Gardening in the Rocky Mountains

Spring has come to the Rocky Mountains, and it’s time to prepare the garden with tilling, planting and sowing. Everything is green and the soil is still moist with a rich dark color from the melting winter-snow.

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Horned Owl Watching from the Aspen Tree Outside our Kitchen
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Spring in the Bridger Mountains
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Early Spring in My Backyard
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Bumble Bee Enjoying the Spring Blossoms

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Aspen Grove in the Front Yard
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Planting Kale

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Kale Seeds
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Checking out the Progress

This herd of deer lives in our neighborhood during both winter and summer – and they have no fear of humans. The only reason they are on the “outside of the fence” is because nothing has come up in the garden “inside the fence” yet. I know that deer look very cute, but after cleaning out 25 percent of my garden in one night, their behavior is anything but cute. So – I will be building a new, taller fence next summer.

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Final Touches on Planting

Adding compost, tilling, raking and planting is hard work, but there is a great satisfaction in watching a prepared garden with rows and rows of black, moist spring soil waiting for the warm sun to bring life to the seeds.

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Squash Seedlings

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Arugula is one of the earliest crops.
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The Beets are looking good.
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Fresh Beets
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Tomato and Pepper Plants

I planted the tomatoes and the peppers against the south-east facing wall to give the plants a few more hours of warmth after the sun went down. Since I did not yet have a green house,  I figured the wall would absorb heat from the sun and radiate some of that heat into the night.

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Baby Tomatoes in Early June
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First Tomato
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Aroma Tomatoes
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Slicing Cucumbers
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Fresh and Colorful from the Garden
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Carrot Tops
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Early Summer Carrots from the Garden
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Crispy Red Spring Radishes
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The Potato Patch Looks Good

I planted about 90 seed potatoes in this bed with six different varieties. Each plant would yield around 3 pounds of fresh potatoes, giving me over 250 pounds total. Even with some loss to slugs, I was pretty happy.

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Potatoes Flowering
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New Potatoes
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The Vegetable Garden in all it’s Glory
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Sweet Peas
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Swiss Chard is my Favorite Greens
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Bush Beans
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Yellow Bush Beans

Bush beans is such a forgiving plant. After I thought the growing season was over and I stopped watering them for over a week, they still kept producing an amazing amount on the remaining shriveling plant. Next year I’ll do better.

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Onion Greens
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Onions ready to be picked

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Onions drying.

It was very rewarding to see my first onion harvest ever decorating the wood shed as they dried in the sun. The goal is to let the outer skin dry hard to protect the onions so they store well into the fall and winter.

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The Squash is planted in mounds with small ditches to pool the water
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Summer Squash
Zucchini on the Vine
Zucchini on the Vine

Zucchini never fails. If you water them enough, you always end up giving away a good portion of the crop. It is a wonderful thing to be able grow enough food to give away to your friends and neighbors. That is how I believe we should use the land in our care, and a time may come again when we depend on it to supplement our food.

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Winter Squash
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Buttercup Squash on the Vine

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Properly stored winter squash can last well into the winter, and they become sweeter and sweeter as time pass by.

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Herb baskets on the kitchen porch
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Parsley
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Rosemary and Chive
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The kitchen porch
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Oregano

I planted the culinary herbs in wooded boxes hanging on the porch outside the kitchen. That way it is easy to grab a pinch if you needed some for cooking.

My oldest son Benjamin is a great cook, and he loves grilling. My goal is to eventually build a wood fired pizza oven as an addition to our outdoor kitchen.

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Ben grilling
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Sweet Kathleen
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Christopher
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The children enjoying a meal on the back deck.
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Fire pit under the Aspen trees

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Drying firewood from last summer
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Our Woodshed

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Chrissy with apples

 

 

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