The May Garden can feel overwhelming, but the rewards are great. My only goal this month has been to stay on top of the madness that is a 2000 + square foot garden. To accomplish this, I have needed to set aside large chunks of gardening time each week, on top of my usual 30 minutes per day. The first half of the month was devoted to planting, while now I’m weeding, mulching with straw, and harvesting.
In my zone 5b garden, I’m finally harvesting food enough to create entire side dishes from the garden and meals from our homestead. I’m harvesting kale, salad greens, spinach, Chinese cabbage, garlic scapes, snap peas, strawberries, radishes, herbs, cilantro, and beet greens. In the next week or two, I expect to add beets, broccoli, and green onions to the list.
For the past few years, I’ve been intently focused on expanding the garden. Whether it was adding new sheet mulched garden beds, or tilling up a new garden space, I wanted to grow, grow, grow! This year I realized that I was going to burn myself out if I added too much more gardening space. Honestly, even the space I have now is too much for me to maintain easily. It feels humbling, and good to know my limits, and even though I have the desire to grow more food, I don’t have the capacity.
I admire the homesteaders who seem to be able to “do it all,” but the reality is that I can’t. Homeschooling, working multiple jobs, maintaining community connections, and caring for all of the creatures of our homestead feels like a joyful, but enormous load. We’re thinking very carefully before taking on extra commitments: Do we really want to raise pigs this year? Do we really have time to properly care for bees? One of the core principles of the Mama Bliss coaching that I do with women is Simplicity. I’m finding myself yearning for simplicity at home, so other areas of my life – family travel, performing – can expand.
Alas, I’m digressing from gardening. Would you look at those broccoli!! In between, I planted Chinese cabbage, which, when harvested, will allow extra space for the broccoli to grow and flourish.
Flowers blooming, fruit trees growing, green everywhere. The May garden is full of the promise of the coming harvest season.
What’s growing in your May garden?
So much easier to share the link to my garden post than to write out all that is growing there. We are hitting a high of 111 this weekend. So i am mulching and watering like crazy tomorrow. http://kathrynpagano.com/2016/05/31/in-my-garden-64/
So much easier to share the link to my garden post than to write out all that is growing there. We are hitting a high of 111 this weekend. So i am mulching and watering like crazy tomorrow.
The garden is looking good this year, although we have had so much rain this spring, combined with the late frost, so a little behind. This is our second year, and last year was tough starting from scratch. Thankfully I used lots of mulch and cover crops over the fall and winter, so far the weeds are manageable.
So good to hear you share trying to find your balance. A good reminder for me. Take care Teri.
Teri Page says
Ah, those late frosts! They’ll get you every time! I’m glad your weeds are manageable. I haven’t been able to do any more than the bare minimum the past two days, and went in the garden and had quite a weedy surprise! Take care!
Oh your lush green growth in that sunshine is a delight for my Autumn in full swing garden. Down here we had our first hard frost, so my potted lemon grass plant has been moved under shelter…the curry leaf plant can last a little longer. In my patch is broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, fava or broad beans, rainbow chard and two types of snow peas. Garlic has shot and is just doing its thing and all the berries have lost their leaves, as has the grape vine. I’m grateful I can still be growing, but the wonderful look of your patch warms my heart! Enjoy your days gardening and breathe when you can!
Teri Page says
In a few months, I too will be longing for the green!! It gets so dry and brown here in the late summer and death and disease reign in the garden! Sounds like you will have a fine fall harvest!
sharon carson says
your garden looks immaculate . well said words on not biting off more than you can chew . May is an illusion… things here are all planted and mulched ….then hell breaks loose, heat rises, bugs come out ,weeds grow ,harvesting overwhelms and by fall I am grateful for the winter break…. but ready to go again each spring . I have an acre in gardens including the 60 fruit and nut trees and berry patches . not sure how big 2,000 ft is…. never good at the math….I keep trying to cut back… I am 68 but can’t seem to manage it . I do eat well and get lots of excercise…..
Teri Page says
Yes, that’s exactly the situation, Sharon! The bugs have not yet come out. That adds a whole new layer of complexity! I’m guessing we have about an acre as well, if you count the orchards. It’s a lot to maintain.