The Evins Mill garden, while it is not one of the larger suppliers to our kitchen operations here at the Mill, is one that is near and dear to me since I get to be present for every step from seed to the plate. There is a certain care and attentiveness that goes into preparing food that you grow. It also gives you a glimpse into what other farmers have to go through in getting that produce to the consumer. For me, knowing more about the life of the food and gaining a healthy respect for the process makes for a better finished product. That may be a little deep for a food blog, but there is plenty of time to ponder such things out there playing in the dirt.
The Evins Mill garden has been steadily growing more and more veggies since 2007, except when a drought decides to happen or the animals decide they needed the food more than I did. Heirloom tomatoes and salad greens are still the bulk of what I plant. This year is no exception with 100 tomato plants and almost 500 square feet of salad greens going out...we will have to see what comes back in! The asparagus bed had to be moved this winter; it was getting a little crowded. We will not get to harvest any of it this year as it needs to reestablish itself, but sacrificing this year will make for a nice crop next year and plenty of room for it to expand.
Coming soon to the plates will be what looks like our best crop ever of snow peas. I am very excited for these since we have been trying several years to get it right and I think we may have finally succeeded. Green onion and lettuce are coming in nicely now as well. Coming up in the warmer months will be several kinds of beans (including Dragon Lady!), potatoes, okra, cucumbers, melons, peppers, basil, and depending on the perfect weather, apples, pears, berries, walnuts, muscadines, and concord grapes. Oh, and the 100 tomato plants; I almost forgot.
I could not write about the garden this year without mentioning our newly hired hands. Sylvia (7) and Wade(5) are old enough to help with weed pulling and knowing the difference between weed and plant; it is moderately important to know the difference! Sylvia has learned to chase that dollar since that is what it takes to buy Madam Alexander dolls (mom and dad are not buying them!). She did painstakingly plant everyone of the snow pea seeds so I must give credit where credit is due when we serve them this weekend. I am very proud of her and of our garden. We hope to see you soon, and be sure to ask what is fresh out of the garden.