Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Friday, July 24, 2015

Goodbye Garden

I thought the garden we planted two years ago, was the worst year, but I'm starting to feel it's this year's garden.  This photo was taken on July 17th.  Yesterday, I checked them, and they are still wet, and gone to rot.

Warning:  This is a reality post.  The reality that self-sufficient/homesteading life is not always "peaches and cream." 

We've lost everything now, but a few squash plants.  The remaining collards, and even my rhubarb are gone to bugs, possibly ants.  Not sure, and I'm not going to do a thorough check until fall.  Maybe not until spring.  

We attempted to dig potatoes last night, fighting the thick swarm of mosquitoes, and failed.  The ground smelled so bad, I gave up.  I don't think they'll be edible by the awful foul odor they gave anyway. Hubby gave up before me, marching in, saying the he's never seen so many mosquitoes. 

Although I had hopes, picked beetles and picked weeds where I could, it's time to throw off the garden gloves and walk away.  I feel like my garden mojo has been ripped out of me.

I'm sure I know what the pioneers felt like when they had nothing to put in the cellar for winter.  Sure we can go buy stuff, but you know there is no guarantee that organic is also non-gmo in the stores.  We live in crop country - nothing but corn and soy beans, and a bit of wheat fields here.  So....finding farm-stands with food to buy, is slim pickin's.

Also, organic/non-gmo is not cheap here.  This is also, not just a loss of food supply, but a financial loss.  With Hubby having been on strike for 4 months, and our last bit of money going into the garden, there isn't much for buying such expensive food.  This year was the largest garden we've planted yet.  It's a set back for us.

We are the not the norm (self-sufficient) for this type of living in our area, and with the goats gone, and now the garden, and another pet, I am slowly becoming that person that no one wants to be around.

It's been a "goodbye" year this year - goodbye Sadie, goodbye Mattie, goodbye goats, goodbye Alias, goodbye garden.

I don't need to be reminded that this time will pass, but it's the going through it, that stinks. 


Unknown said...

Is there any way you can re-plant any of it or just too wet still? Food wise sometimes we all have to eat what's available, like on my recent road trip. Juts by what you can, preserve it and save what $ you can. Could you get a part time job somewhere for a while to make up some $? Sometimes you have to think outside the box. I'm looking for a different job...

Susan said...

Kristina, you have had - hands down - the worst gardening season of anyone I know. I imagine it was pretty rough for pioneers when they had a total failure. It irks me no end that non-GMO food is even an issue and that good, healthy, natural food is more expensive than the tainted crap. I know you are resilient and resourceful, and that this will be a challenging year for you and your family, but one that you will leave behind for better growing seasons. I wish I was closer because I would give you a ginormous hug - not much, but it's all I can do. Sending one virtually - xo.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Nancy, there is no way to replant. It's either rotten and the soil a bit tainted, or still wet. Also this time of year is not good for fall planting, and we lost out the chance to replant peas. It's just one of those years. And then some.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Susan, you are right about the food costs. Today I realized, I can't save seeds from the organic/heirloom/ non-gmo vegetables. Nothing left to get them from. We will have to buy seeds, including organic potatoes, which are very expensive, next spring. Thanks for the hug. I needed it. Especially today. I have to check the flower beds 3-4 times a day now for beetles. One can eat down my flowers in less than a day.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina, if we lived close I would split every single thing I get from our garden with you. And I know many of your readers would do the exact same thing.

This was a double bad blow for you because I know you planted a bigger garden than you ever have and were really, really counting on it.

Liz said...

So sorry to read this Kristina! It has to be such a blow for you guys, I know that garden fed your family all winter long! Praying that somebody in your area somehow comes up with an over abundance of veggies that you could take off f their hands! Quite the summer for loses! HUGS!!!

Patricia @ CorninmyCoffee-pot said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your failed gardening. I wish there was something I could say to give you hope and encouragement. We plant very little and have harvested much more than expected... I can't complain. More than anything-- I'd like to plant a fall garden do t know if it's possible as this week ... I've noticed the return of the grasshopper! My garden Arch enemy!
Also-- we've had something munching on our zucchini. We only yielded One zucchini off six very large plants!
We've list two layers this summer too. We're down to three hens ...
Here is a suggestion for a fall /cooler temp garden . Maybe it will work in your climate... Hugelbeet! We've been successful with growing mounds ... As long as you have a method for covering with frost. Perhaps you could go that route for fall? Best wishes and yes! A big hug!

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Mama Pea, you are one awesome friend, and I do wish we all lived closer.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Liz, I'm hoping to find more veggies to freeze. I need everything. I only got 3 small bags of green beans, no peas whatsoever, and no bell peppers in the freezer this year. Not even hot peppers. I had hoped to can cowboy candy this year. I guess that will be next year or the year after now.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Thanks Patricia. We too have grasshoppers for the first time in years. Now the beetles are moving their way to my flower beds, so I watch for those every day now too. I think there is another Farmer's market coming up, so I hope to find some good organic vegetables.

RB said...

I am sorry this happened, not just for your family, but am thinking of those in these same areas whose entire living is farming who have lost all their crops now too.
Sending mighty prayers for all facing this.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..."
God has said, therefore, that there IS a time for every thing.
Maybe instead of harvest and storing, this then is a time for rest, a time for finding another type of project or work to bring in money to tide one over, and most of all, a time for hope and planning - the wonderful garden that, with God's love, is sure to grow next year.
In CHRIST'S name, I pray it is so.
God bless.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

RB, thanks. I have been getting wild in the herb garden this week. I am making a tincture and oil, and hopefully will be posting about it, in about 6 weeks from now.

Sandra said...

So sorry to hear about your garden!!
It has been a hard year for so many.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Thanks Sandra. You are right. I had to travel to find good green beans.