The Great Garden Migration of 2017

Remember when I said there’d be no garden this summer?

I was wrong, and I’m so glad I was.

Against all odds and predictions, the new homestead has been tilled, dug, and planted over the past couple of weeks, with extra sets of helping hands and lots of love.

We’re not quite there yet, but the goal of creating our own food security and being good stewards of the land is coming closer into focus each day.

As I take a moment to reflect on the first half of the year, the smell the of sunscreen and sweat wafting off my dirt ravaged tank top is overwhelming (it was a long morning out there today). Also overwhelming me is a level of fatigue, and muscle tone in my arms that I have never known, which seemingly happened overnight.

Time is rapidly dissolving into the dirt.

In the spirit of telling a complete story, let’s go back to February, where it all began….

February

  • Still at current home, unaware of new one
  • Planning the garden layout (main space, beds, and surrounding terraced areas)
  • Ordering seeds, slips, and tubers
  • Starting seeds in seedling trays

This time of the year is always spent planning, planning, planning… with a lot of seed catalog ogling, ordering, and aching for summer mixed in there.

At this point we had no idea there was another homestead on the horizon and were certain we’d be stuck with our near 2-acre (annoyingly sloped) property.

It’s worth noting that at our current home we have planted many perennial fruit and nut trees, bushes, and much, much more. Sadly these things cannot be moved, but we’re trying to graft them.

March

  • Still at current home, unaware of new one
  • More planning and starting seeds
  • Seedlings starting to take off
  • Garlic planted in early November makes its first appearance

Again another slow month, but with lots of green beginning to emerge and take shape. Still busily creating spreadsheets and charts, with no clue about the new place.

April

  • Still at current home, unaware of new one (for first 2/3 of the month)
  • Begin to prepare garden rows by tilling, broadforking, and more
  • Seedlings grow and grow and grow…
  • Garlic grows a little higher
  • Pea seeds planted directly outside and begin to grow
  • Seedlings moved outside for short periods to begin acclimating
  • Greenhouse gets built
  • Asparagus, herbs, tulips, and more begin to emerge
  • New property found and bought, last weekend of the month – 12 acres!

A much more active month, including the construction of our greenhouse and the realization that we will soon be moving. Enter expletive to illustrate how bittersweet it felt, and a few tears over the newly erected (and permanent) greenhouse that will stay behind.

The garden portion of our new blank canvas, which we thought would have to remain dormant until fall at the earliest, given our lack of time and manpower.

May

  • Still at current home, figuring out how/if we’re going to migrate the garden
  • Not closing on new property until June
  • Continuing to care for the explosion of seedlings, moving them to bigger pots for holding
  • Greenhouse gets crowded
  • Existing plants in the ground begin to flourish: peas, garlic, berries, herbs, and flowers


Lots of exciting things happened in May, but we thought all of the seedlings would have to be re-homed or left behind. There were a lot of conflicted feelings about whether or not we should continue to try to keep them alive.

Thankfully, our closing date got advanced and plans begin to change…

June

  • Still in current home, close on new property
  • Beginning to work the land at new place, with lots of help
  • Harvesting as much as we can at current place: berries, flowers, herbs, garlic, peas, and more
  • Establishing rows at new place and install irrigation lines and rain barrels
  • Transplanting seedlings from old place to new
  • Starting to close up shop at current place

So, with 10 days still left in June, that’s where we are: juggling two gardens and trying to make it work.

Mornings have been spent harvesting at one place, then watering and planting at the other (20 minutes away). All our free time is filled with driving back and forth, which will be the reality for the next 2 or 3 weeks. I cannot complain, though, because having the strength and resources to pull it off makes me feel nothing but gratitude.

Here’s to the great garden migration of 2017!

 

curedlife

Creator

Betsy Brockett was diagnosed with Mesothelioma at the age of 28, and continues to thrive despite the challenges that cancer has created in her life. Holding a degree in Art & Visual Technology from George Mason University, Betsy expresses herself through writing, photography, painting, pottery, and more. She is most often found cultivating, creating, practicing/teaching yoga, or simply enjoying the beauty of life.

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