Hello! I’m Curtis. Sometime year or so ago, my sister sent me an email inquiring about doing a joint blog together. Something the both of us would put work into, but with her hiking the Florida Trail it didn’t really pan out. So when she sent me an email about a month ago checking interest about doing a collaborative blog about gardening, I was stoked.
I grew up going to my grandmothers house almost every other Sunday to have lunch with the family. Her backyard was great. The back 2/3’s of it was a vegetable garden while the other was full of roses and other flowers always in bloom. Her husband died before I was born, and she was always able to keep up with doing the hard labor of working the garden. Her kitchen was full of things she canned, from potatoes with onions to fruit preserves, and pickles to tomatoes.
I hear stories of my parents having a garden at one of the early places I lived and the bounty of potatoes they had one year. When they moved to where they are now, I remember dad tilling up a portion of the back yard for a new garden, but with the clay soil and two kids on his hands, it didn’t last long.
Growing up I really didn’t think much about it, but I was always around it. Every summer my mom and grandmother (we call her Nan) with us kids in tow would venture of to Weatherford to the farmers market. They would buy peaches grown in the town along with green beans and other things.
Let’s not forget Granddad, my dads dad. He was a gardener too. I don’t recall much of his garden as we didn’t go over there as often. His backyard was very large, and usually had a pig and mule grazing around.
It wasn’t until my wife, Stephanie, and I moved into our first house that I got the bug to grow stuff. We all have this vision of beautiful, lush flower beds and ample vegetables to grow. It wasn’t like that at first, and frankly, it’s a goal that I’ve yet to fully accomplish.
In the beginning of my adventures, I started small. Turned some dirt and threw some stuff in the ground. Something to pass the time with in the evening and have an accomplished feeling. I didn’t know anything about anything. I’ve come along way since 2008. I started using raised beds due to the hard clay, plus it’s easier to manage. After that first year, I took over a third of the backyard and devoted it entirely to the garden. I put in a green house in 2009 and last year added a rainwater collection system last year.I still consider myself a novice gardener, making mistakes left and right.
My favorite things to grow are onions and potatoes. Not because they require the least amount of work, but because the can provide for many months without having to do anything special to preserve them.
During the summer, 90% of the produce is from the garden. Stephanie turns the zucchini into cookies and muffins, while I whip up some salsa using ingredients only from the backyard and can it up for the fall and winter months.
I look forward to sharing my shenanigans with you and exploring more specific topics this summer. When I’m not here, you can check out my other hangout, Backyard Ramblings. I blog about gardening of course, but I also capture my kids escapades, and other daily adventures of life.