In reflection...Gardening 2013 Take 6

Here's notes from the last garden go around. 

So...gardening 2013.  Instead of telling you how I did, let me shift gears and tell me about those who have been more successful.

There's these three women I know, two of which I've had the pleasure of visiting their farm the last couple weeks, the other friend although I'm too far to visit, we keep in touch.  Let me tell you, they are amazing women/moms providing for their families. Their husbands are pretty swell too.  You'd marvel at what they do and wonder how they do it all.

One has a homestead of chickens, ducks, goats, turkeys, rabbits and pigs.  They have a marvelous garden and really have figured out which veggies they eat most and grow enough of those to last all winter. They're working on being self sustaining with reproduction their critters and saving seeds. Canning, freezing, the root cellar! The majority of what they eat, they raise or grow. Inspiring!

The next friend has cows, chickens, bees and draft horses, complete with a wagon and sleigh.  They have a ginormous garden with tomatoes the size of my head! They have fruit trees that are plentiful.  You should see the size plot of cosmos she has.  She works full time and cans oodles. They're also fixing up their house. Amazing!

My far away friend has a more urban plot far from Maine.  In the last year, she's added chickens and they built a coop that looks like a hotel.  They're gradually trying to increase what they can grow and are doing an awesome job starting from scratch!  Even with a toddler and being pregnant, she did lots of work spreading out this whole dumptruck full of mulch. And she's learning about dehydrating.  I'm motivated just seeing the great things they do!

Well, there you have it.  The gurus to learn from and be inspired by. I know these three women are readers...and I'm giving you two thumbs up.

Knowing these women, "Really?" is the answer I likely would get.  "But we had a slow start."  "We got it in late."  "We didn't water enough."  "We couldn't keep up with the weeds."  "Everything didn't come."  "We didn't get as much as a variety as we hoped." "I wish we could have done better."

That certainly isn't how I see their gardening year.  I see all the highlights and only the highlights. Truth be told, I didn't even notice any of the areas they thought were not perfect.  I look at their success with awe!

I must admit, when I set out to write this post, I was going to list my soil woes, critter problems, failures.  But, I'm hoping that perhaps others can overlook that which isn't perfect and see my successes instead. I'm going to share my celebrations and skip my list of what I would do over.  It was our first year here and overall, the celebrations do triumph.

I pick about this much every other day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But always something.
The majority of what we have consumed this summer has been from our garden.
 I have home grown flowers in many rooms and have had so for months.
I've never before started so many from seed indoors, to have them produce successfully outside.  I only bought a couple plants already started.

I've never had much success with cauliflower.  But I've grown a few heads that are as big as mine.

There's been a bit of extra to preserve.  And my kitchen has had/is still having a workout.
I've spent countless hours planting, watering, weeding and harvesting.  It's been my favorite place to be, for sure.
 It's been a place where my children have snacked, my family bonded and my kids have learned.
It's all a matter of perspective.  I'm thankful I didn't write about my woes.  They're still there, but are much more cloudy after listing my celebrations. 

And you, my dear readers, try to do the same.  That which you are doing to help your family isn't just a beginning, but a huge celebration for a job well done.

And in other news...

I'm excited to share with you that I've been asked and have agreed to join some super talented and energetic group of ladies in their Homemade Living Series.  Every other week on Wednesday, I'll be documenting what Homemade Living means to me.  Today, you can read homemade living tips and ideas from:

Next Wednesday, I'll be joining and posting my own

Good stuff to come your way!


  1. Welcome Jackie! Love your gardening update!

  2. "They're still there, but are much more cloudy after listing my celebrations." Oh I truly love this line:)
    Oh your bounty is wonderful. You have found the perfect place to share your tips. B

  3. I love how you're looking at it! I am inclined to think about the failures as well, but I'll try my hardest to celebrate our successes. Our tomatoes have done really well this year which has meant lots of homemade salsa for us! :)

    So excited you're joining us in the blogging series!

  4. your garden looks great! and the energy from it! we can feel it trough reading...

  5. What a beautiful post! Hooray -so happy you're joining us for Homemade Living!! :)

  6. What a bountiful garden! So awesome!



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