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Starting a Garden (Our Journey Into Homesteading)

Hello friends!! It has been a while since I have posted anything to this blog, but I have missed it so much. I've got a few ideas in the pipeline for new blog posts to get this train moving again and I am so excited to share them with you!

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For this blog post, I wanted to write about how during the COVID pandemic, Aaron and I were even more motivated to fulfill our dream of having a garden. In the beginning of the pandemic, we were most concerned about produce at the grocery stores and them being picked over by other people who might have the virus. We really enjoy the feeling of being self-sufficient and having a garden is something we have wanted to tackle for a few years now. A pandemic seemed like the perfect time to start!

First we made a color coded graph chart to lay out where each crop would go in terms of height. We wanted the tallest crops to go in the back of the garden, and the shortest crops to go towards the front. What we have learned in the few months since we started is that we should have put our pickling cucumbers behind our corn since they are climbing so high!

We also planted butternut squash and pumpkin pie pumpkins, which I am very excited for. We learned that pumpkins are monsters and take up a HUGE part of our garden, so next time we will plant them in a different location so that they can just spread like crazy.

Our seeds all came from Johnny's Seeds in Maine and we have been really happy with the seeds so far. Here is a list of the kinds of veggies we got from there (I'm just going to list the generic name, but let me know if you want specifics):

- Corn

- Popping Corn

- Pickling Cucumbers

- Bush Beans

- Cherry Tomatoes

- Bell Peppers

- Hot Peppers

- Spinach

- Beets

- Kale

- Lettuce

- Carrots

- Cabbage

- Sugar Snap Peas

- Butternut Squash

- Pumpkin Pie Pumpkins

- Parsley

- Dill

- Basil

First, we had to clear a large section of our yard and till the soil to get it mixed up. We also got some free chicken manure to use and bring more nutrients to the soil. After mixing our soil with the manure, we flattened the space while taking out any large rocks and debris.

It took a while to get the garden set up and ready to simply plant the seeds, then the seeding took a while to do as well. But it is definitely rewarding to see the fruits of your labor pay off!

The first few weeks we were not seeing much coming up, but once our crops started coming in, it felt like everything came in. The bush beans and corn were the first plants to come up, quickly followed by the pumpkins, but then everything made its way.