Jul 11, 2012

Out in the Garden

This time of year is a busy one for us here on the Farm, and one of the things that takes quite a bit of our outside time, is the vegetable garden.  It's not a big garden by the standards around here, but for us, it's big.

We planted seven, 30' long rows, of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, yellow squash, and corn. We've been here in Tennessee for more than eight years, and every year we rethink the garden.  It doesn't make sense to grow more than we can use, but getting that right is tricky too.  Just how much time do I want to spend putting up produce? 

These are tomatoes, honest, even though there's not a speck of red to be seen.  I have come to fully understand the Southerner's love affair with Fried Green Tomatoes.  Waiting is very tough, but that first BLT of the Summer with a home grown Beefy Boy Tomato makes it worthwhile.  I also grow Amish Paste and Roma tomatoes especially for freezing to use in Marinara sauce, and Early Girl, Yellow Pear, and Marglobe. 

This year we're trying a new irrigation system my husband worked out, which is kind of a cross between a rain barrel and drip irrigation.  PVC pipe runs from the barrel along the base of the plants, and there are small holes drilled at each plant that drips water into the soil.  When it rains, the barrels catch water for us to use, or we can fill them with the hose.

These are the bush beans, a stringless variety I'm trying this year.  I like the convenience of not having to string them, but the flavor isn't as good as the old fashioned varieties like Rattlesnake and Case Knife.

Here's the corn, and so far it's looking good.  We've had a hard time with corn, and I was ready to give up, but decided to give it one more try.  I'm not counting anything yet, but we have tiny little ears forming, and if the critters cooperate, we might have corn to eat.  

I hope you all can have some home grown tomatoes this Summer.  Keep cool, from the Dog and me.


  1. Your garden looks wonderful. We used to have a rather large garden plot...at least 1/3 of an acre. I DON'T MISS IT!!! I was to often buried under a mountain of vegetables to can and freeze.
    Even though we have a short growing season here in southeast Idaho, I spent most of Aug. and Sept. in a hot hot kitchen making it hotter and steamy! Ha. We now grow 6 tomato plants...including Sweet 100's, and little orange tomatos of the same size. An Italian tomato, (not Roma this year) and two nice sized slicing tomatos. AND we're already getting little orange and sweet 100's and we picked our first Italian tomato a couple of days ago....!!!!!
    I make spaghetti sauce and freeze that.. last year was a banner year..at least 20 qrts of sauce cooked up and frozen. Alas we just finished the last of it (a lot went to my two sons/families. Keeping my fingers crossed we have another banner year. Good luck with all your efforts. (FYI..I tried sending some green tomatos to my friend in N.C. but by the time they get there, they were ripe. She was hoping to make fried green tomatoes!!)

    1. Hi Marda,
      I love your green tomato story! And I certainly agree about spending summer in the hot kitchen! I used to can things, but I've switched to freezing, which cuts down a lot on the cooking. Glad to hear you're enjoying your tomatoes already!

  2. Your garden looks glorious. Looks like you're going to have a bumper crop this year. I'm sure you'll be glad you grew so much once winter rolls around and you can enjoy your frozen harvest.

  3. Hi Jan,

    I am so impressed with your garden and the irrigation system. I think you've found the magical solution to a magnificent garden. I plan to show this blog to my husband....I think he will find it quite interesting.