How good is your memory? Above is how our back yard looked just over two months ago. All grass and flowers. No garden, no herbs. A lot has changed since then.
All the grass was dug up and then we were able to plant the garden which took a couple of weeks.
Things started sprouting and growing. It has been interesting to see what varieties of seed are flourishing and doing well, while others never germinated at all.
Of all things my eggplant didn’t germinate! Two different varieties never came up but we had some serious rains and flooding that went through our yard and garden that did do some damage and potentially buried the sprouting seeds. Our two varieties of peppers never came up either so I ended up replanting both the eggplant and peppers.
None of them have come up from the replanting and with it raining everyday (sometimes hard enough to have more rivers running through the garden) it’s possible they got washed out again. I’m thinking about starting some inside and transplanting them.
The garden has progressed from just the tiniest sprouts to huge plants in just over two months. Here are photos of how the garden has progressed.
The garden was coming along great but our organizational annual family conference was scheduled for the middle of October so we were gone from our place for one week. Boy did the garden change and grow while we were gone, including the weeds!
The zucchini growing, flowering and now producing is especially exciting! Why? Because no other expat who has lived here, that we know of, has ever been able to grow them successfully (despite many attempts apparently) and I am the first to cultivate them!!! There is some worm that likes to bore into them so they will need sprayed but the squash are still usable and are something to celebrate as a victory among the gardening challenges here. I’ve been able to share a few with some other expat friends here who enjoy them. They make a special gift when they are something that is so rare.
Right before we left for family conference I got some herbs planted in the back corner of the garden and also along the flower beds right behind the kitchen. The corner of the garden with the herbs has been overrun with weeds and needs to be rescued from our time gone but all the herbs planted in the flower beds are doing well. There are some spots in the flower beds where the herbs have been washed out by the rain or buried when it flooded. Hopefully what is left will continue to grow.
Another addition to the homestead at the end of our week that we were gone was our new puppy! She is a 9 week old Rottweiler puppy from Kampala, Uganda. We named her Susie after my aunt. Our kitten, Sadie, was not very happy with the new addition to the homestead but has over the last week and a half settled down some and gotten used to the new normal. It’s still not her ideal but she’s going to have to live with it.
So things are coming along and our life is piece by piece coming together. We have already been eating from our garden and have really enjoyed harvesting our own food. It is so convenient to just walk out into the garden and select what I would like to cook up for our meal. The rest stays alive and fresh until it’s time to eat more, which saves on our limited fridge and freezer space. It’s just amazing to put some seeds in the ground and then after watching it grow, pick your produce and feed it to your family.
The garden is growing at an amazing rate, but there are some challenges already including the huge amounts of rain and flooding, tropical weeds and especially the insects! They have done some damage eating some collards, Kholrabi, beans and surprisingly the okra too. Despite the damage that the insects have done to multiple plants they are all still growing and doing well; some are already fully producing!
The melons and squash were eaten more when they were younger and I was spraying them more. I will need to get out and spray some more with a homemade spray again but it has been raining so much lately it would just be washed away.
The large amounts of rain and moisture have also been troublesome to some of the plants mainly the golden hubbard and a few of the melons. Everything is still alive and hanging on but the hubbard squash in particular isn’t happy. Hopefully it will start raining less soon and all of the plants can recover some. We should be heading into dry season soon which will make some of them happier but that also means having to water the garden. You win some, you loose some.
Other projects are coming along as well, especially the chicken house, and I will do an exclusive look and update on that soon.