The local “slow food” movement spreading throughout the country has inspired us to ever increase the size of our vegetable garden and our orchard trees.
The taste of fresh fruits and veggies, eaten raw or cooked just hours after harvest, is a real treat. Each year we (mostly Marion who is the certified Green Thumb) plant about 10 varieties of tomatoes, 3 or 4 different peppers, a couple of different cucumbers, peas, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lots of varieties of lettuce, squash, three or four varieties of potatoes (Tom’s job), corn, onions, leeks, garlic, etc. Add to that two varieties of strawberries, about a dozen blueberries, a half dozen currants, hardy kiwi fruit, gooseberries, and a huckleberry, plus lots of raspberries and you can see we can feed ourselves from our garden.
Marion loves to plant flowers intertwined with all the vegetables and has more gladiolas, peonies, dahlias, nasturtiums, etc. than you can count. We have over 120 lavender plants just for the sheer beauty and fragrance the blooms add to the landscape.
To top it off, we have a couple of cherry trees, a peach, two pears, three plums, three figs, two apples, and two chestnuts
We also raise laying hens. We normally have between about 15 birds who produce about 10 wonderful eggs per day. They are pastured in an area where we have about 25 olive trees. They eat grass, worms, much of the produce from the garden that doesn’t look nice enough for the table, and some commercial feed. We never knew how good eggs could taste before Carleen, Henrietta, Ruby, Babbs, Buffy and the other girls started producing for us. We do not have a rooster and we remain friends with most of our neighbors.
Western Oregon is a wonderful place to garden as most fruits and vegetables can be grown here quite successfully. We love to share our harvest with friends and neighbors, and we freeze much of our bounty for hearty soups, stews, and sauces throughout the winter.
If you enjoy gardening, you might enjoy Marion’s new blog, Notes From the Garden Shed at http://myseedsandweeds.com