I'm starting this blog as a gardening journal for me to organize my thoughts, track my progress and try to get motivated to complete all of the projects that are floating around in my head. I've also learned a great deal from reading other people's gardening blogs, and am hoping that I have some success with my garden that other people might learn from.
In about a week, my husband and I will move into our first house. We were lucky to find the house of our dreams that is loaded with gardening potential. It has a 2-story solarium that provides some passive/solar heating to the house, a large green-house, and an acre of rough land that needs to be developed.
Over the past 6 or so years as I've completed school, my husband and I have been chomping at the bit to get to this point in our lives. We both believe strongly in leading a sustainable and low-impact life-style to the greatest extent possible. Growing and storing our own food from the garden will be a big piece of that. We also plan to raise chickens for meat and eggs, and raise bees to start with.
On the horizon for our first projects, include some experiments with indoor gardening as fall and winter are approaching. I've ordered a variety of cold-hardy vegetable seeds that we plan to start in the solarium and then move to the beds in the greenhouse. We are dreaming of harvesting things like arugula and radishes while it's snowing outside. We don't yet know if this is just wishful thinking or if it is a definite possibility in the greenhouse. At this point, we do not plan to heat the greenhouse, but may incorporate some type of heating in the future. In the solarium, we will also be growing some indoor trees: meyer lemon, kumquat, kaffir lime and possibly mango. I expect that the short Montana days will have a significant effect on the flowering and fruiting of these trees, but we've got to at least try.
On the outdoor front, we plan to get started preparing the soil for the raised bed and row garden that we are already planning for next spring and summer. This involves removing an invasive weed, digging up some grass, removing rocks, and amending the soil. We've talked about trying to grow a short cover crop as green manure, but we might not have enough time to do that before the cold weather hits us up here.
Below are some pictures of the house that we'll be moving into soon!