The Prouty Garden!

all throughout the winter we daydreamed of our garden.  what we would plant, how big we would make it, what style of gardening we would hope to follow, how the children would be involved and how it would feel to have the sun shining on our shoulders.  we planned for every evening as soon as the last frost passed to be spent out there under the great big sky soaking it all in.  the day finally came and it was glorious.  donny spent every day for a few weeks digging up the garden beds – we used the raised bed method – and hope to adopt the Back to Eden method come fall with all the good compost and wood chips we are currently working on.  we have 14 garden beds, each averaging about 2′ by 12′ and a good foot deep with our soil with mulch and organic compost mixed in.   i dug the holes for our plants with my great grandfather’s handmade spade in the freshly rained-on pacific northwest soil and the kids all picked their favorite veggies, fruits and flowers to tuck into the beds.  when reading up on how to begin our organic garden specific to our area, we devoured the books Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades and the favorite in our house for young and old, Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life.  it took us a few weeks to piece together our patchwork fence.  i first just wanted a picket fence but there were so many sweet options that we just did a little bit of everything.  the kids helped us build the wattle fence (we did a race of boys against girls to see who could finish their’s first – the girls won).  then we picked up a few wooden pallets for $3 each and used those to anchor the corners of the fencing.  we found some great salvage picket fence panels at the ReStore to fill in some of the sides and then we used other random things like an old door and pieces of other furniture that we here on the land but being used for other things.

we are on our way to a more self sufficient life!  we started with just a patch of grass.  everything that we have planted is organic (absolutely no genetically modified food!) and is seeming to grow as though there is magic in the soil.  we did our best to grow lush gardens in our backyard raised garden beds in southern california yet it was always so tough not to have our plants scorched by the sun.  it’s just so moist here.  we have heard that it is the ash in the soil here in the PNW that makes everything grow so well.  we are still learning but are happy to share our adventure as we fumble our way through it.  we hope our garden will supply for us through this season and next, we hope to only have to purchase meat (organic, grass fed), fruits we cannot grow ourselves such as bananas (organic) and for baking items and such.   our chickens are also laying a dozen eggs a day now which provides two eggs a day for each member of our family!  i am currently learning about canning and preserving things for the winter and will do my best to post updates on how our garden is doing every month.  i currently have these books on my beside table to read next:  Ball Complete Guide to Home Preserving and The Foxfire Book.  here are the photos of our beginning with our garden!  it is about 150′x 250′ in size.  i can see the sheep pen just outside my kitchen window and then just on the other side of that is our garden space.  just beyond the garden space is a line of apple trees and a big space we plan to plant our pumpkin patch.

we are currently growing: broccoli, brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash, early girl tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, kale, acorn squash, zucchini, green beans, snap peas, sweet corn, green and white onions, artichoke, spinach, cauliflower, beets, peppers, cucumber, stir fry greens, garlic, potatoes, mint, cilantro, lots of lavender, peppermint, thyme, lettuce, lots more herbs, swiss chard, strawberries, raspberries, pink lemonade blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, dahlias, sunflowers, peonies & sweet peas.

these photos were taken three weeks ago right when we finished and it’s grown more than a foot in height since then!

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21 Responses to The Prouty Garden!

  1. Stacy @mulberryfarminmomma says:

    Joy this is absolutely beautiful. The soil is amazing. That’s the only thing about arkansas is it doesn’t make for the best gardens. I just can’t believe how quickly it has grown. And I love love all the different fence pieces. So cool. I’d like to get inside your creative brain and hang out for awhile;)

  2. Karie says:

    This just makes my heart sing! Such a beautiful life you live with your sweet little family. Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden. I hope to start one in our next house!

  3. Carly says:

    Eep, I’m in love! Gosh, it looks as if you live the most marvelous life possible. I need to live on a little homestead someday.

  4. wendy says:

    This place is so beautiful looks like out of a book, those are lucky kids! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Madeleine says:

    WOW. This is just fantastic!

  6. Erin says:

    I love these photos!! You definitely have a knack for gardening!! :) Next time I visit I’ll bring some peppermint from our yard. It grows like a weed…and you can think of us whenever you see it! Lol. Also…if you ever need tips on how to prepare/cook the veggies, I’m pretty creative in the kitchen & am happy to bounce ideas around. I love making frittatas…you can even make them ahead of time in muffin tins & then just warm them up later. Stir fries, soups and chillies are a great way to incorporate veggies. And you can always hide greens & root veggies in spaghetti sauce.

  7. Mara says:

    Hey Joy,

    I just tried to send you an email but I guess anything is wrong with my client. So I’d like to tell you that you & your blog got featured on our blog:

    http://www.realitaetsbewusst.de/2014/06/spotlight-wildflowersphotoscom.html

    I really love everything about your work and your pictures. You got the best IG account ever and you’re so much more than an inspiration to me. Thank you for your kindness, your warm heart, your family stories any every single picture.

    Love,

    Mara

  8. Amanda says:

    Oh, I LOVE every bit of this!!! Congrats on your awesome garden!! We are in our second year of backyard gardening…I still have lots to learn, but it is such a blast {especially with kids}! That wattle fence is pretty awesome, and I’m feeling determined to make my own. We don’t have sheep, but we do have chickens and a pet pig, so anything that I don’t want eaten or pulled out of the ground needs a pretty fence ;) ~ blessings and happy gardening to you and your beautiful family!

  9. Alicia Fraser Stanley says:

    Great job guys! Looks amazing! I can’t believe how big it is compared to your old garden. :) I am nervous about the sweet pea flowers in the edible garden though since they are poisonous! Hopefully the kids don’t try to taste those!

    • admin says:

      alicia, thank you so much! such a wonderful compliment coming from you who has such a lovely garden and knows so much! thank you for letting me know about the sweet pea flowers! i didn’t know and am so glad you told me. silly flowers, they smell like they would taste just wonderful!

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  11. Danielle says:

    Joy, could you share some of your resources for purchasing seeds/plants that are non-gmo? These can be hard to find at times, and I’d love to be pointed to some websites that sell them! I hope to plant strawberries this fall and would love to find non-gmo plants!

  12. Spring Whitaker says:

    My oh my!!! Joy what a beautiful space you all have created. It’s so alive & filled with love. And the sheep!!!! Your children are so blessed to have such wonderful & creative parents. I truly love getting to see what you all are up to & what you all have created. Such awesomeness :)

  13. lauren says:

    your babies & greens are growing so BIG! thanks for taking the time to map it out for us :) the smell of dirt and giggles from puddle jumping are tangible, Clem and that water pot, the wattle fence…all the things. Just, love.

  14. Pingback: HAVE A BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND | mandi holmes blog

  15. Monica says:

    Cute garden! I love the last picture, her smile is beautiful :)

  16. Christina D. says:

    Having my own garden is my ultimate frustration. I’ve enjoyed seeing all these wonderful photos! So relaxing…

  17. Lara says:

    Gorgeous!
    I love the photo with the umbrella! As soon as I saw it I was 5 again! I had that same umbrella and adored it! Thank you for the wonderful memory xx

  18. Denise G says:

    So in love with everything about these photos! I just love your family, so adorable! Thanks for sharing!!

  19. Meagan M says:

    Looks like heaven! :-)

  20. kim hartmann says:

    Everything you touch is magic. I seriously feel that way. The emotion that you capture/create in your images thrills me every time I look at your images, any of them. I hope to one day get to this point with my own photography. <3

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wildflower. mother. wife. believer. artist. farmer. writer. dreamer.

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