kids in the Garden Kids with Chickenschickens in the garden

I hope you had a wonderful year in the garden, and that next year will be even more successful.  I love hearing what is working and what isn’t in your garden.  Like Whitley’s first experience with the dreaded and freightenening hornworm, or Brains huge success with Canna Lilies.   I find inspiration in hearing your stories, so I hope you will continue to share in 2014.

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