Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Vegetable Garden

It’s been some forty plus years since we left the confines of civilization in the big city to move into the wilderness of southern Minnesota as pioneer teachers and homesteaders. Under those circumstances, we quickly adopted the now trendy lifestyle known as "Frugal Living." This, of course, was in the days before Martha Stewart showed people how to do it.
We did manage to purchase our Little House On The Prairie next to the Big Woods and intent on establishing the means to support a family, I began clearing a plot of gooseberries, prickly ash, and crabgrass. All this was done with a hand axe and spade. The ultimate goal was a large vegetable garden. I had to learn the business from scratch, never having gardened before. Ultimately, a seasonal rotation was successfully developed, as I learned how to turn the soil with my trusty spade, plant, weed and harvest. Then I added a compost bin and also took up flower gardening.










Thirty years later, when in hopes of a more "senior friendly" abode, we built a new home, in the woods next door, I carried on with the gardening.


By this time, without the need for a large vegetable garden and tired of the constant weeding needed to make it work, I was ready to give it up and just stick to the flowers. Besides the shady woods, where we now lived, wasn’t really conducive to growing vegetables. Mrs T explained the problem to our neighbors and they came to the "rescue" by volunteering a portion of their adjacent cornfield for our use. I shouldered on.......
This year entering my seventieth decade I decided the time had come to retire from the tomato and carrot business once and for all. It seemed to me that the nearby farmers markets would serve what need we had for fresh fruits and vegetables and the fact that the Amish ladies had fresh pies for sale didn’t hurt either. I announced my final retirement. It was then that she (Mrs T.) claimed she would do the vegetable gardening herself. This, even after I pointed the back breaking labor involved with tilling and endless weeding requirements. Finally, I said I would serve only in a consultative capacity.... no physical labor to be provided on my part. I was worried she couldn’t handle it the strain.
So it was to my great surprise last week, when I heard some noise beyond the backyard and left my difficult computer chores to go and see what was going on. Here is how my ever resourceful wife, approached the backbreaking, getting the soil prepared for planting, part of vegetable gardening.... with the help of our kindly corn farming neighbors.....













Preparing the soil and fertilizing all in one operation....
She also asked me about something for weed removal called Roundup. Or her more likely plan is to replace all the carpet in the house, due to my GSD (German Shedding Dog. Then use it to carpet the rows in the garden so the weeds can't come up. Yup, I think she’s going to make a go of it......

18 comments:

  1. Now, if you had only thought of that a few years ago... :)

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  2. I look forward to hearing what she brings out of that garden. It looks pretty industrial to me! Very interesting approach to all that backbreaking work...

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  3. I have thought of the labor involved but never could be without my little plots.I had my first commercial garden at 9, selling everything for a nickel door to door.I enjoy the end product so well , it makes up for the backbreaking work.The selection and flavor of the produce also makes a big difference, along with lack of chemicals used to keep me healthy.Something tells me you will be out there Ray.

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  4. Love this story of the evolution of "Troutbirder the Farmer" Note I said "farmer" not "gardner" ;-)
    Even nicer is the pic of Mrs. T. with the great big dog-baby, LOL!

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  5. I'm anxious now to read the follow-up! I enjoyed this post and the photos very much. Best wishes to her!

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  6. I just can't imagine myself without a garden...although I can see it getting smaller as time goes by :)

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  7. Glad your wife is carrying on the tradition! Why don't you get some containers and grow a few tomato plants in there? Easy breezy.

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  8. I sure hope she has help from Mr. T as that is one mighty big veggie plot!

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  9. That's some garden!!! Is she planning on feeding a couple of thousand of your closest friends and family?

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  10. Looks like she has got it goin' on! Keep us posted on her progress. I have a feeling she will do a pretty good job :)

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  11. I guess you've just shown why we men need a good woman to tell and show us how to do thins right.

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  12. LOL... yep, I have to applaud Mrs. T for her tenacity! I am sure you will so enjoy your own fresh veggies! Hope all is well in your world my friend. :c)

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  13. Wow, that's a big plot! Afraid I love the garden products and dislike the work - so I now visit the Farmer's Markets.

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  14. Somehow your posts always manage to educate and entertain at the same time. It was a pleasure to read this post and I luved the photos, especially the first two. I was going to say, the old ones, but thought better of it. ha-ha

    donna

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  15. It looks like Mrs Troutbirder is a very smart lady..you should have let her vegetable garden years ago:)

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  16. Good for Mrs. T!!! She sounds industrious and creative. So, now you can do your hard computer work and she can enjoy the fresh air--nice exchange. And with all that plowed land I see a Farm Stand in your future. ;-) BTW, what is she going to plant?

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  17. Thanks, great post. I really interested with your topic

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