Maintaining a vegetable garden is not for the faint of heart, although my husband might disagree.
Ten years ago our handful of raised beds kept us well fed with lettuce, carrots, spinach and a pumpkin or two in the Fall.
However, every year new beds appeared, followed by a shed, greenhouse and a wildlife proof fence that keeps out all but the most persistent species – of which there are many!
The result is a garden that produces enough food that we have to take the endeavor seriously.
With careful planning, we can harvest enough food to enjoy in the growing season, freezing and preserving the surplus to keep us going all winter.
Yes! A vegetable garden is very time intensive and going away even for a few days in the summer means coming back to zucchini the size of small canoes, unless you enlist the help of friends and neighbors to harvest while you are gone.
My husband was recently asked by a colleague, “doesn’t a vegetable garden take up a lot of time?” To which my husband, the man who spends so much time in the vegetable garden that were I the jealous type could accuse him of loving the garden more than me, replied, “No, not that much time! Maybe a couple of hours a week!”
When he told me this, I burst out laughing. A couple of hours a week! Perhaps in the middle of December, when nothing is growing in the garden and the lettuce leaves that were thinking of sprouting in the greenhouse, have changed their minds. Only then does Steve spend maybe a couple of hours a week gazing at the bare ground and sifting through his planting notes.
For the record maintaining a vegetable garden takes far longer than two hours a week!
However, also for the record, the sheer pleasure of gathering dinner out of the garden is well worth the effort. “What’s for dinner” are no longer dreaded words at the end of the day. They’re just the signal for heading out into the garden, cup of tea or glass of wine in hand, to harvest the bounty. What could be better than sitting down to enjoy a healthy organic meal with sun warmed ingredients that were growing in the ground minutes before!
And just one more thing for the record, the process usually takes less than two hours!