BIU Backyard Gardener: Leighanne Bailey


My blog is just like most things in my life. Late. As was my garden. Most things in my garden bloomed late and at first I thought we were doing something wrong. As most folks around here, our soil quality wasn’t great. Can we even call it soil? Lol. I have minimal gardening experience from Michigan. Things are much differnt there. This is my first time planting in clay based soil. It was frustrating to walk in, as it built up under my boots, but even more frustrating to try to dig and plant in. We did it though. We got everything into the ground and I felt super accomplished. When we started seeing plants thriving and getting big, I was like a kid in the candy store!

We harvested cuks until our backs hurt! We also had an abundance (for us) of radishes and tomatoes. Many of our crops did very well. Carrots weren’t our forté. And spinach didn’t even come up! I was sad. We all 3 love spinach. This was my first time growing many of these plants. And I even grew stuff I didn’t even know what it was before BIU! Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage we veggies I’d never even heard of before. I was told by people, cilantro is hard to grow. Not for us! Arugula did well, and is now giving me volunteer plants. I have several volunteer cabbage and collards as well.

My tomatoes are giving me a second round, as I didn’t pull them. And I’m super excited to announce that my eggplants that never did anything all year, are now thriving!! Lol. This is so funny to me bcuz, many times I wanted to pull them. And I decided, they’re not in my way and they’re not exactly dead either, we’ll leave them and see. I’m very surprised to see them survive the entire summer and now in the fall, be flourishing! This gardening experience has been amazing for my family. It brought my husband anf I together for a project we could both work on. My daughter loved helping mama in the dirt. We have aour fall crop in now and its doing okay. I have a few neighborbood theives. We have a fence, but rabbits hop over or dig under. They’re destroying everything! I need a sling shot. I can throw him in with some garden fresh cabbage and a rock and call him dinner. I really hope to be able to join the program again next spring so I can give it a go again. I know some of the areas I need to improve on. My paperwork. Lol. I’m more of a hands on, in the garden typa gal. But recording growth and harvested crops is a very important part of gardening I’ve learned this year. I want to learn more and continue to grown my knowledge for growing my own produce. My goal is to one day be self sufficient. I want to provide my family with fresh, healthy food for everyday eating and cann as well. The Green Acres song comes to mind when I think about how I’d like our future to be. Thank you to all involved in making this program available. I hope I can continue into next year, for without BIU my garden would not exist.

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