Bill’s Garden

In a wee bit of a departure from the usual monthly post,  “The Garden in August (etc)”, I thought it would be good to look at one of our ward member’s garden.

But a little explanation first of all.  Part of the inspiration behind our Additional Meeting in April was Bill Tate’s first-year garden in their new home.  Bill sowed the seeds, grew the plants, while Frances cooked, baked and preserved.  Their first-year crop in 2013 was impressive.  The other source of motivation was the Church’s advice on Self Reliance.

“Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being.”

—Thomas S. Monson, “Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare,

A little peek into Bill’s garden

Lets take a look at some of the photographs that Frances has kindly provided, and then we can let her tell us a little bit about the garden, and how she copes with the volume of produce that ends up in the kitchen!

04
Clockwise from top: Pepper plants in Conservatory, Training green beans on canes, Lettuce & chives in pots
03
Clockwise from top: Onions hanging out to dry, Carrots for the soup pot, Leeks, Green beans, Onions, Tomatoes
02a
Top to bottom: Bill gathering plums, Plums after washing, Plums waiting to be cooked
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All photos: Frances with her plum crumbles and pies. They all went into the freezer for use during the winter months.
05
Clockwise from top: Preparing the green beans. Preparing the peas for freezing. Into the freezer they go.

Frances says

William still has a large crop of peas and beans, cabbages, potatoes, and tomatoes ready for me to use or get ready for freezing.

I have also made 8 lbs of plum chutney, and will make green tomato chutney with any tomatoes that don’t have time to ripen.   I will also be making bramble chutney with brambles foraged from the countryside, and also some jams.

William has been a keen gardener since 1963.  Whatever space he has he uses to grow food for the family. Our neighbours and church member are also given wee gifts as well.

We have always made our garden part of our home storage by following the advice of the Prophets

Last year the garden produced:

  • Runner beans 40 lbs
  • Peas 20lbs
  • Onions 10lbs
  • Kale 15 lbs
  • Potatoes 14lbs
  • Beetroot 10lbs
  • Spring onions 4lbs
  • Lettuce loads
  • Chard 6 tubs
  • Tomatoes 30lbs
  • Cucumbers 30
  • Strawberries 2 large tubs
  • Apples 40/50 lbs
  • Plums 20lbs
  • Pumpkins 3

In addition to food that went straight to the table, this made:

  • 48 jars beetroot
  • 40 lbs jam
  • 25 apple crumbles
  • 25 sponge apple puddings
  • 20 stewed apple packs
  • 24 bags of frozen peas
  • 60 bags of frozen green beans

Are you impressed?  I am!  🙂  Looking at the photographs above, we could be fooled into thinking that all this came from a massive garden.  In fact, the garden is not huge, Bill has just applied good and creative use of space.

More Motivation

“Planting a garden, even a small one, allows for a greater degree of self-reliance. With the right information and a little practice, individuals and entire families can enjoy the many benefits of planting and tending a garden.”

–Growing a Garden, LDS.org

Being involved in April’s Additional Meeting also inspired me to plant some vegetables this year, with some successes, some failures.  We’ve had broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, herbs and tomatoes.  Straight out of the ground, they were so different from supermarket-bought; fresh and full of flavour. Our peas and mangetout were dismal failures, but we will try again next year.

This is the last in the series of The Garden in (Month), at least for this year, but there’s still a lot to do in your garden to prepare it for the winter months ahead.

The flower garden in September

  • Dig up annuals, unless you want them to set seed
  • Prune lavender, and take cuttings by pulling off sideshoots and placing in gritty compost
  • Now is a good time to plant trees, shrubs and new perennials
  • Sow hardy annuals for larger plants next year
  • Plant autumn flowering bulbs and tubers such as crocus, fritillaries and cyclamen
  • Plant daffodil bulbs in borders and in pots for a lovely display next spring
  • Plant out new bedding plants for spring, such as forget-me-nots, violas and wallflowers
  • Buy or order in tulip bulbs – planting shouldn’t take place now though.  Hold them aside in a cool dry place until late October/November
  • Cut back perennials that are past their best
  • Take cuttings of rose bushes
  • Keep your lawn and borders free of falling leaves

The fruit and vegetable garden in September

  • Lift and store onions and shallots
  • Plant out rooted strawberry runners & create new strawberry beds
  • There are plenty of vegetable seeds that you can sow now, including lettuce, beetroot, radish, spring green, and calabrese
  • If you have planted Brussels sprouts, stake them now to stop them blowing over in the wind
  • Plant out spring cabbage
  • At the end of the month plant up garlic bulbs
  • Harvest fruit such as apples & pears as they ripen
  • Sow broad beans and hardy peas
  • Pot up some mint and parsley for your kitchen window ledge

Thanks for dropping in, and thanks for reading!  Enjoy your gardening!

4 thoughts on “Bill’s Garden”

  1. OH MY GOODNESS! I knew you did a bit of gardening and growing your own produce but this is exceptional. Very impressive 🙂

  2. Fantastic….Bill Tate makes me feel so lazy. I love his garden and Francis only makes me feel so bad that I haven’t done a fraction of what they have done and are still doing.Good luck to both of you,love.Isobel Williams.xx

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