Journey to Heal the Land–One Year In

Salad bowl–about 2 weeks of growth

Before we get to the topic of this post, I just wanted to show this to you.  This is the little salad bowl that I planted just over 2 weeks ago.  We have green onions, radishes and a mix of red and green leaf lettuce.  All of this growing on the front porch, so that we can just grab a dinner salad on the way in from working!


2nd salad bowl, planted yesterday, so we’ll have a continuous harvest

And here is a second salad bowl planted yesterday.  If you plant every 2 to 3 weeks, you can keep your family in salad fixin’s all season.  As we finish harvesting from the first bowl, we’ll move on to the second one and replant the first one again.

Kitchen handy herb garden–1 year’s growth

This is the herb garden we planted in May of last year.  It is directly off of the front porch so that they are readily available from the kitchen.  We have nice sized stands of Greek, Italian and hot and spicy oregano, French tarragon, French thyme and common Rosemary (in the pot–Rosemary is not hardy in our growing zone).  I have planted pots of both sweet basil and cilantro on the front porch and we will be planting sweet basil and purple opal basil throughout the veggie gardens to use and help deter pests from the garden.  Interesting information:  did you know that basil will help to keep mosquitos away?!  This promises to be a very ‘buggy’ year in our area since we did not have a hard freeze to kill off part of the population.  We will be keeping lots of basil around the porch to ward them off!


Can you tell where our property line is??!  (We are completely surrounded by commercial farm fields of corn and soybeans.)  It looks like a jungle of weeds, but this is actually a good thing.  How can that be?  We moved here one year ago in March and all of the land past the grassy area was planted in commercial corn the season before and who knows how many years before that.  Last summer most of what you can see here would not even support weeds!  We allowed what weeds would grow to have their space and we allowed the chickens to roam and til and forage.   We planted a very small garden for just us–using the most fertile ground in and around the weeds.

Northwest corner

Just past the chicken coop to that far corner was almost bare up until late August after we burned some wood and created a little ash garden.  It still isn’t as fertile as the rest of the area, but it’s coming along!


This was the most fertile spot, where we grew our little garden last year.  These are the beds for the CSA and market gardens this year.

One of the planted beds: peas, broccoli, beets, onions, chard

Future bounty!  Plenty of fertility already–the plants are a little small, but that is due to the odd weather we’ve had (way too much heat for this early in the season–the cold weather crops are confused!) and not the soil!


We started a small perennial bed in the front of the house last year–one of the first things we did.  The soil up around the house is amazing, but there was nothing there!  In only one year’s time, 2 little onethera plants have taken over the east end of the bed.

dianthus, coreopsis, stachys

And this is what the west end of the bed looks like now!

Let’s go!

Xena was feeling left out!  She hasn’t shown up in a post recently, so here she is thinking we’re going on a road trip!

This morning’s post was inspired by a post from Cecilia over at A Kitchen’s Garden.  She and her husband are reclaiming a family farm.  Celi writes and incredibly engaging blog–take the time to read through her posts.  You’ll be hooked!




4 thoughts on “Journey to Heal the Land–One Year In

  1. The garden salad bowl is such a good idea! I’m going to put that on our list of things to try next year. Every time I try rosemary (or any other herb for that matter) I end up killing it….I’m crap with any plant that isn’t a potato or a bean. Love your dianthus!


    • Thanks, Natalie! Just FYI–the key to herbs is making sure that the soil is prepared and don’t overwater–most herbs like to be a little drier! I really don’t do much else with them.

  2. Your land looks like ours. If can find a bag of daikon radish seeds, or yellow blossom clover, throw some out into your recovering field. The radishes especially are magic for breaking through the pan of hard earth that is down there, and the yellow blossom is a fantastic nitrogen fixer. Thank you so much for mentioning my wee pages, we do have fun don’t we, reclaiming the land. i also plant pots of lettuce, it is such a good idea. have a great day. I must pop over more often.. c

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