It's too easy to make hoe/ho jokes...

katiehere.jpg ... but I can't help myself when I have been gardening up a storm! I mentioned a while ago that we were going to make a large garden on a borrowed 1/2 acre site in town. We were going to grow dye plants and fiber plants, but the garden has not been cultivated for years, so we figured this first year it would be best to focus on making garden beds and growing something that required less input and was more a necessity, you know, food! Laura decided to focus on her beautiful garden at her house and another friend got sidetracked. Things got really overgrown when we took vacations simultaneously, but my friend Andri and I have been bustin' it every day in July heat to get things back under control. We have 3 main growing areas: a large potato/onion/cilantro bed where we planted 20 (!) pounds of potato sets, a big tomato bed that contains about 100 healthy mixed tomato varieties (already staked too!) and an area that is about 2500 square feet of mixed crops, well mulched and relatively tidy.

We have big goals though, and wanted some new space to plant some late corn, squash and fall crops. According to the traditional last frost date here in zone 6, we are pushing it a bit, but we are going to risk it. Thanks to our spouse's willingness to do manual labor after they get home from work, we now have this new big bed:

They tilled it and Andri and I hoed and raked the grass clumps out and planted a bunch of sweet corn and some healthy winter squash and pumpkin transplants. This bed measures about 30x60. It's big!  I think it will be a good bed for me to plant flax in next year.

I am loving these cardoon plants, and look forward to trying them for the first time. You eat the stalks and they taste like artichokes, my favorite!

You can just barely see the marigolds on the edge of the bed. You can dye with the dry blossoms.

The radish variety "Easter Egg" sure lives up to its name, pictured here with a couple carrots.

I am hoping to paint a watercolor "map" of the layout of the garden, but that's going to have to wait, because I have a feeling we are going to be tilling more, until there is nothing left but garden beds and paths!