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New Developments at the Developing Homestead

July 26, 2009

This summer has been a torturous one with intense heat and nearly twelve weeks without rain. Earlier in the spring, with all the glorious rain we had, half of the veggie garden was beat down by the runoff, and more simply burned to a crisp outside my kitchen door. A mere 3’X3′ patch still survives. BUT, next spring will be a totally different story! Thanks to some graffiti work of our 14 year-old neighbor on our fence (and the subsequent punishment of replacing it) we will have a fabulous shared trellis bed with our neighbor (his father, not the kiddo).

It’s a mahhhvelous thing to share the labor and benefits of a garden with your neighbor. It cuts down on the cost and amount of labor, and the biggest bonus over having it all to yourself is the developing relationship you have with your neighbor. How many of us have ‘lived’ in a neighborhood without really living? I lived in a neighborhood for ten years without knowing the names of the people around me, and rarely ever speaking with them. It’s a beautiful thing to be in this place, where we all know each others’ names and can share the benefits of our harvests. (Although we thought one of our neighbor’s name was Paul for the last year and a half- turns out not!)

So next spring there will be a plethora of tomatoes, okra, beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, beets, carrots, and who knows what else! Chili peppers are on the slate as well, with roasting parties with the neighbors, and canning and pickling parties. Ahhh, the jams and jellies, pickled okra and dill pickles- all with our friends.

I’ll be sure to take pictures of the progress of the trellis and building of beds over the coming fall months. Should be beautiful! In the meantime, I’m experimenting with fingerling potatoes, relocating the clothesline and tumbling composter, watching the morning glories spread across the fence, and keeping my fingers crossed for the lone pomegranate we have dangling from our tree.

It has been a stressful summer, indeed.

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