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Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

The August garden is January’s child, for this is the month that determines the season. Seeds have been ordered, sketches have been made, and wood and soil await final placement. This year I hope to complete all of the raised beds and fill them with dirt before the final first-round planting in March.

We’ll have San Marzano tomatoes for paste and Carmello tomatoes for salads and at least six other varieties for I don’t know what. Sweet peas, radishes, cucumbers, and kale. Swiss chard, lettuce, basil, chives, sweet peppers and possibly corn. Brussel sprouts and okra at my wife’s request. Cabbage and tomatillos. Blackberries and table grapes. Beans and onions, and quite possibly potatoes. Carrots to munch on while I tend to the rest of the garden. Carrots are at their best when eaten within minutes of pulling them out of the ground.

This is a new garden and although perfection is the goal, chaos is the most likely result. Some of the varieties I fell in love with from afar, like mail-order brides from flashy seed catalogs, simply won’t work. The hot Texas sun will be merciful for some and merciless for others.

We lost a few pecan trees in the drought last year, but if all goes well there will be apple trees. Apple trees, but few apples. You spend the first few years growing the tree, pruning the apples before they can take precious nutrients destined to become wood. The same goes for the grapevine. One bunch of grapes will be allowed to grow, but the vine itself must become established in the soil so that we can reap the bounty in subsequent years.

Window sills will soon be filled with re-purposed egg crates holding potting mix and seedlings, and doing the dishes will provide a front row seat to the miracle of life.

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Comment by Yvonne on January 5, 2012 at 11:19am

Jana - I think Will meant that the fruits of his January labours will be ready come August : )

Comment by Jana Franzen on January 5, 2012 at 11:14am

August? Seeds ordered in August? *blinks* But... but... I just got my seed catalog last week! And probably won't get seeds until March! Then again, with as wonky as the weather is, I may try planting some of the ones I saved from last year before then...

Comment by Yvonne on January 5, 2012 at 9:49am

I'm about to embark on the same - last year's first attempts were going well until the arrival of two doberman puppies with a perchant for fresh fruit & veggies.

Totally agree on the excitement over the seeds vs lack of results despite the best of care. We can encourage each other along the way, though the crops are likely to be very different due to our differing climates (tropical here).  My first huge task is to have the area fenced and secured from marauding dogs...after that if there is any budget left, will come the raised beds.  Slowly but surely!

Wishing you all the best with the project.

Comment by Caroline Malcolm on January 4, 2012 at 1:02pm

Hi Will. It sounds like this new garden will be worth the wait. Good luck and keep us posted!

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