Welcome to the Mayernik Garden Blog Series! We hope to update you twice monthly (maybe more in the summer) about what's going on in the Maryernik Garden.
All great endeavors need to start from a simple idea, a workable plan. For the Mayernik Kitchen, our simple idea was to grow a few items in our garden – basic herbs and ingredients that we use often and could cut back on purchasing. When Shannon and I began gardening a few years ago, we never imagined how successful we would be. Years later, we found ourselves in our current position: a bigger garden, producing more, hosting fresh, garden dinners, and sharing our products with the public – all more than we ever imagined. Though we initially hadn’t intended on this becoming more than a fun past-time, our garden has become our way-of-life, and it all started with one simple idea.
To begin a project the size of our current garden, we need to invest a ton of time and planning. Each winter, Shannon and I first debate over what to grow, and then we can begin our action plan. Last year we grew anything from common household herbs like basil and oregano, to more intricate ingredients like eggplant and squash, and to even some fixings less likely to be found in a home garden like bok choy and horseradish. Though we grew nearly thirty items in last year’s garden, we recognize that our success existed in large part to our organization.
Once we decide what we’d like to grow, I diagram and outline the garden. We need to itemize what we’ll grow, plan where we’d like it to be in the garden, prepare for seasonal changes in weather, and determine what items nicely coexist with others to avoid losing our crops. We use raised beds for most of our items which helps with both crop organization and growth. In order to dodge a mini Mayernik Dust Bowl, we also rotate the crops each year to avoid inadvertently depleting our soil. This, however, is not completely necessary, since we do fertilize with manure each year, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Since this winter started out so warmly, Shannon and I were inspired to begin our garden planning already. We are in the early stages, so far, but are eager to see what we can repeat (and change) from last year’s masterpiece. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the upcoming plans.
All these images were taking on January 15, 2016. I wanted to show you a sneak peek of what we have going on, even though it's mid January. The compost bins are looking good, greenhouse is done for the year and our mushroom logs are keeping warm.