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OUR GARDENS

Click Here to see examples
of permaculture principles
applied in our gardens.

Click Here to learn of our
season extending 'solar pod'.

Click Here to learn of our
results with vegetable and
flower planting in partial
shade.

We have planted extensive vegetable and flower gardens since purchasing the house and property in 1986. We began by immediately planting a large bed of asparagus, followed soon by a small orchard of apple, peach, pear, plum, and apricot trees. Over the years we have experimented with persimmon, almond, nectarine, Asian pear, pecan, and cherry trees, with varied levels of success, discovering that Midwest conditions do not support growing every possible fruit or vegetable. However, we now can consistently grow nearly all the garlic we need for the year as well as much of the tomatoes, onions, carrots, spinach, squash, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raspberries, currants, and peaches we eat and serve.  We do not use any chemicals on our plants, and instead utilize Permaculture principles, companion planting, and occasionally natural pest control methods. Of course, there are some bugs that are most effectively removed by hand, so we do some of that too. Our yard is interspersed throughout with flower beds, mostly containing perennial flowers.

Our garden and flower beds have steadily grown to encompass approximately one-third of our three-acre yard. Ever since we began integrating permaculture principles into our gardening and lifestyle, all locations on the property have become fair game for raising food. See our permaculture examples page for some photos and discussion of how we apply these principles.

Red Chard at Sunrise

Okra In Bloom

In the mid 90's we built a 4'x8' mini greenhouse that we refer to as the 'solar pod'. This structure has been very useful for extending the growing season. Click here to learn how we use it to grow spinach in February and peppers in November.

The solar pod in early February covered with snow,
but with a healthy crop of early spinach inside.

 

Thank you for taking us in so spontaneously and graciously! What a creative & thoughtful B&B – we loved all the big and little touches. The breakfast was absolutely decadent – with same day notice – we’re simply astounded!
Alisa & Angela
P.S. Love the gardens! How do you do it all?

We try to utilize as a resource, whatever our yard produces. For example, we use our grass clippings as garden mulch.  We place manure from our chickens into compost piles that are later used for fertilizer in the garden and flower beds. We also compost all the weeds from our garden, although lately we have skipped one step in the composting process by placing the weeds in the paths between our raised garden beds, then covering the paths with mulch. Over time, the dead weeds rot, then the next spring the composted weeds are shoveled on top of the raised beds as fertilizer.
 

Grass clippings ready for transport to garden beds. To the left of this strawberry patch is a walkway in which uprooted weeds will be placed for enriching the soil. Spirea is blooming in the background.

 

Here our honey bees are taking pollen from a wild rose growing by the driveway. We normally keep a beehive in the vicinity of our yard to ensure pollination. This hops vine is growing onto our deck, gracing this old lantern with its flowers. We discovered that hops grow vigorously in our climate. Hops are one of a few unusual plants we have experimented with. 

 

Sunrise through a peach tree Garlic braids Rosemary and Basil in the Herb Garden

Click on pictures to enlarge

We certainly have enjoyed our evening in your pleasant and peaceful home! And such good food! Our granddaughters truly enjoyed your yellow pear tomatoes! Thank your for your hospitality.
Everett, Sherron, Jessica, Abby – Litchfield, MN

I liked the room and the pear tomatoes and dogs.
Abby – age 8