Welcome to The Bridge: My first garden journal

Hello Hive Garden community!

I hope you've all have a wonderful start to your year πŸ™ This is my first post here, and my first garden journal update as I embark on my first proper go at homesteading. I only arrived in the Hive community recently - you can check out my introduction here - and while I've been going gently at the garden for the last year, I haven't been blogging so I'm going to give you a quick recap to bring you up to date. Having not been expecting to blog, I was terrible at taking pictures but the following are the best of what I have and they give you the idea.

I arrived back at the family ranch, aka The Bridge, about a year ago with dreams of permaculture and self-sufficiency. Last year was gloriously slow - I needed a year off to rest and recoup, to figure out which direction I needed to be going in and start shaping the many ideas that have been whirring away inside my brain. Other than doing a bit of self-employed gardening here and there to earn some pennies - my main focus last year was to restore the beds in my mothers rather overgrown and under-loved veg patch and grow as much food as possible. Which I did, with (mostly) great success!

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The veg patch.

We were inundated with courgettes and chard; we ate pan loads of beautiful fresh broad, french and runner beans; we've been eating kale until the cows come home and the sweet little winter squash I grew were exquisite (and we still have one left!).

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There is nothing like freshly picked broad beans - delectable with melted butter, soya sauce and cracked pepper.

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The only things that really didn't do so well were the carrots and the beetroot.....oh, and the cabbages. They got decimated by pigeons pretty much over night as I didn't have enough netting to cover the broccoli, kale and the cabbages. Unfortunately they drew the short straw and we all learned a hard and fast lesson. The few root veg plants that grew with vigour met a similar fate. The fruits of my labour were, more often than not, snaffled up by some sneaky burrowing rodents that were creating a network of tunnels right underneath my patch. I clearly have a lot to learn about pest management!

While I am working towards doing all things permaculture and no-dig where possible, the patch was so full of hard perennial weeds when I got at it, such as nettles, brambles and couch grass, that some initial digging has been inevitable. Fortunately, living back at The Bridge with my mum, brother and sister-in-law means that I am often able to wrangle some of the gang to help out.

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@basilmarples , @notears , another friend and myself hard at it

Once the beds were dug and redefined a bit, I ordered a tonne and a half of organic compost from a local supplier to mulch them with. I had collected a bit of cardboard over the previous couple of months, so one of my beds got a cardboard mulch underneath the compost in the hope that it would help slow the couch grass and bindweed getting though.

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Then I got planting!

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From left to right: Runner beans, green peas, broad beans, globe artichoke, perpetual spinach, leaf beet, rainbow chard

I transplanted some autumn fruiting raspberry canes from my Aunts garden. Only four survived, boohoo. But I did get a handful of raspberries last year. Hoping they will do better this year now they're established.

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And then the summer kicked in and the garden became a vibrant wilderness. We had beans and greens coming out of our ears.

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Once the summer rush was over and the squash had been harvested I mulched the beds with well rotted horse manure from our neighbour.

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A couple of the smaller beds even got a cardboard mulch first and some green manure sown on top!

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As you can see its a pretty wild space, which is how I like it. However, the fence is old and falling apart and while I'm restoring that I figured I should probably give the whole garden an overhaul....and make it a smidge bigger. The beds will be re landscaped, the edges will be mulched with wood chip and then hopefully the whole garden will be more manageable and more productive! It's a work in progress.

The main thing is that I have super enjoyed growing veg and feeding the family. It feels like the right thing to be doing and I LOVE being down there. Not to mention the deliciousness of fresh organic veg that you've grown yourself. Nothing compares.

Thanks for reading! I'll be updating you on the big garden redesign in hopefully not too long, so stay tuned ✌️



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hell yeah, its been great eating fresh greens from the garden this year!
Not often Im snapped doing hard labour..... although at this rate it might become a habit.
BRING ON THE NEXT HARVEST x x

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Really good garden post!
It looks like you're going to have a good garden this coming summer because a lot of the hard work has already been done.

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Thankyou!! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. It's going to be lush! and there will be so much more space to grow. Its all very exciting 🀩

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Hi, welcome to the community. You have a nice garden, I am looking to the next gardening blogs that you are going to share with us. Greetings from the Philippines!

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Thanks @afterglow! I've already been thoroughly enjoying your garden posts. It's so lovely to connect with other gardening and veg enthusiasts from around the world and see the differences (and similarities!) of growing in different biomes. Looking forward to more updates from your garden project 😊 Really appreciate the support! With love from the UK πŸ˜πŸ™πŸŒ±

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You're welcome. And same here, I am also enjoying the connections and interactions that I do with other gardening enthusiasts including you. It is great to learn new knowledge just by connecting with others in the community, it is so much very enjoyable. A virtual hugs from the Philippines!

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You are very good in real life, let's see how you behave on our game though! AHAHA, thanks for the follow

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(Edited)

Thanks!! Challenge accepted! πŸ™ƒ

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AHAHA, top! You can also win a boost by participating in the contests we do every week!

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Sweet! Love me a good contest! I'll try and get myself set up this week 😁 looking forward to it. Thanks for the follow aswell. Big love ❣️

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Not at all ;) See you this week then! We definitely want to see your post for this upcoming contest!

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That's a lovely garden! You know, from all the things I saw while in the UK, gardening culture has got to be the coolest; the way you guys teach kids about cultivating and so on. I'm gonna check your content more often to learn all those gardening terms I don't know in English \o\

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We don't teach young folks about cultivation enough! Its certainly not in our state curriculum as it should be everywhere in the world. But there are more and more grass roots initiatives to educate people about food and health.! We have lost all our cultural understanding of food and agriculture. It is vital going into future for the long term sustainability of our planet that we help people to reconnect with the land. This is my mission! Haha. Anyway, sorry about the rant πŸ˜‚ I commend you for all the great work youre doing on your ranch and hope that you get plenty of younguns coming to enjoy your bike trails! Such a great way to engage young people with the outdoors!

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sorry about the rant

We should rant more often \o
it's nerve-racking to see such fundamental knowledges fade amongst younger generations

We don't teach young folks about cultivation enough!

That's because you haven't seen brazilian kids. Are you guys allowed to homeschool? We can't. Maybe my impression about the british kids learning gardening stayed in my mind because I spent more time with families that homeshool and encourage such practices.

Another thing I loved in the UK, that we also don't have in Brazil, were the rental gardens (I guess this is how it's called). So, I'm here in the ranch thinking: would it be possible to implement it here, so people from the city can come and cultivate their own little garden.

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Great! Haha, I love a good rant πŸ™ƒ fair enough, you're right I don't know what is like in Brasil. We do have quote a few alternatives to our state education so I guess there is more opportunity for kids to learn about horticulture. To be fair there are more and more schools that are setting up outdoor classrooms and growing spaces which is amazing. So things are getting much better here.

We call the rented gardens 'allotments'. They are absolutely invaluable for many people living in cities that don't have access to land. It would be an amazing initiative to set up where you are in Brasil. I know there are some urban community farm projects popping up around Brasil. I heard a guy talking about his project I think it was in Brasilia. Was interesting listening to him talk about the challenges of engagement because it was such a new concept to the people there. But it sounded like they were being very successful. It is a great time to be apart of the great paradigm shift in how we think about rebuilding our communities and culture - back to growing our own food and honouring the land. If you can facilitate others to have access to land as well then this is an amazing thing to do! πŸ™β£οΈ

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To be fair there are more and more schools that are setting up outdoor classrooms and growing spaces which is amazing.

That's amazing. I wish our education ministery would liberate the curriculum so schools can implemente such initiatives here; our public education, and even private, at a certain degree, is way too inflexible.

Gonna check the brazilian projects. It's indeed a great idea. People could pay yearly to have a small lot in our ranch, and if they don't show up to they lose the lot to someone who wants to work.

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That is a beautiful wild bit of garden you have there. No doubt looking to get a great crop this year. With everyone pitching in like that you'll have all your growing areas sorted in now time❣️

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