Victory Garden Build

Homestead Hygge-lism

We have seeds started and plants growing but nowhere to put them.  This weekend was the time to remedy this.  After talking to our awesome landlord, we had the all clear to dig away.  We did a rough layout of how we wanted to plant our vegetables and decided on a small garden, roughly 3 ½’ x 7’ (1 x 2 meters).  

This was a perfect opportunity for a little homesteading practice, and a great time for some warm weather hygge moments.  Typically hygge is thought of as a warm drink with a comfortable blanket watching the cold wind blow outside.  Hygge is not just reserved for the colder months though.  A nice sunny, warm day with the whole family working together building a garden bed that will eventually produce vegetables that we will all enjoy and we all had a hand in growing is just such a moment.

Unfortunately, prior to our move we left most of our landscaping tools behind.  We did not expect to have a need for them on a rental property.  A quick bike ride with a backpack solved that dilemma, but for the rest of what we needed we were determined to re-purpose what we already had on hand.

My wife found a bed frame last fall that was being given away, we are transforming it into a bench, which I will be posting about, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.  Anyway, between the leftover wood from that and some worn out lumber from around what will one day be a water feature, yet another upcoming post, we were able to piece together a border for the entire garden bed.  It’s not the prettiest, but it is pretty awesome.

Charlie Approved.

While I got started clearing the grass layer off of our garden area, my wife and kids worked on saving as much of the top soil from the clumps of grass as they could.  We worked together through the morning, stopped for lunch and finished up in the early afternoon.  Proud of our accomplishment and all with a sense of ownership in what we were doing, left my wife and I optimistic about the proposition of running a homestead one day with our boys.

The next morning, after further garden layout planning, we determined that perhaps an extension to what we did the day before would be better than a separate garden bed for the additional plants that we planned.  After the practice from the day before, we accomplished this extension with no problem and in no time, utilizing some more of our reclaimed wood.

Raking, sifting, watering, this garden bed is ready and waiting for plants and seeds the next morning.

We determined the plant companions and the most efficient way to utilize the amount of sun and the shade that the plants would cast.  We pre-placed the plants in their pots next to the garden and started digging holes.  Everyone had their chance to plant a few veggies.

All told we were able to get strawberries, lettuce, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, peas, beans and cucumbers planted, watered and mulched.  All we will still need to add is lattice for the cucumbers and beans to climb as they grow.  

We had a few extra beans, spinach and a strawberry started without any room for them.  On the property is a neat little spiral garden feature that was used to grow herbs it seems, there are a couple rosemary plants still growing on the top section of it.  We planted our extra plants in the spiral.  The rosemary was conveniently used to aid in pest control of our new garden bed as well.  By cutting a handful of 8-9” stalks and peeling off the bottom couple inches of needles before sticking them into the ground you can regenerate complete rosemary bushes.

The Victory Garden is done, a little regular care and attention and we will be feasting off of its production in no time.  The whole family is all in on it, and excited to reap the rewards.  A wonderful, sustainable, hygge, Spring, weekend, family activity. 

Wish us luck! I will let you know how it turns out.

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Victory Garden Time

Spring has sprung and it is time to get those seeds in the ground.  Not unlike the tough times of the World Wars, victory garden seems the appropriate title for this year’s Spring planting.

This year’s victory gardens will serve the same purpose that they were originally coined to do, supplement our food supply and boost our morale.  With no reasonable end in sight to the social isolation and quarantines, food supplies have dropped and finding the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs will become harder and harder to come by.  Nothing is fresher than something just plucked from your backyard garden.  On top of having the freshest and healthiest food possible, a victory garden will supply you with something productive to do during your many long days at home.

Caring for a plant from seed until it fruits also carries a sense of accomplishment and gratefulness, something that we are in dire need of at the moment.   

We are currently in a leased home, and have not requested permission to dig and till up half the lawn.  Instead we may pursue some raised garden beds.  Regardless, now is the time to get those seedlings planted and going.  We personally have started a couple small trays of lettuce, spinach, beans and peas, that are just now starting to sprout from seeds.   

We also potted some young tomato and strawberry plants that have a jump start on the season.  I look forward to watching these plants grow and produce food.  I look forward to eating what they produce even more!

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