The last picture I am growing lettuce and garlic, the garlic is in the smaller raised boxes. I also plugged some table onions / multiplying or bunch onions, I ran out of room in the garden for them. I am currently purchasing more NH garden seed. I keep about 100 pounds stocked up, I am trying to stock another 100 pounds. I also have my 400 pounds of open pollinated field corn seed stocked up.

I did not take any pictures of the lower garden, I planted 100 pounds of Elbon Rye seed, it’s about 6″ high right now.

Elbon Rye was developed in Oklahoma and is a Southern type of cereal rye. Cereal
Rye is used in gardens and production fields to control nematodes and as a cover
crop. It winter hardy and produces more forage than most small grains.

The Elbon Rye is a great cover crop, after I till it into the sandy loam it will help to improve the soil and add the Nitrogen that will be needed when I plant my corn in the spring.  I added about 28 cubic yards of mushroom compost to this garden last spring, but it was not enough to help with the soil conditioning.

The slope that this garden is on requires a cover crop during the winter months, our heavy winter rain falls cause erosion problems, I paid about 50 bucks for the 100 pounds of Enbon Rye seed.

I had to take a small gamble and plant the Elbon Rye versus a Legume crop, the Legumes will add nitrogen to the soil through the air, while the Elbon Rye will only add the Nitrogen after it is tilled in and as it is decomposing. I had to remind myself….. the goal was to improve the sandy loam soil, I needed more organic material, and the rate of growth of the Elbon Rye is so fast….. I will still have time to plant legumes or another crop of Rye.

Both of my two larger gardens are just under a 1/4 acre each. I can also use the Elbon Rye as forage, I don’t have my goats yet but I can mow or clip it and feed the other critters. All of my animals are in pens, my place is small and there is not enough room to allow them to openly graze or forage. The future goats will be another story. I have to cross fence a few more sections to keep the goats from the gardens or what ever else we do not want torn up.

It appears as if the one Gilt has taken, I will know in about a week if she comes back into cycle, hopefully we will have our first litter of piglets, I crossed my New Hampshire boar with two Durock Gilts that came from Oklahoma, I could not trust the local bloodline when choosing my Gilts, I had to outsource to make sure a broad separation in the bloodline of both the Boar and the Gilts.

We butchered one of the new Hampshire Gilts last winter, she was huge at about 450 pounds, I finished her out on corn. Her sister had to be put down due to complications of imbreeding, it was a shame. This is why I am so cautious with buying local.

On a side note… I have been having complications with WordPress, typo corrections and paragraph spacing. If you have noticed…. it’s not entirely because I am being lazy. I have found I can make many of the corrections by editing the HTML code, but it’s a pain in the ass.


  1. Lookin’ good. Gas prices once again kept me from making repeated 110 mile round trips to collaborate with the Terrorist Farmer on his big patch. Food prices going the way they are, it will soon be worth the fuel to make those trips…

  2. Those are some fine looking gardens.
    I’ve grown garlic in raised beds too. This year I’m going to just plant them in the regular garden just to see how that works.
    Miss Violet

  3. You’re making me homesick! I grew up in Cleveland, in Liberty County, and my mom still lives there. I’ll be visiting her in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait to get a lung-full of that fresh East Texas air.

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