September 29, 2011
The rain and cooler weather earlier this month inspired us to start our kitchen garden out here in our new space. We bought this place because it is an old farmstead and it has soil. Good soil. Before we started digging, we made sure the ground was moist – it is much easier to work soil that was soaked a day or two before breaking ground.
Joe Henry is leveling the first garden beds in this picture. You can see our house in the background. One of the first stories we heard from a neighbor was that George Rust, the man who built our house in the 1940s, used to sit on the roof and shoot deer that were grazing in his corn patch. We like to think that maybe George’s corn patch was where we started our garden. Though we’re choosing deer fencing to protect our crops rather than a rifleman on the roof, the deer are still a serious problem.
We’re trying to use as much native and on-site material as possible to build the beds. We’re in the hill country so we have plenty of rocks for stepping stones and borders. We also used some cedar logs and a few railroad ties (with no toxic creosote) that the previous owners left here to outline our beds. We did import one yard of Geo Growers Thunder Garden Mix to kickstart our garden. We simply incorporated the mix into the top few inches of our native soil and that, with some deep-bed preparation, was all that we needed to get growing.