Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cabin Life: My Garden Is A Joke

My garden is a joke.  I tried, but the spot is just not very good.  Too little light and mediocre soil make a great combination for disappointment.  The peas are doing alright, and the lettuce is coming along, but the basil and carrots are struggling.  Even my tomatoes are pathetic.

It’s a small raised bed made with flat stones.  I didn’t do any real prep to the spot though.  There was a rotten tree trunk in the middle and I pulled that out and added a little top soil, but not nearly enough.  I weeded and turned the soil.  I should have added more soil and some composted manure to help.  What the garden really needs is to have a few trees cut down.

I like the idea of raising my own food, but it requires prep work that I just didn’t do.  I have no problem learning from my mistakes, and take this as a lesson learned.  But I also like the idea of creating an environment that brings some wildlife into the mix.  At first there were the usual worms and bugs, but then I noticed a little hole in the middle of the garden.  Only about an inch across, I figured it was nothing.  The plants didn’t look any worse for the wear, so it just went ignored.

A week later I noticed another hole that went down under the rocks, and even caught a glimpse of the tail end of something, but with no tail.  Later that night I took Pico out and saw two Northern Leopard frogs side by side in the garden.  I’ve seen these little guys before but never knew what they were.  There’s now three of them in the garden most evenings.

There’s no bugs other than some bees and flies in my garden.  The frogs seem to be taking care of the slugs and snails, which is nice.  The plants aren’t doing very well, but at least it’s not because they are being attacked by insects.

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Having grown up in the southern Adirondacks, Justin has always been at home in the mountains of New York. After graduating from Paul Smiths College, he began his career in the environmental field working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. After a brief five year detour to Florida, Justin returned to the Adirondacks to live off the grid in a small cabin with no running water or electricity.

Justin continues to work and play in the outdoors, and maintains a blog about living off grid, hiking, and being outside in the Adirondacks called Middle of the Trail.

3 Responses

  1. Annee says:

    Why not add another garden next year,or prep one this fall.then,more wildlife…more stories

  2. Justin says:

    Yeah, I’m going to expand this one and add some soil elements in the fall. Hopefully next year will be better!

  3. Ellen says:

    I’ll take my ADK garden over this MI garden any day! The only thing I’ve got here that’s doing better is the corn. The peas, the beans, the carrots, the tomatoes, the onions, the spuds…all failing miserably here years 1 and 2. Not only is the soil here awful, but the pests (insects and rabbits and weeds) are unbelievable. Give it another go…the ‘dacks are good for gardens – all you have to do is plant the right stuff (get northern climate hardy varieties). Oh, yeah, and be sure the beds get enough sun. 🙂

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