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Recent Entries to this Blog The Day, Frustrations, and Little Discoveries
Posted: 10 Jun 2012
"We're growing Libbys."
Posted: 02 Jun 2012
Let the planting begin
Posted: 22 May 2012
Where have I been? I've been in Busyland.
Posted: 30 Dec 2011
Starting to lose my garden
Posted: 07 Sep 2011

All Entries
 


Miss Liberty's Blog

Trial, error, and a few asides in my attempt to become a veggie gardener.


The Day, Frustrations, and Little Discoveries

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:21 am

This is only my second year of gardening. Before last year the only thing I grew with some semi success was a bean sprout in first grade. So my greenthumb is still very pale compared to many of you very experienced gardeners. And while I learned a LOT last year, I still have a long ways to go.

I spent most of this morning in the garden. I had some extra space to fill and some weeding to do. My best friend, Mally, and I hit the nursery early this morning and I picked up some green beans and two more tomato plants. I'll admit it, I'm not a real big fan of green beans. Now that I'm an adult I just plain don't eat them. But my hubby likes them.

While I overlooked my garden after four hours of weeding, planting, and watering, I felt some diametrically opposed emotions. My pickling cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, pumpkins, and slicing cucumbers are coming up great. The tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and eggplants I planted seem to be doing just fine. But where's my acorn squash? Why aren't my parsnips doing anything? Shouldn't my beets be up by now? And of five rows of okra I planted only one is growing. Where's the rest? Aaarrrgghh!!

Patience, Libby, patience.

I finished everything I had to do early on, before it got too hot. After taking a shower (it was very hot today), making a run to the grocery store, and having dinner with Luke and Mally, I came home in the late evening and decided to go survey my garden before it got too dark. What did I discover? Four neat little rows of beet tops that definitely weren't there this morning.

Patience, Libby, patience.

Yes, I want everything I planted to poke through in a week. I know that's not always going to happen. I also know that sometimes failures occur. The conditions may just not be right for something to grow.

And I know that sometimes patience actually pays off.

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"We're growing Libbys."

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:08 pm

I know many of you have had your gardens in for a very long time. I'm envious when I look at the pictures of your harvests that are coming in already. I didn't get my garden officially started until today. Part of it is the cool nights that happen all the way through May. The other part is waiting for school to finish for the summer.

And now I've planted. I planted a few things a couple of weeks ago just to get my hands dirty, but today was the big day.

The hubby and I hit all the local nurseries and bought everything I needed. Yes, I said "I." The husband does the digging, but he leaves the rest of the gardening up to me. It was a very productive morning and afternoon. Here's what I got planted...

Tomatoes: Celebrity, cherry, and Early Girl
Peppers: Sweet, jalapeno, hot chili, mole, and ancho
Herbs: Dill, basil, and oregano
Cucumbers: Slicing and pickling
Eggplant: White and black
Zucchini
Summer squash
Acorn squash
Okra
Kale
Parsnips
Pumpkins
Beets

I still have a 10'x10' area that remains to be planted. I'll put in some sweet corn and radishes. My best friend, "Mally" Mallory, came over and helped with everything. We did her garden last weekend. Last year was her first year of gardening, as it was mine. This year we've both become more ambitious. Hopefully not to much so.

I do have to admit, the husband did help a little today. A thunderstorm started brewing on the horizon, so I asked him to plant the pumpkins while I finished the beets and Mally did the picklers. With his help we'd be able to finish before the storm. When he went to label the stakes, he wrote in "Pun'kin,' not because he's illiterate, but because that's his pet name for me... and we planted sugar pie pumpkins. He said, "We're growing Libbys." My husband is such a sweetie.

Now the rain is falling, giving everything a good soaking. Once it passes I'm going to take a shower, probably leaving a mud puddle in the tub (gardening is pleasantly dirty work), and make that Sweetie of mine take me out to a well deserved dinner.

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Let the planting begin

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:48 am

Hello all my GS friends. I haven't written since Christmas when my garden was under a blanket of snow. I sorry I haven't been involved through the winter and early springtime seasons. My first year of teaching high school English was far more busy than I ever expected it to be. A bit of recap... I became the sole adviser for the Speech and Drama team. We had ten weekend meets plus state (three of my students went -- two more than last year), we did an Autumn and Spring drama production. My husband and I chaperoned three dances. Four students started a writing club and needed an faculty sponsor --> me. It grew to over fifteen students. Plus my husband had his more than full time job. So whatever time we had left was spent with each other.

Oh, and we celebrated our first anniversary.

But all that aside, it's planting season again and I'm extremely excited. My wonderful hubby spent the last month getting compost and manure mixed into the garden, plus he found it in his heart to dig up another 150 square feet of garden. He has to do the digging. I simply don't have the body weight to get the shovel into the hard Wyoming soil.

I've been anxiously waiting to get my planting done once more. And tonight {{{{ trumpet fanfare }}}} I planted. I only got kale, parsnips, and cucumbers put in, but it's a start.

Thanks to all of you who gave me a ton of useful advice last year. I look forward to calling upon your expertise again this year.

LET THE PLANTING BEGIN!!!

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Where have I been? I've been in Busyland.

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:46 am

Hello all my GS friends. I know it's been a very long time since I've been around, and I sincerely apologize for that. But this was my first semester of teaching and it was far crazier than I ever expected. It was busy enough just being a regular English teacher, but I also got pulled in to be the new faculty sponsor for the drama club. That meant working late each night as I helped my students prepare for various weekend speech and drama meets, plus planning, producing, and praying about the fall school play. The kids did a marvelous job with "To Kill a Mockingbird." My husband and I hosted the after-party when it was all over. On top of all that, my husband and I chaperoned two school dances. Thankfully they don't have a problem with a husband and wife dancing together... because we did :)

Christmas was wonderful. It has me all excited about next summer's garden. I'd mentioned, last summer, that it would be nice to eventually be able to start canning what I grow. So for Christmas my wonderful and thoughtful husband gave me everything I need to start. I'm anxious to start doing that. I'll spend the rest of the winter reading up on technique and recipes.

I'm excited to be gardening again. Right now my garden is under snow. I think winters make it easy to forget how much weeding had to be done at the start. That's okay. I still want to start growing again. My husband, who doesn't want to "get involved" in the garden is already discussing how we can best expand it for the next summer. That's a two-edged sword. More garden space = more produce = more weeding.

Anyhow, I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and I wish you all a happy New Year to each of you and your families.

Libby

This blog entry has been viewed 116 times


Starting to lose my garden

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:39 am

The cooler weather has hit Wyoming. We've had some recent nights that have dropped into the 40's and most days the past week haven't moved out of the 70's. As a result, I can tell that my first year of gardening is almost done.

My pumpkins vines are starting to fade and die off, while the pumpkins themselves are turning a beautiful orange. I'm only picking yellow summer squash and zucchini every three or four days, and even then they're not big. I still have plenty of green tomatoes left to ripen. My butternut squash is getting a nice, thick yellow rind to them. And my cucumbers have been done for two weeks.

I had some great successes... my freezer is stocked with zucchini, summer squash, and a growing stack of okra. And I haven't done anything yet with my pumpkin and butternut squash yet. I got a lot of tomatoes growing and I'm still getting sweet and fragrant green peppers. But I also had some failures. Namely my corn. I have five ten foot rows of corn. All of it grew much taller than me. Yet I only got maybe a half a dozen ears from all of it.

How do I feel? My emotions are really mixed. Despite an episode involving spider guts, this garden has been an absolutely wonderful part of my life this summer. It gave me something to focus on while I waited for the school year to start. I made a new best friend over shared weeding. I got so excited about watching new things grow and discovering what would happen. And most of all, I loved eating what I grew with my own hands... me, Liberty, the girl who failed bean growing in first grade.

At the same time, it was a LOT of work. Not that I mind work. But there was a lot of it. So while I'm watching my plants start to fade away with the cooler weather, I feel like I can relax a little bit. But at the same time, it's like saying good bye to a part of my life that I put so much time and effort into.

But next year... next year my husband is going to allow me to double the size of this year's garden. So watch out neighbors. If you thought I gave away a lot of zucchini this year, wait until you see Liberty's Victory Garden next year.

I do want to thank everyone here for the wonderful and patient advice that you've given me. Most of all, thanks for the encouragement. It meant a lot to me.

Last edited: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:04 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 160 times


Blessings of the Bounty

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:43 am

What a week!! I sure remember being a student. And student teaching was interesting. But being THE teacher is something different entirely. I've been blessed to get a job teaching what I love (English) in a charter school that stresses the arts and literacy, plus there's a heavy parental involvement (stories about the parents could be a blog onto themselves, so we'll leave it at that). This is my first year (my first full week) and I can see that there are going to be frustrations and rewards.

Now that both my husband and I are working full time, time in the garden is limited to some evening work. So today we spent the day out working in the yard getting everything caught up that I would normally have taken care of during the week.

Today we picked a LOT of veggies. The picture is only a small portion. We invited Mally and Luke over for dinner. And while the husbands grilled themselves some MANLY (it has to be said in a deep voice like they do) MANLY meat, Mally and I made a cold salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, corn, and jalapenos. All the ingredients were picked fresh today from either my or Mally's garden.

Neither of us has a big garden, but the bounty we picked today, and the blessings of friends and sharing a meal with the fresh and truly delicious veggies more than makes up for anything.

Next year, my husband and I have already figured out how to almost double the size of the garden. It will mean double the work, but I'm up for it.

This was my first year of gardening, and I learned a LOT from everyone here. And I thank you all. But what I learned most is that sharing the fun and the results is the best thing of all.




Just a sample ( photo / image / picture from Miss Liberty's Garden )





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Updated Garden Photos

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:48 am

So while I was gone for three weeks, my garden blossomed. Here's some pictures.




It's not big, but it's mine ( photo / image / picture from Miss Liberty's Garden )

It's not a big garden, but it seems to be a perfect size for my first one. I'm very proud of it.





Celebrity tomatoes ( photo / image / picture from Miss Liberty's Garden )

The tomato plant is thick with big tomatoes.




Pumpkin ( photo / image / picture from Miss Liberty's Garden )

My pumpkin. I love pumpkins! I can't wait for this one to turn orange.




My pumpkin patch ( photo / image / picture from Miss Liberty's Garden )

My pumpkin patch.




Butternut Squash ( photo / image / picture from Miss Liberty's Garden )

I have butternut squash like this one all over the place!



This blog entry has been viewed 1402 times


Terrible times and the blessings of friends

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:49 am

Hello my GS friends. It's been sometime since I've been around. Unfortunately, in the time I've been gone we lost Kiri, my precious little sister-in-law, after a short but courageous battle with leukemia. My husband and I spent a week waiting and praying and then the rest of the time helping the family after. This all happened up in Montana, so I've been out of state during most of that time. It's really hit my husband hard, but our faith is carrying us through. Coming back to our house and our garden, with the life that is in it, has really helped.

Honestly, I haven't had much of a chance to think about my garden. Our friends, Mally and Luke, have been a true Godsend during this time. Mally not only took care of her garden, but she spent three weeks tending mine, as well. Luke took care of the yard. Both the garden and the yard look wonderful.

Mally was such a Sweetheart. I opened our freezer downstairs and between my zucchini and hers, there were over 40 1-quart bags, shredded, laid flat, and labeled. That's a LOT of shredding. I think every neighbor between our house and Mally's has been given some summer squash and/or zucchini that didn't get shredded.

My butternut squash is all over the place in the garden and looking beautiful. There was a big bowl of okra waiting (she and her husband already helped themselves to a bunch, so it didn't go bad), my corn is twice as tall as me (which isn't that difficult). I have a tomato plant that is just loaded with giant tomatoes, all still green. The pumpkin is just overflowing the back corner of the yard (where there is no grass to begin with). My peppers are all a deep, rich green.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to life as normal. Although that's about to change this week as school starts. Then I'll be teaching the joys of literature and writing to my students.

This blog entry has been viewed 1426 times


Gardening x2 for the Week

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:24 pm

So my new friend, Mallory, and her husband have been a blessing as friends. Mally and I have been sharing the work between our two gardens. She and her husband only live a mile away, so we don't even need to get into the car to visit. It's a nice walk.

But this week, my gardening work has doubled. Mally and her husband have left for a week to visit family. So it's up to me to keep both gardens growing. This may prove to be very interesting. We both over-planted zucchini and both gardens are getting ready to get crazy on producing, probably this week. Now I not only had to figure out what to do with mine but with hers, as well.

Leave it to the hubby, who'll wash spider guts off my leg but won't help with the weeding, to come up with a simple answer. Mallory is a baker, much more so than I could ever be. We have the giant freezer in our basement with all sorts of room. Simply shred the zucchini from both gardens, and bag it all. Label one bag with "Libby" and every other bag with "Mally." Stick them all in our freezer (we'll have room). She'll have all the zucchini she needs come winter time.

I don't want to make this a "grass is greener on the other side" blog entry, but I've noticed a few interesting things about our gardens. We live only a mile apart and pretty much have the same soil, have done the same watering, feed and weeded just as much, and yet...

- Mally's tomatoes are almost as tall as I am, mine don't even reach my waist (but are producing nonetheless).
- Mally's cucumbers are spreading out all over the place and have gone into salads. Mine have done nothing.
- My pumpkins are all over the place. Mally's look like my cucumbers
- Mally's peppers look wonderful. I'm still wondering where my peppers are
- My corn is fantastic. Mally doesn't think her corn is going to produce at all.

I don't see these differences as problems or items of frustration or pride. Instead they just go to show the unpredictability of the gardening world. It's only my first year of gardening and I can already see that.

Now, I'm off to go weed and water my second garden today (and if she has any ripe tomatoes... I may just have to "borrow" them).

This blog entry has been viewed 872 times


Calm before the squash storm

Category: Liberty's "Victory" Garden | Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:41 pm

I didn't realize it had been so long since I last wrote a blog entry. I've been doing lesson plans for the year, working at my summer job, and just living life.

Liberty's Victory Garden is proving to be victorious (insert an excited squeal here). I would love to post a picture, but neither my husband nor I can find the camera. The corn is taller than me (which isn't saying much since I'm just on the north side of 5'), the pumpkins are starting to take over the back bed, and everything is green.

But I think all of this is the calm before the squash storm. In the past four or five days, I've picked a zucchini here or a summer squash there. Hubby has taken them and grilled them up (so wonderful!!) or I've put them in salads. But I look at the garden and my zucchini and squash plants and... OH MAMA!! There are so many growing on them that it's going to be a flood when they're ready.

Thankfully, one of our wedding presents (from hubby's brother) was a big chest freezer. My mother-in-law told me to shred the squash, put it in ziplock bags, and stack them nice and flat in the freezer. Then I'll have it for all autumn and winter. I'm anxious to start baking some bread.

So for now, while the growing is calm and seemingly harmless, I'm going to start preparing for the onslaught of squash that is surely coming my way.


This blog entry has been viewed 842 times




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Miss Liberty
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