A year without fresh vegetables from the backyard is like a year without sunshine. It's virtually impossible for a dedicated organic farmer/gardener to go without those tried and true easy-to-grow staples in the backyard to pick for dinner. I really liked Michaux Mayhem's link on their blog, Living the Frugal Life. Kate had a post about a book entitled the Resilient Gardener which is basically about surviving on what you grow, but it gave me an idea about not being so fussy in the garden and spending too much time on certain things. Kate mentions a part of the book that caught my eye which gave me an idea of not working too hard in my own garden:
Even more do I appreciate her frank admission that not everything is worth doing well, or even doing at all. What she terms selective sloppiness appeals to my sensibilities. This is a book that will help you find the sweet spot between maximum productivity and minimum labor. If you want advice on how to make your gardens a beautiful, weed-free show place, this isn't it.
Until last year when my mother became ill, I've always been a neat freak in the backyard. Every weed had to be pulled and row perfectly spaced. There had to be beds of straw or compost between all rows to keep weeds at bay, and even the design had to be aesthetically appealing. No more! This year, I'm just sticking the seeds and plants in the ground paying attention only to crop rotation to keep disease at bay. Obviously, if the weeds start sapping moisture and energy from the vegetables, I'll pull them, but many weeds will now be left to grow to become bad-bug food. I won't have as big a garden either. Here's the plan for now:
One or two tomato plants
3 bell pepper plants
Maybe there will be a few more, but this should keep the old girl happy and still riding her bike. Growing to store and harvest can wait until retirement.