We have made many changes and a lot of progress in the past five years. While I was up taking some new pictures of the garden I thought to look back at some images from when we first started clearing the back area of our property, and the first summer that we had a vegetable garden.
When we first started clearing the patch of land where our large vegetable garden and bees are this year (and someday, goats!) it was a tiny clearing in an encroaching forest. We thought of it as a secret spot, under the overhanging branches of the quickly advancing trees.
By last year, we had cleared most of the area and were in the process of turning it into lawn. The forest was still overrun, and we hadn’t yet framed our property with the stone walls, both of which we completed in the fall of last year.
Now, of course, the whole area is cleared and lined with a farmer’s stone wall. Further, the forest to the left of the cleared area has been groomed and prepared for future animal inhabitants. The garden itself has been tilled up and there are now two top bar beehives. We’ve talked about putting a barn up here, and we are certain it will at the very least be home to a couple of goats by next summer.
Our lower garden space is in front of a studio and storage building, and we first tilled that up and planted it four years ago. When we started the lower garden bed it was our only vegetable bed and I had never grown my own food before (feasting on what my parents grew does not really count).
As I got more experienced, we started expanding the little garden and have been trying more new things and techniques as each year passes. And most noticeably we landscaped the garden area with another stone wall and a little area for sitting and enjoying the view. The pond in front of the garden is not yet complete, but it will be this year. For this year, our lower bed turns into something more focused on herbs and a few specific vegetables, another new adventure in self sufficiency.
This is a lot of hard work and planning paying off. For this year our plans are even bigger, and I look forward to comparing them as time goes on.