“Household economy
Makes family and land
An independent state.
Never buy at a store
What you can grow or find
At home – this is the rule
Of liberty, also
Of neighborhood”

– Wendell Berry, from The Farm

We decided to start a garden shortly after we moved in to our house, and it has slowly taken over pretty much all of our yard. Abdou keeps planting new things and telling me afterwards, when it is already a fait accompli. He is very excited about taking some veggies home, so it is understandable, but I did ask him where it would all end. He reassured me in rather vague terms. I told him, as a joke but also half seriously “We just need to make sure that we leave room to walk across the yard.” He laughed. “We have so much space,” he told me, with a wave of the arm. Since then peanuts and onions have been added to the garden. It continues to grow.

I really don’t mind at all, except now if you want to walk across the yard there are only a few narrow footpaths at your disposal. Pretty much everything else has been cultivated. But it is starting to pay off. We had our first harvest of carrots yesterday and they were delicious. They were perfect, quintessential even. Crisp, crunchy and exactly the kind of orange that you expect from a carrot. But I might be a little biased. They were a bit on the small side, so I think they need to stay in the ground longer, but overall, very encouraging.

Here are some before/after pictures so you can see the progress we have made:

Cabbage - before.

Lettuce - before.


Cabbage - after. Wildly successful, but they still need to close. Not sure when that will happen.

Lettuce - after. Less successful, but that is because we had to replant it. Apparently we got the wrong kind of lettuce the first time, the kind you grow for seeds, not for eating.

Tools. You can also see the peanuts in the top of the picture.



The fruits of our labor. Well mostly Abdou's labor.


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7 Responses to Garden

  1. Karen Lakin says:

    I’m in love with your garden.

  2. tamirann says:

    That’s wonderful I’m proud of all three of you .

  3. Danny Kopp says:

    I can’t get over how red the soil is. It’s like you’re on Mars! Very cool veggies though.

  4. Kristina says:

    I’m so jealous of your garden! It’s hard to grow lettuce here in camp because the soil is super iron-rich but you’ve inspired me to try again. Looks great!

  5. Rebekah says:

    SO envious of your tropical growing conditions! And those carrots look huge to me. Ginny likes to pick ours when they are about an inch long! 🙂

  6. Beau says:

    You guys are Awesome, I think i’ll start out on smaller scale, Going to get a fruit trees next week put em in the ground and check on em in a year or two . . . Great job you guys Rock on . . .

  7. Mike Lee says:

    Josh, your grandad, Bob, would certainly be proud of you. He was the one who turned me on to Wendell Berry. I always insert the word “parish” for garden or farm and the “pastor” for farmer or gardener. By the way, you probably don’t remember me. Your grandfather and grandmother were imporrtant spiritual guides in my life. I met them and then used to go to cR when I moved back to the States. I really appreciated the remarks your dad shared from you at the funeral.

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