In the beginning:
I have never understood lawns and I never will. I’m ok with this. I gather from the millions of beautified manicured expanses surrounding houses across the country that there are many people who could never understand my stance as well. That’s fine. They can keep their pesticides and riding mowers (which apparently you can get a DUI on), we will use the space to grow food, thank you very much.
We got married on the property in the fall, before we started the war on the sea of grass that encompassed the house when we move in.
We got impatient- big surprise. So we did what we could do to prepare. We may actually have done a bit too much.
As we turned the soil an amazing thing happened- we found a rock! Then another and another and WTF! The ground here appears to grow the mother fuckers. Some of them are big too! Like someone buried a VW bug in your yard. The front of the property was no better.
It made for slow going, but by the end of the summer we had started four different locations all around the yard. Since it was our first year we wanted to see how the sun tracked when the forest filled in etc… We were pleasantly surprised.
The front garden did really well till the chickens realized that vines are DELICIOUS! The poor little pumpkins, squash and cucumbers kept trying to run away, but the chickens were faster. Next year, we’ll put up a fence we hope will give the chickens a big chunk of the yard that DOES NOT include my garden.
We got a few surprises the first year, like the wild strawberries that grow on the back hill.
Also I discovered I have a ‘thing’ for moss. I may need to seek professional help in the coming years. Until then though, I often collect it from all around and arrange it in ways that please me. Because I can.
We grew a lot of morning glories, before we realized that are poisonous, so I spent most of the fall picking as many seed pods as I could so the chickens would not get a hold go them and trip their little feathers off.
The giant sunflowers on the other hand are actually edible- in fact, I think every thing in our yard got some but us.
The surrounding woods gave us a few more surprises, like Lady Slippers and an amazing variety of mushrooms.