A few years ago my husband and I moved back to where he grew up to be closer to his family. That first summer, my father in law decided we should plant a family garden – a tradition that has continued each year since then.
What’s somewhat comical is the size of the garden. I’m frequently telling my kids, “everything is relative”. The size of our garden definitely falls into that phrase. The first summer we had over 5 acres of sweet corn and an enormous garden. Each morning we would go out and pick a row or two of corn by hand. We had corn in the freezer, we gave it to the local food pantry, our kids sold it at the side of the road, our friends had sweet corn; that was a lot of corn. To add to that we had onions, potatoes, green and yellow beans, pea pods, zucchini, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, watermelon, kohlrabi, cucumbers, beets, hot peppers, carrots, and a few vegetables I’m probably forgetting.
The following summer my father in law decided 5 acres of corn was probably a bit much. We had a ‘smaller’ garden that year. Remember, everything is relative. We still had potatoes, onions, green and yellow beans, pea pods, zucchini, pumpkins, various kinds of squash, watermelon, cucumbers, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, hot peppers, tomatoes, and others I’m probably forgetting. Oh – and don’t forget the sweet corn. Down to less than an acre that summer. That summer was rough for gardening; it would rain for days and then be hot and humid for a day (but SUPER muddy), then rain again. The bugs were horrendous, you had to harvest without shoes on (because of the mud – you’d sink 3-4 inches), and the veggies grew so fast they’d mold and rot on the plants before we could pick them. No pictures of this garden – with all the mud and such it wasn’t that pretty.
We arrive at the next summer, and a smaller garden. I was told it was smaller, I still wonder about that. There was definitely less corn, and frustratingly enough what was there was devoured by raccoons and deer. We still got beans, pea pods, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, onions, eggplant, cucumbers, kohlrabi, beets, hot peppers, and a few I’m probably forgetting. We had a dry spell that summer (like our brown grass?) but still harvested a bunch of yummy fresh vegetables.
This summer the garden is definitely smaller. We still have all of our usual veggies (and a few I probably forget about). The kids are looking forward to all the baking we do with zucchini. We also look forward to the veggies on the grill, the sweet corn, and the veggies that go in our freezer to enjoy all winter long. I’m excited that the garden should be a bit smaller and more manageable this year.
Of course, everything is relative.