Making the Cottage Garden

Well, occultation worked again! (Thank you, Bare Mtn Farm!) What was once a purslane-and-thistle infested patch of ground is now the beginning of our new cottage garden. Once upon a time, this more than 2,000 square-foot parcel was a productive family garden, a patchwork of corn and beans, carrots and lettuce, spinach and cucumbers. Then the deer came. And they ate everything to the ground. Everything. Even the hot peppers. Then the soil crusted, the weeds took over, and the garden became a wasteland. To save it, we considered installing guard towers manned by machine gunners to keep the deer away—with warning shots only—but we figured that might make the neighbors skittish, so we went to Plan B: In the summer of 2017 we covered the ground with tarps to kill the weeds; and this spring we'll surround it with a deer fence, pull the tarps, lay out the beds, sow the seeds, and bring life back to this corner of our beloved acre. Here we'll plant vegetables for our home as well as flowers for the market, and the world will be set right once more. (And, yes, we'll even leave a few flowers outside for the deer to munch.)