I got the bright idea a couple years ago to turn our front yard into food production. We never seemed to have time to mow the grass anyway. We live on 7 acres in a rural area in the high desert. Our property is primarily sagebrush and tumbleweeds except for the front and back lawn. Who am I kidding, the sagebrush, tumbleweed, and thistle have taken over the back lawn. But I digress…
Besides making the front yard productive, I was tired of making the 150 yard trek to the garden! Last time we had a garden in the designated garden area, Desert Daughter and I encountered a badger. It was about 100 yards from us advancing fast. Up until that moment, it never occurred to me I should add a shotgun to my list of garden tools. I sent Desert Daughter to the house to get Desert Husband. In the meantime, the badger paused, probably contemplating his next move. It decided to continue toward me. I was a little freaked out and mesmerized at the same time of what this wild creature was going to do. It finally decided it was done trying to intimidate me and made a 90 degree turn and headed off toward the neighbor’s property. Desert Husband didn’t make it outside in time to see or shoot the badger.
Food production in the front yard began with Desert Husband building raised garden beds out of 1″ x 8″ x 8′ long boards. We used non treated wood and attached 1/2″ x 1/2″ wire to the bottom to deter the gophers living on the property. We lined the garden beds with weed blocking fabric before pouring in the garden soil. I started with four beds which I quickly over planted that first year. All those tomato plants looked lonely so I planted them closer than recommended so I could fit in a couple more plants.
That first year I planted a lot of tomatoes in two of the beds. There were so many tomatoes it was an adventure getting in between the vines to pick the ripe ones. I planted zucchini and yellow squash in another bed. Apparently, I cannot grow zucchini. Squash bugs had a tasty feast before the zucchini could get established. In the last bed, I planted sweet peas. I was able to get just enough for a snack once in a while.
The tomatoes did relatively well while they were getting watered by the automatic sprinklers. I never came close to my goal to have enough tomatoes to can for the winter. We were able to have tomatoes available as needed instead of making a trip to the grocery store. Saving a little money by staying out of the grocery store is always a win.
© 2016 by Marge Fox